RSPB Middleton Lakes Sunday 19 Jan 2020

My first visit of 2020 to Middleton Lakes.

Though the weather was dry, sunny (I thought someone had switched a very large spotlight on), but the ground, as it often is at this time of year, solid ice to start, but muddy as the ice thawed out.

Unperturbed by the recent weather, no make that driven, by the sun, I plodded along enjoying the day, and managed to get a few pleasant photos.

The days's sightings were, plentiful of blue, great and willow tits, chaffinches, nuthatches, robins, blackbirds, tufted, canada geese, coots, mallard (it wouldn't be right without those geese, coots and mallards), little egrets, herons, cormorants, mute swans, shovelers, lapwings, teal, to name a few. Of the lesser spotted varieties, stonehatch and Egyptian Geese.

There had been reports of golden eye spotted on the waters, but I never saw any, and there was no mistaking the tufties, they were definitely tufties no mistake.

Sadly, no colourful sunrise, but there was a nice misty sunrise!

and the neighbouring farm buildings....

Now for the wildlife.

A blue tit felt the seeds of the bulrushes close by one of the feeding stations, were a lot tastier....

So much so, another one tried to join in!

it was time to move on, and heading for North Pool, I just spotted a stonechat in the corner of my eye, on the ground.

I set about to get nearer, hoping not to scare the sc away, and it then hopped on to a tuft of scrub!

Not wishing to push my luck, I stayed put, and the sc came a bit closer, on the close by fence!

Mrs SC joined us as well!

The photo opportunities from there, just got better, and I didn't have to move nearer.

It was time to move on, and then the sighting of a pair of Egyptian Geese.

It was a while before Mrs EG decided here plumage was ready to be photographed, but the wait was worth it, though it was a shame the lapwing was having a sulk, I'm sure I could have included it in the photo without any concerns.....

Heading back to the car, passing one of many feeding stations, the inevitable robin.....

Along with a nuthatch, as they always do, never go in to feed in a logical way....

One great tit, had found itself a fat ball, and nothing was going to disturb its eating!

And the end of the day, I was treated to herons nesting, getting ready for rearing the young of 2020...

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • The light looked pretty good for photos. The BT's on the bullrushes are possibly my favourites but it's always nice when birds like the Stonechats decide to come closer of their own accord and pose for you.

    Michael B said:
    Of the lesser spotted varieties, stonehatch and Egyptian Geese.

    I was looking for the stonehatch ...

    __________

    Nige   Flickr

  • Superb set of photos Mike, it certainly was an icy start to the morning but the sunshine was such a welcome sight; pity I was too busy shopping around for carpet estimates which had to take priority over grabbing the camera and walking shoes ! The Stonechats are stunning little birds and you captured them on camera perfectly. All lovely birds and can't choose a fave.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • That looked a fab day out Mike, and well captured :o)
  • Great photos Mike, can't say which is my favourite but then the Stonechats always pull me their way. Good to see the colour on the E. Geese too.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Nigel O said:

    The light looked pretty good for photos. The BT's on the bullrushes are possibly my favourites but it's always nice when birds like the Stonechats decide to come closer of their own accord and pose for you.

    Michael B said:
    Of the lesser spotted varieties, stonehatch and Egyptian Geese.

    I was looking for the stonehatch ...

    It was the one that flew off before I could take the photograph. 

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    Superb set of photos Mike, it certainly was an icy start to the morning but the sunshine was such a welcome sight; pity I was too busy shopping around for carpet estimates which had to take priority over grabbing the camera and walking shoes ! The Stonechats are stunning little birds and you captured them on camera perfectly. All lovely birds and can't choose a fave.

    Thanks Hazy.

    The stonechat pair were certainly being very obliging, or even curious (or both), especially as people were gathering to view them.

    I hope the carpet shopping wasn't too traumatic?

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    PimperneBloke said:
    That looked a fab day out Mike, and well captured :o)

    Thanks PB, it was a good day out, and sunny for a change!

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    gaynorsl said:
    Great photos Mike, can't say which is my favourite but then the Stonechats always pull me their way. Good to see the colour on the E. Geese too.

    Thanks Gaynor.

    I was just lucky with the sunlight on the e geese. If Mrs EG continued preening a few seconds longer, I'd have missed the light!

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • I've just realised, I missed the meadow pipet out of the photos, so here it is, and that was a near as it would come...

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler