Saturday, February 11, 2012
Today is the only day I will be able to visit Mote Park this weekend, as I am on duty tomorrow for the RSPB at Northward Hill. With several layers on I headed out the front door and over into the park. I aimed pretty much straight for the Lake. 2 Treecreepers and 1 Goldcrest called in the old gardens to the east of Mote House.
I could not believe how frozen the Lake was, probably the most frozen I have ever seen it! On my approach to the Weir and Causeway I could see two people standing there, both with their cameras at the ready. As I approached I unexpectedly heard one say to the other, "Here's Simon!" It was local birder Mike, and alongside him was Paul, author of the great blog: The Tortoise Man! Whilst having a nice chat we noted a Little Grebe in the Marsh area, several Pochard and Tufted Ducks were on the only ice free section of the Lake, 5 Mute Swans were present, and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was with the gull flock.
After bidding farewell to Paul, I spent the rest of my walk with Mike, heading towards the Little Owl oak, however the 'Owly' wasn't home so we made our way down to the Old Pond. Here we bumped into Paul again, and we all enjoyed great views of a Water Rail. Mike and I then headed to the Turkey Mill lake, finding Green Woodpecker and Redwing on the way, but unfortunately the Goosanders were not present. What we did get though were 2 Kingfishers, a rarity now after these past few winters. On my return route through the park the Little Egret was busy feeding along the stream by the Old Pond.
I decided to return later, and I'm pleased I did, as the Little Owl was showing well, the Little Egret was still active, and whilst at the Old Pond, 2 Water Rails were seen creeping through the reeds, and a Common Snipe was feeding right at the back - fantastic!! 3 Nuthatch, 1 Coal Tit, and 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also noted.