Grey Wagtails

Today (26/02) a pair of Grey Wagtails visited the pool of water that gathers on the flat roof of our kitchen extension. We have seen them before but this is the first visit for some time. These shots were taken through our bedroom window.

Early birds……….

I saw my first young of the year at Attenborough NR this afternoon (24/02). A pair of Egyptian Geese have produced three goslings.

I almost managed to get a Bluetit feeding from my hand but this is as close as it dared to approach.

…….. two in the bush?

This afternoon (10/02) we had our first snow of the winter and I couldn’t resist the opportunity offered by the good light – the sun came out!. This is a follow up of a previous posting (A bird in the hand).

A robin and a bluetit posing in the cotoneaster bush just outside the dining room window.

Bearded Tit at Old Moor

Today was my first clear sighting of a Bearded Tit, also known as a Bearded Reedling. I actually saw two of these lovely birds feeding on the seed heads in one of the reed-beds at Old Moor RSPB reserve near Barnsley.

On arriving home after a horrendous journey (the M1 was closed!) I received the great news that Nottinghamshire Wildlife’s appeal to buy Attenborough Nature Reserve has exceed the target, achieving the magnificent total of £1,133,000.

A Bird in the Hand ……..

I persuaded two different Robins to feed from my hand this morning (01/02) at Attenborough NR.

I also had good views of a Buzzard (again) and several Fieldfare feeding on the Village Green.

02/02 Female Blackcap still visiting the feeding station but no sign of the male.

A Rutland Ramble

It was chilly and a bit windy for my walk around Rutland Water yesterday (29/01) but for most of my visit the light was very good as evidenced by my first spot, a female stonechat perched on the reeds in front of the hide.

Large numbers of ducks were in the water and grazing on the grassy areas. These are Wigeon but there were also large numbers of Shovellers.

There were smaller numbers of Shellduck and Goosanders around but the Duck of the Day was a magnificent male Smew. As far as I remember this is my first close view of this beautiful bird and certainly my first photographs.

And finally this Curlew was woken up by a mass flyby of Shovellers to show off its remarkable down-turned bill.

Whooper Swan at Attenborough

A single Whooper Swan has been reported at Attenborough Nature Reserve for several days but only today (25/01) was I able to get sight of it among a group of Mute Swans quite close to the car park.

The Whooper Swan breeds in Iceland but spends the winter in the UK. I have had distant views of them at ANR but this is my first close view.

The most obvious difference between the Whooper Swan (left) and the Mute Swan (right) is the colour and shape of the bill and in the general facial area.