It’s been a wild start to November in more ways than one. Each day a different season, wind or wet, drizzle or dazzle. At around 8:00am November 5th this was the sunrise viewed from from our attic bedroom looking east over the Trent valley. I have not enhanced this image in any way, just a bit of cropping. This promise of a fine day did not disappoint.
The first frost of the winter (minus one) left a thin film of ice on bird bath and windscreen bu, well wrapped up like this pigeon sitting on the kitchen roof, I made a bee-line for Attenborough Nature Reserve, where else?
Pausing en-route to the shelter of the Kingfisher hide I put some seed on a gatepost as usual when this bolshie robin zoomed in as I was withdrawing my hand, picked up a sunflower heart then stood its ground making ‘This is my territory!’ gestures a matter of only a couple of feet away. The autumn leaves make a pleasing backdrop.
The Kingfisher Hide looks out over the Clifton Pit with shallow water, shingle spits and mudflats with posts at intervals providing handy perches for kingfishers (if it’s your lucky day!) The reedbed in front of the hide has been trimmed allowing clear views of the water margin. A possible water rail scuttled past a couple of times as well as this moorhen but with a small perch in it’s beak! I’m not sure if it succeeded in swallowing the fish considering its spiky dorsal fin. This the first time I have seen a moorhen with a fish. I thought they were vegetarian. Disturbed by a little egret, a great white egret flew by in the distance.
Returning to where I met the robin earlier I was pleased to see, amongst the blue tits, dunnocks, great tits etc male and female reed buntings in a hawthorn bush. My first sighting of this handsome bird this winter.
My final stop on this visit was near the railway level crossing in a corner of the Church Pond where rubble from the flood protection wall construction was dumped. This has created a rocky shallow with a reedbed behind. It is a place where snipe can often be seen. No sign of them this time but a grey heron bearing a blue led ring dropped in for a minute or two. I have submitted this sighting to Notts Birders who will inform the relevant body and come back to me with information as to where it was hatched etc.
Concentrating on the heron and looking for snipe I initially overlooked this dunnock, about six feet in front of me feeding on a desiccated plant. In my experience dunnocks are more common than e.g. house sparrows and have a much sweeter song.