Monday, 3 February 2014

February in with a wimper (albeit a wet one)

Right, straight away, I haven’t seen anything at Shustoke, I have been, but apart from a couple of Grey Wagtail and five Goosander it is dead, to be fair, nearly everywhere else is as well. Granted we have Hume’s Yellow-browed on the doorstep which I have been back a few times for but still haven’t had stunning views.

On Sunday the good lady and I walked from the road at Kingsbury up to Middleton Lakes, where we were thwarted by the flood defences that are being built, this restricted access to to Kingsbury Water Park. We carried on up the canal towpath to RSPB Middleton Lakes, which were so wet that access again was restricted, not this time by flood defences, but actual floods. I think a better name would be RSPB Passchendaele!

Even though this reserve looks very good there were not great numbers of birds. It got me thinking that the number of Goldeneye that we see now in the Tame Valley are very similar to the numbers of Smew that we used to get 10 to 15 years ago. We did however, see two pairs of Stonechat.

This morning I took a walk around Ladywalk, again access was restricted, this time by a bloody great lorry parked in the entrance. The driver didn’t seem to understand where I wanted to go or English for that matter. He just stared at me as I made various gestures to convey what I wanted, in the end “Offski” seemed to work, he moved about 20 yards allowing me to squeeze past.

Bird wise, Willow Tit, Goldeneye and Shelduck were the highlights – god things are bad!