Monday, 15 October 2012

Aqualate Mere (It was a Coot!)

Whilst on our NT visit to Attingham last weekend we got chatting to a couple who'd noticed we were birders. (Birders cricked neck syndrome from staring up into the trees!)

They mentioned to us nearby Aqualate Mere, where they had recently seen a Bittern, plus their description sounded pretty interesting, so we decided to go there on Sunday.

It was pretty straight forward to find just off the A518 near Newport (Salop).
The walk to the hide was very pleasant with woodland on the one side and boggy meadows on the other, although apart from a pair of fighting Robins, who were really going at it playground style rolling around in the dirt and Crows we didn't see much, although we heard a lot.

The final boardwalk up to the hide was flooded in places, so there goes the chance of any waders. The hide itself was coay, with plenty of cushions to support my prominent posterior! (I was told this by a tailor many years ago, when being measured for my wedding suit) Anyway I digress as usual.

The view over the Mere was great although everything apart from what seemed like thousands of coots were right down the other end. About a mile away, so even with the scope identifying anything other than the geese and swans was difficult. Because the Mere is privately owned, even though the hide side is an NNR, there is no 'legal' way to get to that end of the lake.

So we had to be content with whatever wandered down our end:
Just needed a stretch

Run Away!

Shoveler, hiding

One of many Tufted Duck

A few GCBs about
A Kingfisher did fly across the hide and land on a nearby post, but didn't hang around for more than a few seconds before he was off again.

So our list for the reserve:
Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tit, Robin, Kingfisher, Coot (100s), Moorhen (1), Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Pheasant, Kestrel, Buzzard, Hobby, Crow, Rook and of course Woodpigeon.

The record book in the hide showed for the last few days a Black-necked Grebe was about but we couldn't find it.

We had a wander around the reserve as it got very cold in the hide and we needed to warm up, so here's a couple of snaps of a few other things:

We finished up having a cuppa on the only bench overlooking one of the meadows and were treated to a Kestrel, Hobby and Buzzard all within a few minutes of each other, none got close enough for a decent photo though.

Bye for now.

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