Spring Song?

A song thrush was serenading us as we opened up the reserve today. Like Jim’s recent observation of the romantic proclivities of the goldeneye , can this mean spring is not far away?  The early sunshine was blinding from the Ivy North Hide so even if there was a bittern lurking in the reeds  it was not easily visible. 

On Ibsley Water, not far from the Tern Hide there was both a great crested grebe and little grebe 

Little grebe or dabchick

Little grebe or dabchick

With many species of waterfowl in abundance it’s difficult to tell which is the most numerous, but the wigeon, shoveler,tufted duck and teal have now been joined by significant numbers of pintail

Tufte duck

Tufted duck

Several goldeneye and a good collection of pochard and gadwall added to the scene, but not to be outdone there were over 160 greylag geese loafing on the peninsular to the right of the Tern Hide and a couple of Egyptian geese lurking there with them plus another dozen towards the back of Ibsley Water. 

Distsnt view of just a few greylag geese

Distant view of just a few greylag geese

In trees to near the hide were a couple of redwing, the first winter thrushes we have seen on the reserve this winter.

A few months ago we were speculating on the possible fate of a young grey squirrel that was regularly managing to get inside one of our ‘squirrel-proof’ peanut feeders. My guess was that at some stage it would get in and having fed up would be too tubby to get out again..  Well at last it’s happened and yesterday, Jim had to cut the wire around the feeder to set it free!!!!  Hopefully it will have learned from the experience as we are going to replace the feeder with a similar one.

The early spell of sunshine hasn’t lasted and we have been treated(?) to several seasons in one day.  The lowering clouds gave way to light rain and then a thunderstorm with hail . which briefly decorated the pond dipping tables behind the centre, and the sheer volume of water forming a moat in front.

Hail settling briefly on tables outside

Hail settling briefly on tables outside

The temporary (I hope) moat outside the Centre

As this will be my last posting before Christmas, may I wish all our readers my most fervent contrafibularities!

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