Tuesday, 16 October 2012

RSPB, Blacktoft Sands

This was only my second visit to Blacktoft, but we timed it right as it was an open day - so there was activities for kids and guided walks.  If you haven't been before, it's well worth a visit, there are 6 hides - within quite close proximity to each other, so not too strenuous on the feet.  We saw a good range of birds, although we were hoping to see Bearded Tits and Water Rail - both were in hiding ... we will have to come back another day to spot them.

I didn't realise that Magpie's had so much blue on their feathers, this one was out in the sun and it really highlights the colours.

This Wigeon was a bit far away for a good shot, up close the Wigeon is one of the most attractive ducks, the plumage of the male being subtle rather than gaudy.

A group of Shovelers coming in to land, the males really have quite a bright green sheen to their heads in strong sunlight.
Quite a few Snipe on show, we saw about 10 today - their camouflage makes identification tricky, and they were a bit too far away for my camera to get a clear shot.
Not too many wading birds left on the reserve, however we did see Redshank and Dunlin.

Mute Swans just passing through...

Blacktoft is a breeding area for Marsh Harriers, so they can be seen at quite close quarters, this one flew over the lagoon just in front of us.  We also saw Kestrel and Sparrowhawk flying over the reedbeds.

Best photo of the day goes to my son, Oliver for his shot of the grey heron!!

This was a nice end to a good day, a Roe Deer across the other side of the water feeding in the reedbed.

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