Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Nov 9th Strumpshaw Fen

Pheasant
It has been a wet, miserable day with the rain falling throughout the whole morning. Surprisingly though, it has been a great day for the birds at Strumpshaw. I made a short visit to Fen Hide before my shift began today, but it was actually the walk there and back that was more productive. Despite getting a little wet from the rain, I was able to see and hear so many species of birds in the bushes and trees alongside the Sandy Wall path as well as on the path itself. Redwings, fieldfares, mistle thrushes, blackbirds, robins, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, bullfinches, reed buntings, siskins, goldcrests, a treecreeper and a great spotted woodpecker. There were so many birds around, it was amazing! Most of them though were camera shy and the rain didn't help with things either as raindrops were constantly obscuring the lens of my camera.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mistle Thrush
Reed Bunting
Goldcrest
Mute Swan
Marsh Harrier
Cleaning the Reception Hide
There was a bit of a very late spring clean at Reception Hide this morning. Two volunteers were busy giving the hide a thorough clean, from the rafters to the floor. Good job it wasn't a busy day with visitors. The birds outside weren't put off with the sound of the vacuum cleaner. In fact there was even a kingfisher making several visits in front of the hide during the time they were cleaning. For a bird that is believed to be shy of noisy human activities, its kind of contradictory. The kingfisher continued to make a few more visits after the cleaning was over and it even brought lunch with it on one occasion.

Kingfisher
Gadwall
The wet weather was good for ducks, but there were fewer of them out on the broad than expected. Maybe its because of the soggy looking marsh harrier watching them from a tree in the treeline at the far end of the broad? Mind you, there were plenty of other birds of prey around today. A buzzard was seen making a brief flight over the reserve and a male sparrowhawk sat on a dead tree close to the hide to my right for a couple of minutes before two other female marsh harriers arrived to the scene and scared it off. These two marsh harriers then started soaring over the reedy islands and kept landing down into it for brief spells. At one point, the larger of the two landed on top of the other for a dispute within the reeds. Something must be in one of these reedy islands as they kept visiting it from midday onwards. I wonder what it could be?
Mallards
Wigeon
Moorhen
A soggy looking Marsh Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Marsh Harrier

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