A Great Day For Birding

Today I went to College Lake, a local wildlife trust reserve. When I arrived at the main hide there was seemingly nothing to see with only a few ducks and lots of Canada Geese on show. However I managed to find a single Lapwing that had obviously been left behind when the others had moved on to another area. When I came out of the hide I noticed a flock of fieldfare in a distant tree, pictured below (Please click on images for a larger view)

Flock of fieldfare in a tree

I then had a look at the gulls present on the water, I couldn’t find the lesser blacked backed and the herring gulls I had been looking for but did manage to spot the Black-headed and Common gulls – not so easy when they are in winter plumage. I was astonished to also see a peregrine in the distance.

Black headed gull

Later on I reached the ‘Tump hide’, a hide situated overlooking a field that in summer is overwelmed with a huge variety of wildflowers. At first glance the field seemed to have no birdlife in however I persevered and managed to see a flock of linnet and skylarks singing.

Linnets

I also noticed a female kestrel hovering way in front of me, she perched on a post in the distance which allowed me to have a look through my scope. Next thing I know she flew towards me and hovered briefly before diving into the grass. Although this was a brief encounter it was an amazing experience of a beautiful bird. I am quite happy with the first photo I managed to take here.

Kestrel

Female Kestrel

The next hide I visited is the one which is closest to the water and therefore provides the best oppurtunities to photograph waterfowl, although there was a variety of species on the water a lot of them were too far away to get decent photos of.

Male Gadwall

Mute Swan

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Overall today was a great day with no less than 41 species being seen by me. A full list can be seen here:

Canada geese, fieldfare, peregrine, tufted duck, cormorant, kestrel,  green woodpecker, linnet, skylark, greenfinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, chaffinch, grey heron, mallard, wigeon, shoveler, gadwall, pochard, red kite, great crested grebe, tufted duck, teal, common gull, black headed gull, jackdaw, blackbird, robin, pheasant, moorhen, coot, lapwing, wood pigeon, collared dove, pied wagtail, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, magpie, carrion crow, starling

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