21st March 2013

March 22, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Spring has sprung

The grass is ris

I wonder where the daisies is

Well, that's surely what I should be telling myself. I once heard that summer has arrived when you can go out on your lawn and place one foot on four daisy flowers.  More likely to end up with a snow encrusted shoe at the moment. Seems the waiting game has a while to go yet. Many summer migrants have now sent just the odd scout: sand martin, wheatear, even willow warbler have been reported as have a few ospreys. Bet they regret it!

Anyway, Thursday looked like the best day of the week - best of a bad bunch as they say, so I went off early to Worsborough Reservoir [near Wombwell, S. Yorks] as someone had posted photos of a lesserpecker there. I failed to see any but I enjoyed my walk and I did encounter quite a few birds...

Great Crested Grebe There were several pairs of great crested grebes and a flock of mallards who had all mixed their genes with some farmyard friends at some point in their history. 'Nearly mallards', one could say - a bit whiter undersides but rather attractive nevertheless. I think they look well unlike many feral hybrids.

Feral Mallard Walking on I came across more grebes determined to shoo the mallards out into the middle of the reservoir. This one was aiming straight for them!

Great Crested Grebe

The paths were quite muddy but I found the likely birch trees where the woodpecker had been seen. A robin accompanied me for a long time [or perhaps it was several robins!]...

Robin ... and a dunnock watched me from his perch.

Dunnock Three nuthatches were chasing around playing some kind of mating game I presume and were reluctant to pose for a photo. No time for such frivolity!

Nuthatch The robin caught the corner of my eye as it landed in a bush just behind my right shoulder.

Robin Looks a bit miserable - 3 degrees blues perhaps. A pair of goosander were out on the reservoir now as were a number of tufties. This sleeping pochard floated by as I headed back to Tiggy after circumnavigating [posh for going round!] the reservoir.

Pochard Next call would be Broomhill Flash to see a couple of green sandpipers - or, as it turned out, not to see either of them although, allegedly, one had been seen that morning. Still, 2 little owls, 3 pinkfeet and a special duck made up for it quite nicely.

I had decided the night before to combine all this with a run to the coast to Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Arriving in Bempton village I spotted the emus up by the fence so couldn't resist the chance for some candid portraits. They'd have pecked my lens if I'd let them!!

Emu Emu Emu

I knew that razorbills were back and that the light might be good. Unfortunately the wind wasn't quite doing what I hoped so the birds weren't hovering as they tried to make landfall on the cliffs being blown back by the wind. However I had a good time, got some nice photos and a couple of year ticks - razorbill and a puffin on the water quite distant but seen through an RSPB scope and spotted by one of their volunteers.


Fulmar Fulmar Jackdaws

Jackdaw Jackdaw

Herring Gull

Herring Gull Kittiwake

Kittiwake Gannets galore!

Gannet Flying past the clifftop like torpedos!


Gannet Gannet 'Glad you've finished the gardening, dear!'Gannet Gannet Gannet Razorbills

Razorbill Tree sparrows nesting in a house! [Well, the visitor centre actually!]

Tree Sparrow



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