Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowy MSQ,22.01.12.......

Female Reed Bunting.


1st winter male Siskin.


Female Scaup.

With half a day spare today and a gorgeous sunny morning on offer,i dropped her indoors off at work and headed to my second home at MSQ.There was still lots of snow on the ground and a freezing -3 greeted me on arrival.I got the kit together and made my way around to Grebe lake which was mainly frozen over apart form a small area with 3 Mute Swans feeding on it.The walk around to the first meadow revealed 2 Willow Tit and a handful of Fieldfare,with a couple of singing Coal Tit singing away in the plantation.After passing through the first meadow a decent sized flock of 42 Siskin flew into the avenue of alders giving some nice views as they dropped snow flakes and Alder cones on me as i attempted to photograph these stunning sprites.Suddenly they all exploded from the tree and that was that.I walked on a little further and came across a couple of Redwing feeding under some hawthorn bushes allowing an unusually close approach for the species,what a stunning bird they are!.Also,while watching the Redwings,a Robin appeared and as the Redwing flicked through the leaves and undergrowth the Robin picked about finding several insects as the thrushes turned them over,an interesting piece of behaviour to watch as both species fed alongside each other.On reaching the duck hide,at least 75% of the lake was frozen over and the majority of the wildfowl were relatively close allowing another chance to try and gain some images of the birds present,which included 2 female Scaup hanging on in the freeze up.The Scaup were watched feeding on shellfish and from what i could see were Zebra mussels,a freshwater pest species which has spread to the UK from eastern Europe.It was comical to watch as the Scaup surfaced with their catch,that Coots and Common and Black-headed Gulls would dash over to try and steal the Scaups food,but every time were too slow.The rest of the walk around the remainder of the reserve revealed little else apart from a few more Fieldfare and Redwings and another single Willow Tit.A lovely morning out in cracking weather.

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