WWT Welney

Mar. 19th, 2008 07:01 pm
azziria: (birding)
Up to Welney today for a few hours' birding. The Washes are flooded again, after Sunday's heavy rain, so most of the waders (including the first Avocets of the year, spotted only last week) have gone where the water is shallower, and most of the Whooper Swans and all of the Pochard have left for their breeding grounds. A good range of species present nonetheless, including at least thirteen Snipe.

Some photos of the flooded reserve )

Species list )
azziria: (birding)
It's a glorious day out there - 17 degrees C in the shade, and a lot warmer in the sun.

Spent the morning up at Welney again (I'd have liked to go to the sea, but it's just a bit too far to be back by the time school gets out). It's so peaceful up there, I can almost feel the tension and stress draining out of me.

Best bird? Either the Marsh Harrier or the 21 Avocets (a drift of crisply glorious black-and-white across the lagoon in the sunshine). Although the male Ruff showing the first signs of his ruff coming in was pretty good too.

Most unusual bird? The Little Egret. We don't see them often this far North and inland. This one's been around for a couple of weeks, but I didn't see it last visit.

Most unexpected bird? The Great Spotted Woodpecker. The willows along the banks at Welney are barely more than bushes, so I didn't expect to see a woodpecker in them.

A lovely morning. I just wish I could have recorded the soundtrack to bring back with me - the wind in the reeds, the trumpeting of the swans, and the hauntingly strange 'peewit' cries of the lapwings. Perfect :-)
azziria: (birding)
Encouraged by certain unscrupulous individuals on my friendslist (you know who you are...) I decided to play hooky rationalised that exhibition panel text could be written this evening, after dark, and headed up to the Ouse Washes to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Welney.

First bird I saw as I walked onto the reserve was a Barn Owl. In broad daylight, sitting on a fence post next to the path. It took a good look at me, then lazily flapped away. A glorious bird :-)

Nothing particularly rare today, but I saw 38 species, including a Dunlin with one leg. Apparently it's been around for several weeks. The staff call it Jake...

The glory of this morning was time to just look and listen. To hear the wind, the piping of the Widgeon, the trumpeting of the swans. To appreciate the crisp jewel-brightness of the drakes' plumage in the occasional patch of sunlight breaking throught the clouds. To just sit back and watch things go by.

I needed that :-)

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