As usual a bit of sunshine drew me to ANR on Saturday (4th) and I managed a full circuit of the eastern end of the reserve, avoiding the muddiest paths but having to do a bit of paddling at one point in particular. The water level was very high and flow was very much towards the Trent which was the widest I have seen it for a long time. The land spit where I saw the female goosander a few days ago was submerged. Lovely weather for ducks!
Near the visitor centre I was please to see a group of four red-crested pochard cruise in. As it a included a female (on the right above) perhaps we can look forward to the patter of little webbed feet later in the Spring. They have bred here before so I am hopeful.
Near the end of my walk I followed the line of sight of other birdwatchers’ binoculars to catch this handsome male stonechat perched among the bulrushes. This is a first for me at ANR though you may remember me reporting seeing them last year in Cornwall.
PS Just went out to fill up the bird feeders and noticed that there was frogspawn in our tiny pond (made from an old shower tray). Let’s hope there is no more frost or marauding birds and it survives!