A trip to visit the contractors at the North of the site was worthwhile today - a 'grus' call like its latin namesake alerted me skywards to the third visit this year by common cranes to the site. Unfortunately they were obviously seeking out soft ground further eastwards - but managed to get a couple of record shots:
The horse chestnut avenue is now completely down, the rest of the work should follow next summer:
The reservoir is currently re-freezing after a brief thaw last week. This was on Thursday showing a few resolute gulls turning up for the roost:
That pic might also be the swansong for my 500mm lens which apparently has also not taken well to the freeze thaw condensation of the last month. So apologies if subsequent images are a little more distant. Hopefully it won't end up like these unfortunates on the ice the crows are clearing up!
The river again holds most of the wildfowl like this goldeneye:
The bittern was again seen and photographed by Martin Hodges here.
Also active is the fox with tracks everywhere, and a major commotion took place in the loft of the Wildlife Centre - tracing the squealing across the ceiling and outside a pair of stoats came barrelling out the ivy and ran off scrapping over the road - they're obviously happy in their heated penthouse suite.
The Centre has also seen the return of the willow tit - first seen by David Ware on Saturday:
Nice to know some of the family of five have survived from summer.
The blackbird was feeling considerably outnumbered by brambling today too! Around 7 are visible continuously:
And a nice goldfinch:
The kingfisher was today feeding in the Treatment Works ditch so was left in peace to hopefully make a successful catch. Likewise at least one barn owl is hanging on.
A few roe deer have been out finding food too:
Fieldfare are encountered regularly:
And I was hoping this kestrel might have been the merlin that's been about all week - obviously hoping to lamp some rodents!:
If you're thinking of visiting the Reserve, the road as of 4pm on Monday currently has around 1/2" of snow over it, but there is obviously lots of ice so take care - though the rewards are fruitful if you can get in...