The birds came thick and fast as soon as I entered the Rea corridor from Westhill Road and I had quite a hefty list before I even got to Merecroft Pool, before continuing on to Wychall Reservoir and finally skipping the West Extension as I'd run out of time (I was hungry so had to go home for lunch!).
I saw a smashing 39 species, the most I've ever seen in one visit! And of these, three were ones I hadn't seen previously here. Here they are, along with other highlights:
- Finally, Canada Goose - inexplicably absent from all my previous visits, these had now appeared on Merecroft Pool.
- One solitary male Shoveler feeding furiously! This was also on Merecroft Pool and as the Friends have informed me they are not regular there, was almost certainly brought by the cold weather.
- A Little Grebe, also on Merecroft Pool. I was expecting to see one somewhere sooner or later somewhere on the reserve.
- More cold weather arrivals - seven Goosander, the highest number I've seen yet, on Merecroft Pool. There were five very smart males and two females.
- Finally saw a Treecreeper, having only heard one previously. This one was in ivy-covered trees over the stream, seen from the cul-de-sac road off Wychall Lane between Wychall Reservoir to the east and the Rea Valley route to the west.
- Stock Doves were much in evidence, in comparison with previous visits when I have struggled to find them. I saw a pair in trees while walking along the Rea Valley route from Westhill Road, then a pair again twice around the Merecroft Pool area. It may well have been the same pair three times!
- Three Grey Herons around Merecroft Pool. They will hopefully be showing signs of breeding activity soon on the island.
- A flock of around 35 Redwings in the trees and hedgerows surrounding the Paddocks.
- At least three Coal Tits, one of which was feeding on Alder catkins in adorable fashion!
- A Bullfinch having a bath! The spot in which he was bathing seemed to be a favoured spot for such activities as I saw a few species having a splash.
- Not a bird, but I also found loads of what I think are probably Muntjac hoofprints, along the muddy paths through the area behind and to the west of Wychall Reservoir.
I didn't see any Teals on Wychall Reservoir, it was probably a bit too early in the day as they normally seem to be there later. It was also sad to see that the Mute Swans were absent from Merecroft Pool - I'd heard from the Friends of KNNR that one of the pair usually on the pool had sadly died, so maybe its partner had flown off somewhere to try and find a new mate.
I had fun trying out my new zoom lens - most of the birds I photographed were a bit too far away for any particularly outstanding photographs but it's good for record shots, and a lot better (and lighter!) than the manual zoom lens I was using before.
|Goldcrest peeping out!|
|British Waterways Meadow (HDR).|
|Debris at the stepping stones on the River Rea (HDR).|
|One of my favourite views of KNNR! (HDR).|
|I love Alder catkins and cones.|
FULL BIRD LIST
|Black-headed Gull||Great Spotted Woodpecker||Moorhen|
|Blue Tit||Great Tit||Nuthatch|
|Canada Goose||Grey Wagtail||Shoveler|
|Carrion Crow||Herring Gull||Song Thrush|
|Coal Tit||Jay||Stock Dove|
|Coot||Lesser Black-backed Gull||Treecreeper|
|Dunnock||Little Grebe||Tufted Duck|