Tuesday 17th January 2012
Abberton Reservoir & Brickfields LNR
A busy Birdwatching day – Took a trip out with a couple of my ‘Birding friends’ this morning to Abberton Reservoir over Colchester way. The reservoir was mostly frozen over, but it didn’t seem to bother the Ducks and Geese, they were finding the water which was free. Plenty of the commonest Ducks & Geese were on show in their hundreds – Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Wigeon and Pochard. The Geese were Greylag, Canada and of course the Mute Swans, also one Egyptian Goose, a feral resident now I suppose!
But the best sightings were 1 Bittern, 3 Short eared Owls, 3 White fronted Geese, 5 Whooper Swans, 1 Marsh Harrier,2 Kestrels and a little Meadow Pipit ( well it was ‘little’ against the rest).
Well worth the freezing weather ( near freezing, but sunny at 10:00am).
Back home at 3:00pm and straight over Brickfields. The pond was frozen over and nothing was on there, but some good sightings seen elsewhere.
2 Song Thrushes, 10 Long tailed Tits, 3 Redwing and at last a male Bullfinch, in its best bright feathers. I have heard a Bullfinch calling a couple of weeks ago , but could not see it, well now I have ! All these birds seen in 1 hour, just before the light faded.
Bye for Now
4th January 2012
Well Tuesday’s weather forecast was right, wet and windy, horrible to say the least. I said it was looking bad, but that was an understatement! About mid day a mini storm hit my garden, just like a hurricane, I’m glad my garden fences are still in one piece!
I did not think it was a good idea to venture out and check on the trees over Brickfields for damage. You probably saw the damage across the country on the news. Didn’t fancy being hit on the head by falling branches, let alone a whole tree!
So today had a look over Brickfields, no damage to report, just a few small branches broken off and a bit more wood in the pond. I thought we got away lightly.
Sometimes good comes from out of bad , for another new bird added to the list of species and one I was not expecting.... A Little Egret. It was around the pond and took off when I approached. A lovely bird.
The Little Egret is more delicate-looking than any other heron-like bird which occurs in Britain. It is much smaller than a Grey Heron, with snowy white plumage, a long pointed black bill and black legs with strikingly yellow feet. In flight its legs project from the back. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. It is now at home on numerous south coast sites, both as a breeding species and as a winter visitor. It is included on the Amber List as rare breeding species. A recent colonist, it is most common along the south and east coasts of England. They are becoming increasingly common sight in inland areas where there is water and wetlands. A few are seen at Rainham Marsh on a daily basis. See pictures below. Bye for now
Little Egret & Illustration in flight