Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hanningfield Reservoir

I had a good day out at Hanningfield reservoir yesterday. I arrived at the reserve at half 12 and Immediately herd the lovely song of many Blackcaps and too be honest for the first 20 mins, Blackcaps were the only good bird I saw apart from some Egyptian geese in the grazing meadow.
The Blue Shield Bug
The Island (Only just!)
The view from Lyster hide was empty of birds as usual, the only birds seen were some Common terns a good 500m away. A quick check of the pond near RAWL hide failed to produce any Migrant warblers but I did spot a Blue Shield Bug which I have never seen before. Unsurprisingly RAWL hide was also very empty and the island (Which is normally the best bit for birds) was almost flooded over so no birds were seen there.
The Red-crested Pochard from a good 300m away (Heavily Cropped)
Things started to get better at Point hide though. A brief scan revealed lots of close Gt crested Grebe, Gadwall and A very close Lesser Black-backed Gull which was good for photography. The on the island I saw a Male Red-crested Pochard, the bird of the Day and my only new bird for this year of the day. A few very close fly-bys of some Canada geese and some fighting coots ended a good stay in the hide.
The close Lesser Black-backed Gull
The way back to the visitor centre was much more eventful than the walk to the hides. Firstly tne blackcaps were back in full song and a few showed very well. But then just passed RAWL hide, I made my sighting of the day a beautiful Weasel and a little Wood mouse. Two very good mammals in one. I actually find Haningfield very good for Weasels. Near the Weasel was a small flock of long-tailed tits and I stayed to photograph them although I was soon distracted by a very close Willow Warbler in amongst the flock.
Three of the ever present Stock doves.
Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff?
Back at the visitor centre I was treated to the ever reliable Stock dove group(4 this time) and a Great spotted woodpecker showing well.

So all in all a good day, now off to revise for my Biology Exam on Monday.

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