Middleton Lakes 23 Nov and no ruddy shelduck to see!

I'm determined to make the best of this extended dry spell, the forecast was for sun, but someone forgot to tell the clouds it wasn't their turn yesterday!

As always, corrections gratefully received

Still, it was dry, and I can't complain can I (or can I ) at the extended dry period I've been able to enjoy...

So, this ruddy shelduck, I'd never heard of one before so it was a quick look on the web to see what it could look like, and after a good days wander, it wasn't to be seen. Not even some of the hardened birders who came specifically to see it, saw it....

I always stop by the feeders near the car park, not just to look what's there, but the heronry is 250 mtrs across the reedbed and often worth a look.

As expected, the usual great tits and blue tits

even nuthatches, including the mooning ones....

house sparrows getting stuck in their nose bags....

Walking along the woodland trail toward the pools, the inevitable robin checking me out....

The first of the pools, often very quiet though the boardwalk is often a point where folk stop to feed the small birds, and its always fascinating watching the birds in the surrounding trees watching as folk walk along the boardwalk, then amass in the trees around it.

They know, humans often bring food for them....

And yes, I often have a bit of bribery with me....

Even Cyril had to check out the food!

A great tit also

From there it was to the first pool Fishers Mill Pool, which was teaming with waterfowl, getting most of my regular species within a couple of minutes, but the reeds around the edge made photography difficult by teasing the AF.

Coot, Cormorant, Lapwing, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Shelduck, shovelors, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon.

Onward to the first screen on West Scrape, to the Jubilee Wetlands South pool, but all was quiet there apart from coot and some shovelors, so up the seasonal trail, so called because around this time of year, it becomes very much a mud plugging trail, which is a bit of a shame, because often some of the best views recently can be seen from there.

This time, it was dry and good firm ground, and a stop to take in that was there, great crested grebe, little egret, more coots and moorhens, lapwings but not many photo opportunities, apart from Mr & Mrs Stonechat popping in for a photoshoot.

First, Mr SC

and Mrs SC flies in

to pose nicely, though a shame the grass got in the way, but she posed.

Continuing along the trail toward East Scrape, and the lapwings became airborne amass!

Also observed was a working party complete with management team.....

Incidentally, the ponies are Konik Ponies originating from Poland, and are often there to help keep the scrub in check. Sometimes there are longhorn cattle, but I've not seen those for a couple of years.

Arriving at East Scrape, that also was quiet, which may have been due to the working party being close by, so it was onward around the back of the Jubilee Wetlands which is shielded from the working party and waterfowl is unlikely to be quite so scarce.

Now I know someone will appreciate this pair of cormorants....

Sadly not in flight, but posing nicely as they do.

A male teal heading my way, but too close to the reeds, though I did manage to get a piccie just between the reeds....

From there, it was back to the path and around to the Lookout, the only hide on the reserve, and for a change, North Pool was very active!

A few grey herons were around and about

One, possibly two great white egret(s). I say possibly, the one below flew off one direction while another flew in from the other side, but there is a possibility the fist had just done a circuit and returned.

The GWE taking flight....

There were the regulars, as with Fishers Mill Pool, but the light and being far way made photographing them impossible.

Time was moving on, it was time to complete the circuit and head back to the car, and looking over Jubilee Wetlands North, there was a flotilla of tufties

and a little further along, Mr & Mrs Gadwall

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Nice variety Mike, I'll have a word with the dinosaurmorants to come a bit closer for you next time, and to do a little fly by :o)
    Thanks for sharing
  • Beautiful set of species and photos Mike and aren't the Konik ponies just lovely. With stonechats, great egret and the handsome teal plus lapwing and regular birds you certainly had a lovely day out. Seems a long time ago since we did any birding so will have to get cracking when we get some spare time after seeing all your lovely sightings. Thanks for sharing.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • I would call that a good selection of birds Mike, Stonechat, Lapwing and GW Egret too, and the Konik ponies to add more variety. Looked to be a really enjoyable day out. Thanks for posting.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    PimperneBloke said:
    Nice variety Mike, I'll have a word with the dinosaurmorants to come a bit closer for you next time, and to do a little fly by :o)


    Thanks for sharing

    You're welcome and thank you.

    BTW, on another reserve, the dinosaurmorants seemed a bit more obliging, that report up shortly.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    Beautiful set of species and photos Mike and aren't the Konik ponies just lovely. With stonechats, great egret and the handsome teal plus lapwing and regular birds you certainly had a lovely day out. Seems a long time ago since we did any birding so will have to get cracking when we get some spare time after seeing all your lovely sightings. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you Hazel.

    Though it everyone I saw kept saying there's nothing about, I found quite the reverse, but as we know, timing is one thing we've no control over, nature will do when it wants.

    I had noticed the lack of reserve visits, and when I saw that you'd been on Anglesey recently, I took it all is well, I certainly hope so.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    gaynorsl said:
    I would call that a good selection of birds Mike, Stonechat, Lapwing and GW Egret too, and the Konik ponies to add more variety. Looked to be a really enjoyable day out. Thanks for posting.

    Me too.

    Considering it was a cold raw day (around 7ºC with a wind chill around 6ºC), cloudy and the wind wasn't too bad (touching 10mph F3 a gentle breeze), plus the fact there was a working party which would create some disturbance, a good day's count.

    I do have a soft spot for ponies, always a pleasure to see anywhere.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Hi Mike,
    Your usual good selection of what's about, I don't think I've ever had a day where being told there's nothing about has resulted in nothing being about, wildlife watching and photography are about enjoying what you see when you are there at the time. It can be disappointing when somebody says something like "the Bearded Tits are showing well" and you don't see them but you'll always see something to brighten your day.
    Trevor
  • In reply to Mike B:

    Michael B said:
    I saw that you'd been on Anglesey recently,

    Only a very quick 3 day visit this time Mike and no camera gear taken,  it was an 80th birthday celebration weekend for my lovely neighbour, her son and other members of her family;  I was too busy organising to birdwatch  !      Did see half a dozen red squirrels and a huge flock of redwing so bonus :) 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • In reply to TJS:

    TJS said:
    Hi Mike,


    Your usual good selection of what's about, I don't think I've ever had a day where being told there's nothing about has resulted in nothing being about, wildlife watching and photography are about enjoying what you see when you are there at the time. It can be disappointing when somebody says something like "the Bearded Tits are showing well" and you don't see them but you'll always see something to brighten your day.
    Trevor

    Thank you Trevor.

    As we know, nature doesn't stand on parade when we want it to, it has its own agenda, which will be typically around available food, weather, predation and other things that hamper or support its survival.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:

    Michael B said:
    I saw that you'd been on Anglesey recently,

    Only a very quick 3 day visit this time Mike and no camera gear taken,  it was an 80th birthday celebration weekend for my lovely neighbour, her son and other members of her family;  I was too busy organising to birdwatch  !      Did see half a dozen red squirrels and a huge flock of redwing so bonus :) 

    Lovely, and I hope  you all  had a good time.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler