Sunday and up to Big Waters for the weekly wander. Decided not to head to the hides so started the walk alone at a very slow pace. The pond was quite full of Wigeon with a definite increase in Gadwall also. I decided to leave the counting to Alan J when he decided to get out of bed (he needs the practice). A couple of Grey Herons were down by the bridge but were off as soon as I went their way or it could have been the Otter which I got a couple of glimpses of as it came up the burn into the main pond.
Down the track the faint call of a Goldcrest had me standing at a tree for 5mins watching it working its way around before it popped out for a photo call, of course it was in the darkest place.
Further on and several Goldfinches with a possible Redpoll in tow but I couldn't get an eye on it to confirm as they bounced along the treetops. Then a bit of movement in the trees and a Bucks head was spotted through a gap
It hadn't spotted me so when it moved along I followed on behind eventually getting to a point for a better picture but this time it had me in its steady gaze. We stood and stared for at least a minute without any movement gradually bringing up Mr Nikon to get a couple of shots. I only took single shots as I did not want to frighten it off with the Machine Gun effect and it worked as it stood there and I managed a few shots although I could see slight movement each time I pressed the button. I took about 6 pics then lowered the camera and the deer then just turned away and strolled off (it was obviously thinking that I was a National Geographic photographer and I had enough pics to select one for the front cover of Decembers edition)
Eventually I was joined by The Ex Teacher, Manic and the nice Mr D. Allan showed me the newly named Grey Wagtail pool (minus Wagtail) as quite a few Greylags arrived on the North Field. I had seen approx just over a 100 earlier as they did a couple of laps of the pond but they shot off. By now we were well out into the Bondooks and not much little bird action apart from a couple of Wrens. On our return to the Reserve a couple of largish birds flew behind the trees and all I had was an impression of a lot of white and thought it was possibly a Shelduck but Alan said it was a Greylag with a lot of white. On the pond he was again proved right as these 2 seemed to be all on their lonesome and despite other Greylags they just stayed by themselves.
We then popped up to the main hide but not for long as it was bloody freezing in there. Note the
new Feeding Tables, definitely working well.
On our walk back along the boardwalk several Long Tailed Tits and a ringed Willow Tit were seen then we heard the call of a Redshank, a patch tick for the year. It flew around calling then went towards the field South of the reserve but couldn't locate it. Also a pair of Bullfinches were spotted on the way out. Good walk as usual.