Saturday, 28 November 2009

Birds of Bretton - Part Two

A few more pictures from Bretton Lakes.

This freeloading, sleepy Mute Swan Cygnet was one of 5 born last year to the resident adult pair on the top lake at Bretton. They all survived and were still around until their parents chased them off to be ready for the new breeding season!

Its rare to not have a least one encounter with a Coal Tit during a walk around the reserve.

The Cormorants are always good to watch. A pair have been present for most of the year but I haven't seen them recently.

" 'ere, you should have seen the size of that Trout I caught yesterday "

These female Goosanders were around for most of last winter. I imagine they spend most of the year on nearby rivers before wintering on the lakes. This has always struck me as odd because the lakes are much more prone to freezing over.

Male Goosander

This photo of a Robin taken in front of the hide during a very cold spell of weather last winter. He/she had just been fighting over the food I had put out to attract the birds.

Last but not least is one of the many Grey Herons that are resident at the reserve.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Birds of Bretton - Part One

Bretton Lakes nature reserve is my local patch. Formerly managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust it is now under the direct control of the local council. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen but things seem to be working ok at the moment.

Bretton Lakes on Multimap

Here are a selection of the many photographs I have taken at this reserve. They are in no particular date order but most are taken in the spring and summer.

There is a more informed look at this reserve on this blog - Bluebirder



Grey Squirrel stealing the peanut butter I put out for the birds!


Great Spotted Woodpecker



Sunday, 22 November 2009

Far Ings

My first visit to this reserve in North Lincs resulted in two birding 'firsts' for me - a pair of Bearded Tits and a Bittern!

Far Ings is on the banks of the River Humber just to the West of The Humber Bridge and is managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. It is well worth a visit. There are 8 hides, toilet facilities, free parking and a visitor centre (visitor centre not open every day).

LWT Far Ings Website

Far Ings Location on Multimap

Speaking of 'firsts' this is my first ever blog!

Bearded Tits
The Bearded Tits appeared after just 10 minutes and hung around long enough for me to get plenty of shots. Sadly they didn't provide any natural poses in the reedbeds either side of this gravel path but I'm still well pleased.

Locating the Bittern was an altogether more complicated task and but for an eagle-eyed bloke who was already in the hide I would have missed it. He had to point it out several times and I still only saw it after it started moving. I hadn't realised just how stealthy these birds are!

I've made many trips to other reserves to photograph these birds but without any luck. After today I realised why. A casual scan around the edge of the reedbeds is not just good enough. You need a good pair of binoculars and a fair amount of patience.