Friday and a day off work so off for a wander round Big Waters. Walking up the boardwalk I could see lots of Swans in the the gloom so stopped and peered through the bins. I could see 8 Hoopers on the Island so turned round and went back to the first hide. Opened the hide as quiet as I could and gently let the windows down. The whole bay was filled with just about every bird on the pond and some of the Hoopers were only about 10m in front of the window. Gently brought my camera up but just then about every bird in view took to the skies. Cursing myself I leaned forward and looked out through the window and realised it wasn't me that had set the birds of but an Otter which was now swimming in the Bay just where the Hoopers had been previously.
8 of the Hoopers had stayed on the Island but everything else had scatterered all over the lake
Spent a pleasant hour watching them but things never settled down as the Otter was very active and was in and out of the reeds on both sides of the lake never giving anything a chance to settle. Also spotted 3 Snipe, 4 Pochard (increase of 2 on the past few days), the Wigeon count had also increased and was now near 100. The Gadwalls seemed constant at around 15 and the Teals had increased to14. The 2 Great Crested Grebe now seemed to be feeding together instead of at either end of the pond. Also a Kingfisher made a couple of appearances outside the Hide. I then headed up to the main hide where John B was clicking away. Stayed for a couple of hours watching a Kingfisher flitting around,
the inevitable Greater Spotted Woodpecker
a Shoveller, 35 Coot, 4 Pochard, 18 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 13 Cormorant, 6 Tufted and 80+ Wigeon.
The number of birds on the Pond was constantly changing with more Hoopers arriving putting
the number up to 23.
Also sitting at the Picnic Table was Alan J doing his daily count before setting off on the "Big Walk" then texting me to say he could see 3 Golden Eye which despite searching the Pond I never got to see. Off for a wander and to see if the Turtle Dove was around but only a couple of Mistle Thrushers were around sitting tucked away in the bushes.
Decided a nice walk to stretch my legs was needed so headed to St Marys where there were a couple of birders who I knew who said there had been a couple of Yellow Browed Warblers seen but all I managed to get my bins on was a Chiff Chaff and several quick views of a Redstart. After a couple of hours I decided to head home and take the beloved for a meal and just as I turned the corner on the west side of the reserve a birder beckoned me over and sure enough there was a YBW sitting in the bush. Went home happy and picked up Carole for a well deserved meal.