Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Friday 22 January 2021

Redesmere Lake, Siddington

These pictures were all taken just after the new year, when we were still allowed out and prior to the latest lockdown. 

Redesmere lake, just a short drive from home, is where I have spent a lot of time over the last 18 months or so. Since taking on the monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) count here for the BTO I have found myself gravitating to it more and more. It is a large lake, about half a mile in length and is surrounded by woodland. This attracts some good birds all year round, with winter thrushes, Siskin and Redpoll, while in the summer I have had Spotted Flycatchers as the stars of the show.

The water itself also brings in some great wildfowl and geese. Last year I found 3 Greenland White fronted Geese and on the 1st of January this year I found 25 Whooper Swans on it. Add to this, Smew, Great White Egret and Red Crested Pochard, it has really turned out to be a surprising bit of water. I feel it is rather under-watched, so I am trying to visit more, as I am sure lots comes and goes unnoticed.

Here are a few of my sightings in early January.

Male Chaffinch in very poor light.

Female Chaffinch

Goldcrest with that rather sad looking downturned moustache.

These little guys do not stop still for a second, but fascinating to watch.

Greylag Geese on the march in the snow.

One of four Lesser Redpoll. These small birds don't hang about either.

Quite a few Redwings around, now down to the leaf litter having devoured all the berries.

I'd never really noticed how elegant they are from behind. A stunning winter thrush.

Friday 15 January 2021

The Cold Snap Continues

 We seem to be stuck in this constant cold spell at the moment. I don't mind too much if it is cold and frosty, but cold and wet just won't do. Pre the latest lockdown I went out when there was still a little snow on the ground, but the skies were battleship grey. Not ideal for photography, but that's never stopped the need for a bird to feed. So off I went.

There was plenty of activity as usual, with good numbers of our more common species, but a lot of the others seemed to stay at a distance and the light didn't help me with them. I got myself tucked into a bush and they came quite close without even noticing me.

Blue Tit

Great Tit

A bit gloomy for this Nuthatch, but I always enjoy seeing them.

I was quite annoyed at the electricity cables that ran along the background of this Grey Heron, but I liked the light underneath the bird from the snow, so I thought I'd share it anyway.

Friday 8 January 2021

A Lovely Winters Day

Just after Christmas we had a nice amount of snowfall. By nice, I mean not enough to keep you indoors for days or the roads clogged up. It was just enough to enjoy a nice morning walk before it started to melt. So I was out early to see what birds it would bring out to play. I headed to Lapwing Lane pool, which has a really nice perimeter walk and a good variety of habitat, and then just down the road to Redesemere lake. First thing I noticed was how nicely the snow reflects light onto the underside of birds in flight. Buzzards and Geese looked very good in particular. 

Where the snow didn't reach, the frost took hold.

There was a lot of activity, as is always the case on a cold day. The birds seem to take more risks to find food. They will stay around longer as you walk by them rather than dash off at the first sign of a human form. This makes photographing them a little easier when utilised with fieldcraft.

Blue Tit

A Dunnock trying to find a patch where there is no snow.

Greylag geese were particularly busy on this morning, but looked fantastic with the snow reflecting.

The Kingfishers perch was well protected from the snow, and again, she was very active.

A Robin in snowy wintery conditions. One of those moments that looks like a classic Christmas Card.