North Cave Wetlands – 01/12/13

Main LakeMain Lake

A bright sunny morning inspired me to get out of the house and head down to North Cave Wetland with my father. Starting at South Hide on Main Lake there were plenty of Greylag Geese Anser anser in attendance, all clustered in the north-east corner due to the lake being partially frozen. We finally connected with the White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons which has acquired the name of “stumpy” due to it only having one leg. Although I’ve not counted them in the past, there appeared to be a few more Pochard Aythya ferina present compared to recent visits, and a few Shelduck Tadorna tadorna are starting to re-appear on site. Along the western path the Siskins Carduelis spinus were present feeding in the Alders, and it was nice to also see some Bullfinchs Pyrrhula pyrrhula which dropped into the western hedgerow. There were quite a few Fieldfare Turdus pilaris and Redwing Turdus iliacus along the northern edge, where a Song Thrush Turdus philomelos in sub-song, nothing like its usual repetative song, had us confused for a short while, until it finally showed itself for what it was. Another series of calls alerted me to six Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus dropping in to the ‘Greylag’ flock on Main Lake, hopefully these would hang around long enough for a better view. As we walked along the northern boundary the ‘Greylags’ were starting to move off site to feed in the field to the north. Whilst sat in Turret Hide the distinctive call of the ‘Pink-feet’ again drew my attention to them, as they also departed north with some ‘Greylags’, and dropped in to the field to the north. A walk back saw then now feeding, albeit at the back of the ‘Greylag’ flock, so only a record shot was obtained. Finally as we headed back news was passed to us that the Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica was back, and showing on Main Lake. As this is where we parked, it was just a case of popping back in to the hide, to catch up with this species, which we had missed when it was first found over a week ago. Wonder where it had been in the meantime? It showed reasonably well, though only came as close as the ‘Tern’ raft. Interestingly it did call a couple of times, a haunting wailing call, even though the field guide states that they are silent in winter! A pleasing couple of hours soaking up the sounds and sights at this resrve.

Black-throated Diver - Gavia arcticaBlack-throated Diver – Gavia arctica

Shelduck - Tadorna tadornaShelduck – Tadorna tadorna

Pink-footed Goose - Anser brachyrhynchusPink-footed Goose – Anser brachyrhynchus (rear centre)

Greylag Goose - Anser anserGreylag Goose – Anser anser

Pochard - Aythya ferinaPochard – Aythya ferina

Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carboCormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo