Sunday, 27 February 2011

Linacre Reservoir - 27th February 2011

My last visit of the month to Linacre. Quite a nice morning, with clear skies and little wind. Several bird species were singing and  a good count of Goosander and Mandarin Ducks was nice to see.

The visit started well when 2 Common Buzzards were spotted feeding on the fields by the main entrance. Feeding alongside these were 18 Black-headed Gulls, which had increased to 29 by the end of the walk. Interestingly, most of the gulls were last year's juvenile birds, with just a few adult birds present. Perhaps the other adults have already set off back to their breeding grounds? A Lesser Black-backed Gull was also spotted flying east over the middle reservoir, which is the first record this year.

Black-headed Gull

Waterfowl were well represented again today with good counts of the commoner species i.e. Mallard (46), Tufted Duck (29), Moorhen (11), Coot (15), Cormorant (1), Goosander (5 females), Great-crested Grebe (2 in full summer plumage) and Mandarin (16).

The woodland birds were in good voice with Goldcrest, Great Tit, Dunnock, Wren, Chaffinch, Nuthatch and Song Thrush all singing. Siskin were heard in the Larch woods north of the middle reservoir, where a Sparrowhawk was also seen soaring over the woods.

Finally another sign of spring  included the first leaves of Wild Garlic or Ramsons pushing their way through the soil.

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