I arrived at the car park bright and early,got the gear together and headed onto the NNR.
It was a tad breezy,but fairly mild for the time of the year and as i headed towards the bailey bridge over to the Thorne side of the NNR,i added the first of several flocks of Pink-footed Geese,2 Willow Tit,4 Redpoll and 4 Redwing.
After crossing over the bailey bridge,the welcome sight of a patrolling male Common Hawker was a nice late record,but better was to come later as i recorded a further three species including 6 Black Darter,7 Common Darter and a personal best,regarding my latest record of Southern Hawker,with a female being seen hunting and then perching along one of the paths,superb stuff.
Back to birding and as i walked along the network of pathways,raptors began to feature well in my sightings with 3 Sparrowhawk,5 Marsh Harrier,a single Peregrine and 3 Kestrel providing plenty of entertainment.
A passing flock of Golden Plover,contained a small wader which was identified later as a Ruff from my distant record shots.
A few mammals were recorded as i walked,with a single Weasel and unbelievably only two Roe Deer.There was also still plenty of signs around the reserve that the Red Deer are still present in good numbers,with lots of tracks and wallows were the Deer had been gathering,but i didn't manage to see any today sadly.
It seems this winter is going to be a good one for Stonechats and today was no exception,with at least 5 birds being seen which included 2 pairs and a single male.They always brighten a days birding and are usually confiding,hopefully their numbers will build back up again after the winter of 2010/11 hit them pretty badly.
As well as the previously mentioned Dragonflies,two species of Butterflies were recorded with singles of Peacock and Small Copper,the Peacock was watched looking for a hibernation site.
Back again to the birds and as the afternoon wore on a very impressive pre-roost count of 72 Carrion Crow were seen and as i walked along the final stretch back to the car,6 Bullfinch and 32 Redwing were seen to bring this excellent days birding and wildlife watching to an end.
|Doe Roe Deer.|
|Lovely autumn colours from this Dogwood.|
|One of the many paths.|
|Record shot of the female Southern Hawker.|