Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Cold Days on the Sands

It was a lovely sunny day at Blacktoft, but boy was it cold!! Being orientated east-west meant that there weren't too many places to escape the easterly wind. Still there was no ice and the lagoons were all clear.

The down side was that there weren't too many birds around. I spent an hour looking for the reported Cetti's Warbler without any luck, and I witnessed only one Marsh Harrier. However, that bird, a juvenile, turned quite aggresive when a Buzzard turned up, and very quickly saw it off.

Juvenile Marsh Harrier
That aggresion seemed to spill over to the Coots. Normally one would back down and scuttle off before things get too serious, but today I saw one pair lay back in the water trying to inflict as much damage to the other as they could with their feet. Eventually one nearly drowned the other, ending the battle and reaching an uneasy peace.

Duelling Coots

Blue Tit

Resplendent Pheasant

Cheeky Robin

Shelduck - paired up for the spring
At the Ousefleet end of the reserve I was able to see the Konik ponies that the RSPB have brought in to help control the vegetation. There are only four of them, and the old grass is pretty high, so I'm guessing they have their work cut out. Perhaps they will need a few more.

Konik pony with lots of grass to clear


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