Thursday, 3 March 2011

Riotous Egyptian mob storms Watton

Last Thursday regulars Ray and John managed a brief glimpse of a group of 20+ geese with 'extremely pale' forewings over the site. A quick look in the book and we came to the conclusion that the most likely candidates were Egyptian geese, but obviously couldn't confirm it.

However David Ware testing out the new Watton hide on Saturday managed to drop on a flock of 7 birds visiting the pits and got some great photos here - thus confirming our initial thoughts. We are used to lone birds every few months at Tophill, but a flock of this size is quite a record for this area.

At Watton too Tony McLean managed some outstanding pics of the smew amongst others well worth looking at here. Also Tony met up with young wildlife photographer Rory. Have a look on his blog here for some excellent buzzard pics - I may have to hang up my camera gear!.

Other highlights this week have incuded a female scaup on D reservoir - as found by Martin with his write up here. Another big count was made of 19 bramblings at the wildlife centre with some fine greenfinch which talking to some people are rare in their gardens now:

The breeding season is well into gear now - these oystercatchers are now resident on South Marsh East:

Likewise up to 11 shelduck have been present:

The black-headed gulls are already working out who owns which island:

And the coots are scrapping:

Unfortunately the mink has shown its tell tale tracks again for the first time since before the cold snap:

At least some good evidence was found of water vole droppings at North Lagoon today.

Friday night saw the moth trap go out and the resultant catch more like something from mid-summer - here are a few - clouded drab:

dotted border:


hebrew character:

and march moth:

The newts are also out and about now - this fine male great crested newt was near South Marsh West:

And this was under a stone in the scrub:

The new events programme is now complete for 2011 and is up on the page above. The next event is the reserve walk on Saturday morning at 10am - all are welcome (free with normal admission).