Sunday, 7 February 2016

Linacre Visits- 6th and 7th February 2016

I've managed two visits to Linacre this weekend, the first yesterday morning with my nephew, and the second a brief one on my own this afternoon. Yesterday's visit was wet, to say the least, and this afternoon was dry, but windy.

Firstly, yesterday's visit. We arrived on site at 7.45am and spent about an hour and a half walking around all three reservoirs, despite constant rain! As can be expected, bird numbers were low, except for Coots, which have increased recently. Numbers seen were: Mallard (15!!), Tufted Duck (19), Mandarin Duck (18), Coot (13), Moorhen (10), Black-headed Gull (26), Kingfisher (1 seen on bottom reservoir, but possibly 2 heard), Grey Heron (1), Great-crested Grebe (2, including 1 in breeding plumage), Cormorant (2, including 1 breeding plumaged bird) and Shag (1 juvenile on the bottom reservoir). Whilst looking at/for the Shag, we were lucky enough to catch sight of a Stoat, the first Linacre record for 2016. We also had Song Thrush singing on arrival, and the first blooms of Marsh Marigold on the river feeding into the top reservoir (last year's first record was on 29th March!!).

This afternoon's visit was, thankfully, much drier, with just 1 short shower whilst I was there. This time, I was only on site for about 1 hour and only walked around the bottom reservoir, but I was lucky enough to spot 2 juvenile Shags. Both birds were on the bottom reservoir, along with 3 Cormorants, including 2 in breeding plumage. At one point I managed to get a photo of 1 of the Cormorants and the 2 juvenile/2nd calendar year Shags perching on the trees.

Cormorant and Shags

Cormorant and Shag

1 Grey Wagtail was also heard during this visit, and whilst driving out, I spotted a mixed flock of Starlings (c.20), Redwing (c.40), Fieldfare (2) and Mistle Thrush (2), feeding in the fields.

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