Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Feb 15th Strumpshaw Fen

Song Thrush
It was a nicer start to the day at Strumpshaw compared to last week. I walked through the woods, listening to a song thrush singing proudly in a tree. It's song switches from being joyful to mournful with each few phrases, but is still a delight to my ears when I listen to it. At Fen Hide, I watched four Chinese water deer feed or chase one another within the strimmed open areas between sections of reed beds at the back of the pool. A pair of common snipe betrayed their hiding spots with their sudden movements as they probe the mud between the stubbled reed stems. Then a short rain shower arrived, tipping it down for a few minutes. Once the shower stopped, it cued the appearance of a kingfisher which posed on one of the taller posts standing at either side of the pool as if to mark the end of the rain.
Cobber the Black Swan
Just wanted to point out the Valentine's heart in this photo
Chinese Water Deer
Common Snipe
These Mute Swans were blocking my way out from Fen Hide!
Geese take over the broad at Reception Hide
At Reception Hide, it was a rather goosy day as a large flock of greylag geese took over the broad for most of the morning. A pair of shelduck was also there for a brief spell before moving on, vanishing at my second scan over the broad. I also saw shovelers, gadwalls, mallards, a couple of teal, a cormorant and a pair of marsh harriers. It was a rather peaceful scene until two military jets thundered past low over the reserve in front of the hide. They were so loud and sudden that they made everyone and everything jump out of their skins! What on earth were they doing? Don't they know that flying over a nature reserve is dangerous? They frightened the birds up into the air for a brief moment. Any of them could have flown into the engines or whatever and also harm the birds we are protecting. Does the military have any common sense? As the jets left the scene, a kingfisher suddenly arrived and perched on a reed stem. Was it marking the end of their chaos like it did with the rain? It truly seemed that way.
A white Greylag with a normal Greylag and Gadwall
Mute Swan
Marsh Harrier
A faint rainbow
While I was having my lunch, the rain returned for another short shower. This time there was a faint rainbow to mark its end with the kingfisher nowhere to be seen.

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