Friday, 27 February 2015
A Brief Visit to Marsh Lane NR - Snipes Galore - and Another Garden Moth
It was a beautiful day today - dry and sunny with a definite Spring-like feel - so B and I went along to Marsh Lane NR for an hour or so this afternoon.
We stopped off at one of the small pools where there is a viewing screen/hide - there were a few Tufted Ducks
and this Coot.
Robin by one of the feeding stations.
We spent some time in Oak Hide which overlooks Railway Pool - where we watched Tufted Ducks, Lapwings, Mute Swans, Grey Herons, Pochard and Black-headed Gulls, some of which are now acquiring their black heads. The Coots were being very territorial and there was a lot of chasing and splashing taking place and it was good to see the Black Swan as I haven't seen it for a while.
Part of the view from Oak Hide - the channel in the foreground attracts Common Snipe (and the occasional Jack Snipe).
You can see in this photo (there are two) how well camouflaged Snipe are.
Alder Catkins and Cones
Dandelion and Gorse in flower.
I knew there were beehives on the Reserve but I finally found out today where they are located - on the edge of the crop field.
One of my favourite trees looking very colourful.
We finished off the visit in Car Park Hide which overlooks Car Park Pool. As we opened the shutters in the hide it was apparent that there were at least ten Snipe feeding not far away. At first they flattened themselves low into the grass
but within seconds were happily feeding away again. I don't think I have ever been so close to Snipe before.
We didn't see the Pintail or Goosanders which have been seen recently at the reserve but I did add 8 species to the year list - Jackdaw, Little Grebe, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Mute Swan, Black Swan, Oystercatchers (yes a pair have already returned) and Greylag Goose.
I spotted a Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) on the garage window earlier this week.
I did put the moth trap out on Wednesday night between 6.30 p.m. and midnight (had to bring it in then as heavy rain was forecast later that night) as it was so mild but failed to trap any moths.