Sunday, 3 March 2013

Linacre Walk - 2nd March 2013

The sun was shining beautifully yesterday morning, so I decided to spend a few hours down at Linacre. I walked around all three reservoirs and enjoyed the sounds of spring with many resident species in full song.

Top reservoir in the sun

The first song I heard was a Song Thrush, singing strongly from a tree near the Rangers' hut. Another couple were heard throughout the morning. Other songsters in good voice included Goldcrest, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Coal, Blue and Great Tit. Several Great-spotted Woodpeckers were drumming. Another very welcome sign of spring was a summer plumaged Great-crested Grebe that had appeared on the middle reservoir. I was particularly pleased to see this bird, because it was my first on site since November! Hopefully it'll attract a mate very soon and get down to the business of breeding. Still no sign of the Little Grebes yet though.

Most of resident waterbirds were present, with the exception of Mandarin Duck. This species becomes very elusive at this time of the year, as birds pair up and apparently leave the area to breed. So far we've only ever had 1 definite record of breeding on site, when a pair used one of the owl boxes (see here for details). Hopefully they'll be successful again this year. Waterbird numbers today were: Mallard (24 - a very low count), Coot (11), Moorhen (1!), Tufted Duck (16), Black-headed Gull (57), Grey Wagtail (1), Cormorant (3, including 2 adults in breeding plumage) and Goosander (10 - 6 males and 4 females).

One of the breeding-plumaged birds

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