Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tophill Delights

I don’t think I have ever seen as many Swifts as the throngs over ‘D’ and ‘O’ reservoirs on Friday. Whether the cold wind had driven the flies to much lower levels, I don’t know, but I felt that I was taking my life in my hands just walking around. Thank goodness for their fantastic flying skills - I came away without any bruises, but did hear the rustle of the wind on feathers as they whizzed past me!

The Swifts were accompanied by smaller numbers of Swallows and House Martins, and only a few Sand Martins. And following in their wake was a superb Hobby, first seen with Richard Hampshire on a low level sortie across ‘D’ reservoir (the bird, not us), and then again speeding across and in front of the hide on North Marsh. Much too fast for a photo though!
Two of my favourites were on view on Friday. First a lovely pair of Pintail on SME. Such elegant ducks, I could watch them all day. Hopefully they may be thinking of breeding on site this year.

My second favourites were the Goldcrests in ‘D’ woods. Their high pitched, yet quite melodic song seemed to be everywhere in the tops of the larch and pines. As I sttod patiently listening I was treated to occasional teasing sightings at lower levels. A few were hunting for bugs in the crevices of the bark, while one or two were clearly picking up nesting material. I have struggled all winter to get some decent shots of these tiny performers, but on Friday some of my patience was rewarded.

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