Saturday, 27 November 2010

Big Waters - 26 Nov 10

Friday and a day off so off to Big Waters to see what the snow had done.  On the walk up the lanes and paths it was hard to observe wildlife as most of the time I spent watching where my feet were going as in places the snow was up to 8inches.  The scenery looked spectacular, completely free of humans and dogs for a change.  It took me over an hour to get to the hide due to the snow and the continual stopping to examine the tracks that crossed my path including Deer, Fox and Rabbit.  Part of the lake was frozen and the island has now completely dissappeared.  A glance out of the hide window was met with contrasting views every few minutes, beauiful blue skies then 10 mins later the snow cascading down.

A strange bird stood out and in my 2yrs visiting Big Waters I have never seen a Starling in the Feeding Station and a pair of them stayed for over an hour.

The Feeding Station itself was flooded with depths ranging from knee high to a couple of inches (deduced by watching Alan J breaking the ice and plodging through to replenish the feeders on Saturday).  A lot of the birds were feeding on the ice as the feeding tables were under approx 6inches of snow.  A few Yellowhammers were around, also a minimum of 10 Reed Buntings along with the usual Tits, Finches, Dunnocks, Robins and Tree Sparrows.

All the wildfowl on the ponds were right down at the far end but included 16 Goldeneye, 22 Wigeon, 12 Pochard, a couple of Tufted Duck, c100 Greylag, 70+ Teal, 8 Gadwall, a large amount of Mallards and a Buzzard putting in several appearances.  The Otter showed its face for about 10 mins and so did a couple of foxes who nonchantly strolled through the woods.  On the way out after a couple of hours the fields had quite a few gulls in them digging in the snow and observed quite a few Snipe flying around, managed to count up to 27 on the ground although I am sure there was quite a lot more as they kept vanishing in the undulating snow drifts.

Amazing Scenery, Great Birds, what more could one want (a bit of warmth perhaps)

Finally a quick vid of Big Waters Strictly Come Skating for Birds

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