Pottering Around Potteric Carr

Spent the day at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve near Doncaster on Monday. It is run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and as they have a reciprocal arrangement with the Notts Wildlife Trust it was free entry! The first spot was a marsh harrier – a first for me at this site – and a kingfisher made a ‘flying’ visit in front of one of the hides.

Goldfinch10

This goldfinch prefers ‘natural’ thistle seeds to the bird feeders.

I thought that was going to be the highlight of the day but at a hide overlooking a shallow lagoon I saw six waders in quick succession – little ringed plover, avocet, curlew, redshank, common sandpiper and a very vocal oyster catcher. Here’s a selection of the ones that came closest – allowing better pictures.

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Little ringed plover – one of three I saw eventuallly

Avocet22

You can see that this avocet’s beak is sweeping sideways gathering food from the surface. This was one of a pair.

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The downwards curving bill is the outstanding feature of this fine looking curlew.

I had another good view of a marsh harrier but the most surprising spot was a badger(!) on the path about 10 yards in front of me. Very unusual in daylight and a lifetime first for me. It scurried into the undergrowth but I was able to see it between the brambles so It didn’t seem unduly disturbed by my presence.

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