Friday, 29 April 2011

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Hauxley Nature reserve was our port of call yesterday morning and was delighted to get a possible 2 ticks in one day. A cracking morning was spend scanning the pond from the hides and also the fields around the reserve where the warden was telling us 4 Heron were nesting with 12 chicks hatched.
My first Tick (I hope) is of this Partridge, I have seen Red Legged Partridge before but I think these 2 are Grey Partridge....I came to this conclusion by the lack of white on its neck and also the rusty colour on its head. A hare was seen running along the top of the field which was nice. We headed to the first hide spotted Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Widgeon, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Mute Swan Redshank Mallard and hopefully Tick number 2.
I think these Geese are Pink Footed..... The bill isn't as bright as the Greylag and the necks seem a bit more stumpy. The only thing putting me off is that my book says that they are a winter visitor so if they are Pink Footed Geese then why are they here, Birds and books can be confusing hehe

Also on the ponds were what I think are Gadwell, These ducks have been pointed out to me before so it's not a tick but it will be a positive ID if I'm right. Scanning my bird book Gadwell and Pochard are the only ducks I could see with the Black rump, so fingers crossed I'm right.

On the way back to the car a beautiful Whitethroat was spotted in the trees lining the path and sat and sung it's little heart out. I have seen Common Whitethroat at Castle Island, Ashington and thought they were the Lesser variety but my gut feeling is that this one is a Common Whitethroat but still a cracking bird who was very obliging and photogenic.
Also spotted were Coot Moorhen Long Tailed Tit, Tree Sparrow (I think) ohh and not forgetting the family of Rats which apparently visit the bird feeders, ahhh I hate rats
A good morning out and as always comments and suggestions always welcome.