I’ve had a good morning at Potteric Carr today. The day started off well before we even got there, with a large skien of pink-footed geese flying over the Parkway at Handsworth, in a flock numbering at least 500 individuals. There seems to have been quite a movement of them today, and we got another skien at Potteric, numbering at least a few hundred birds.
Much of the reserve was still iced up, but there was still plenty to see. I started the morning by staking out the Willow Pool hide for water rail, and was instead treated to reed bunting, willow tit, great spotted woodpecker, chaffinch, coal tit, robin, jay, moorhen, pheasant etc. I was just about to leave the hide when I noticed something fly into the reeds out of the corner of my eye, and a scan with binoculars revealed a bittern doing a very good job of hiding in there! There were also good numbers of siskin in the trees by the cafe, and plenty of bullfinches around.
We walked up to Huxter Well to see if the Caspian gull was around, but we were probably a bit early in the day for it (even though I tried very hard to string a herring gull into it – note to self, I must learn the rarer gulls a bit better). Also around were ducks including gadwall, shoveler, shelduck, pochard, tufted duck and teal, an oystercatcher, a cormorant and a kestrel.
A final look in the Willow Pool hide on the way back finall turned up an almost blink-and-you’d-miss-it turn from the water rail, which walked in from under the hedge, had a quick drink, and disappeared as suddenly as it appeared!
Full list today:
Great tit, robin, jackdaw, mute swan, coot, moorhen, goldfinch, chaffinch, pink-footed goose, blue tit, bullfinch, jay, siskin, long-tailed tit, blackbird, magpie, pheasant, grey heron, woodpigeon, coal tit, reed bunting, dunnock, willow tit, wren, bittern, black-headed gull, great spotted woodpecker, carrion crow, mallard, teal, gadwall, meadow pipit, cormorant, lesser black backed gull, herring gull, shoveler, shelduck, pochard, tufted duck, oystercatcher, greylag, kestrel, song thrush, water rail.