Didn't get out much at the weekend apart from a couple of visits to Big Waters due to various planned and unplanned commitments. Got to Big Waters about 9ish and was in the 1st Hide watching 9 Little Grebes moving around the pond trying to get them up the magic figure of 13 that Alan J had earlier on in the week but failed. The Mallard population had dropped although about 80+ were still around with one of the possible reasons being this lovely looking and much sought after creature.
Whilst fascinating to watch they do cause a bit of a stir to some of the wildlife around the Reserve but then again so do other wildlife such as Sparrowhawks, Peregrines, Marsh Harriers, etc so what is delightful to some is a bit of a pain at times to others. They do tend to force the ponds inhabitants into small areas as shown below with the Coots and Mallards crowding into a corner
Sunday Morning it was a repeat of Saturday with Otter roaming around the pond forcing rapid movement of the inhabitants into corners and reeds although when one got close to the Swan and Cygnets the hissing and growling could be heard a fair distance away and it retreated to a safe distance and started to fish, quite successfully, for at least an hour. A bad picture but shows the size of the fish it is taking, once again upsetting a small community of some of the pond users, the fishermen.
On our walk round several Common Darters were seen, a large flock, c80, of Greenfinch was seen towards Dinnington, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard but not a great lot else. We did have an unusual encounter of a bit of fly-tipping, although why one would dump it on the approach road to the farm on the North of the reserve which is a dead end when it would probably have been easier to take it to the tip which was proably closer. Lets hope the Bastards get caught.
Towards the end of the walk we met up with Keith B who had come to inform us that a special bird would be passing overhead at 11:42 so we headed to the the special bird watching hide place and sure enough it was right on time
The 1000th Boeing 777
Our recently renovated island has now become a resting place for Black-headed Gulls
I then headed to Killingworth to get a couple of pics of the Great Crested Grebes and their young as having seen many pictures and tales of them on other blogs, great narrative about them on
Killy Birders Blog, I thought I had better get a few of my own.
Anyway here are a few of my pictures
and the inevitable video