Monday, 14 March 2016

March 14th Sculthorpe Moor

Today, I was at Sculthorpe Moor with Mum. It was a nice day, though a little bit chilly within the hides. We spent most of the time inside three of the 5 hides, including the new tower hide which gave great close views of some of the birds at tree top height.

There was a bit of a finch fest during our visit today, as I saw 6 out of a possible 7 species that have been reported here this week (missing out on only the redpoll). Bullfinches are always quite obliging at this reserve and I saw them from all three of the hides I looked out from. The males were more obvious than the females as their bright red breasts stand out from within the foilage and even more while feeding on the feeders. They also have a black cap and a small, yet powerful bill. Bullfinches are probably my favourite out of the 6 species that I saw today. Normally, they are very shy, but with so many bird feeders around the reserve, they have become a lot easier to see than usual.

Female Siskin
Siskins were perhaps the most vocal and numerous of the 6 species. They are small and noisy, producing a lot of wheezing and twittering calls as they accumulated amongst the alder tree branches right across the reserve. The males are yellow-green with a black cap and bib, while the female is duller but streaky. I had great views of them from the new tower hide.

Male Siskin
I also saw goldfinches, greenfinches, chaffinches and even about three bramblings. The bramblings especially were a great highlight for me as these winter visitors will be thinking about leaving soon. There were at least two females and one male visiting the feeders of the first hide. The male is more attractive than the females, though at this time of year, his plumage is only starting to develop into his breeding colours, which will include a black head to his orange breast. I wanted to get a photo of him, but the blackbirds and other finches keep chasing him away just as I manage to get him into focus. I have to settle with this female instead.

Goldfinch and Siskin
The best of the rest from today's trip included; reed buntings, a nuthatch, a buzzard, a great spotted woodpecker and long-tailed tits. There was also a good display of scarlet elfcup fungi on the woodland floor. Sculthorpe Moor is always a nice place to come to, it is strange that I don't visit that often.
Reed Bunting
Marsh Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Wren nest
Scarlet Elfcup Fungi

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