Monday, 30 April 2012

The Big Waters Big Walk

The Sunday ritual of the Big Walk around Big Waters so didn't leave the house till later than usual and a brief stop at Arcot produced nothing apart from a few Tufted Ducks.  Moving onto Big Waters I just sat in the car for 10mins sheltering from the NNE finishing off my coffee and watching the Swallows (the only birds I could see) who were just about stationary as they flew into the wind, if only I had a boat the pics would have been amazing.  Eventually I made my way to the lakeside noting that the Dipping Pond was now a Dipping Lake

When your walking about you find indications of wildlife on the ground or in the trees/bushes of passing creatures and its always good to work out what they were but this one had me stumped for a little while although really taxing my brain I recalled the species to which they belong

Further clues were found a few metres further on in the shape of a couple of empty boxes of Foster Lagers and a multiplicity of empty cans.

The walk started with Graeme B, Ian D and Keith B.  Not a great lot was on the pond, 8 Mute Swans, a Gadwall, a solitary Cormorant, 4 Mallards, the odd Coot or 2 and about 30 Swallows with a couple of House Martins covering the lake in about 2-3 seconds in one direction then taking about 40 seconds on their return trip.  On the far side of the lake a Skylark, several Goldfinches, a Treecreeper and Blackcap were both heard then seen.  This little cutie though was watching us as we passed its pied-a-terre ensuring we were not up to any mischief

As we hit the "Horse Field" Graeme spotted a Jackdaw with a noticeable "white ring" which marked it as of Nordic origin.  I snapped a couple of quite long distance pics.  Another first for me.

We carried on and did the long walk encountering another Treecreeper which Graeme managed to pick out calling inbetween the gusts of wind.  Lapwings were still occupying the field West of the wood and the small flash was well occupied with various Gulls but alas nothing else was visible.  On round to the hide where Ian told us the water had dropped at least 6 inches but  the Feeding Station was still well submerged.

On the pond 1 of the Swans nest which was abandoned was now floating with several eggs visible.  A coot still sitting on its nest just outside the front of the hide was surely getting seasick as it bobbed up and down as the wind created small swells.  Well here's hoping the weather will be a bit better for the walk next week as no doubt we will be hearing tales of the glorious weather in Japan and Taiwan from a returning walker.
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