A decent drive on the way over to the reserve,saw a cracking Common Buzzard on a Hawthorn hedgerow along the approach road.
After paying for my day permit and while getting the gear together a few notables around the car park area included a Grey Wagtail,Siskin,Redpoll,Great-spotted Woodie and 2 Fieldfare.
As on previous visits,i decided to head down to Hempholme Lock first and cover the northern part of the reserve.
The walk through D-woods revealed a single Marsh Tit at the feeding station another Great-spotted Woodie and a close,but brief encounter with 2 beautiful doe Roe Deer before i arrived at the Kingfisher hotspot that is North Marsh.Here,as expected,a cracking Kingfisher showed well,but little else,so i continued on my walk.
On arrival at the lock,2 Little Egret were resting on the nearby meadow and on the River Hull,6 Little Grebe and another Grey Wagtail flew along the river bank.Highlight here and the day so far went to a Green Sandpiper flying towards North Marsh,with that distinct 'peet weet weet' call,looking like a giant House Martin.
The return walk back to the car park alongside D-res saw a small flock of Redwing plundering the local Hawthorn crop,always a great bird to see and if it was a rarity,people would rave about this stunning species.
After a lunch stop at the car,it was time to explore the southern section of the reserve and nearby Watton Carrs.
After arriving at the hide overlooking Watton Carrs,a quick scan of the local 'Lag' flock saw the reported 'Tundra' Bean not being present,but after about 20 minutes it flew in with it's 2 Pink-footed Geese buddies.Distant views of the bird were enjoyed as it preened and loafed with the goose flock a great record of this scarce visiting goose species for the reserve.Other species here included 37 Curlew and singles of Little Egret and Common Buzzard.
A few notable insects in South Scrub included several Mesembrina meridiana,2 Comma and a lovely Red Admiral.
A quick look on D-res after wandering back to the car park saw some decent variety and numbers of Wildfowl which included 3 Red-crested Pochard(2 drakes and a female),61 Shoveler,6 female Goldeneye(My first records of the winter period),24 Pochard and 133 Tufted Duck.While scanning the fields here,a Merlin flew south between the res and the Decoy woods,a pretty good record for here.
The final hour or so of my visit was spent overlooking South Marsh,with some nice sightings logged,the best of which was a brief singing Cetti's Warbler,my first for a few months and 54 Golden Plover and a whopping juvenile female Peregrine flew west.
So today was another great visit as always to this superb reserve and i travelled home contented.
|Distant shot of the Tundra Bean Goose on Watton Nature Reserve.|
|Incoming 'Lags',Watton Nature Reserve.|
|Mesembrina meridiana,South Scrub.|
|Record shot of the Juvenile Female Peregrine,showing a full crop after a recent meal.|
|Rrecord shot of the Juvenile Female Peregrine.|