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.

Blackbird

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.

Water Rail

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.

Little Egret

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.

Common Snipe

11 comments:

Mike H said...

Good to meet up and spend some time going round the park today.Some great shots taken i see. Should have gone back with you and got the common snipe! Have posted some of my shots on my flickr site if you are interested.
www.flickr.com/photos/58239862@NO2

Mike

Mike H said...

Sorry Simon the link should be
www.flickr.com/photos/58239862@NO2/
Mike

Phil said...

Great Water Rail shot Simon. The most I ever get is a fleeting glimpse.
Good to hear you have a couple of Kingfishers still.

Warren Baker said...

Snap with the Snipe Simon, but not the other goodies unfortunately!

Marc Heath said...

Lovely shots, especially that Water Rail.

Greenie said...

Simon ,
Shame about the Goosanders after you had put others on to them .
Love that Water Rail shot .

Paul said...

Hi Simon, It was a pleasure to meet both you, Mike, and Chris at Mote Park on Saturday. It was through reading your recent Blog(and also Greenies blog)that prompted me to visit your patch. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but as you know, I was on a mission to visit another area(Riverside Country park)on the same day! Im real glad I went there too, I had a close encounter with a very photogenic Avocet. All the best mate, cheers paul.

Simon said...

Was a pleasure to meet you too Paul! Pleased to hear you had a rewarding visit to Riverside mate!

Mike H said...

Simon,

I understand from a friend (dalmatian dog) that there were 11 on Turkey mill yesterday afternoon and seven still there early this morning. I saw three drakes up by the weir around 12.00 today.2 water rail as usual with a common snipe.

elcamperoinquieto.com said...

The watwer rail is a ver good pic, I like the landscapes frof that region...
Saludos!

Tomás Crespo said...

Definitely a good day friends and birds that more could you want, congratulations

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