Sunday, 12 January 2014

Swan o'clock!

I had an old uni friend come to stay over the last couple of days so I took the opportunity to show her a bit of what our gorgeous county has to offer. We thought we'd take a trip to RSPB St Aidan's Reserve in Allerton Bywater. It was a pretty nice day weather wise, lots of birds about but as we'd not got as early a start as we'd have preferred we didn't walk round the whole reserve (it is quite sizeable!) Still, we were greeted by a Mute Swan family who were bulrush grazing, not an activity I'd seen before. A large number of Coot, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese and Teal were present, not to mention a couple of Great Crested Grebes which I was very chuffed to spot, they're a favourite of mine. We also had a skein of what I'm pretty sure were Pink-footed Geese fly over, it was a bit too chilly to faff about matching the honks on my mobile phone app...

Looking down onto the reserve

So after realising we were a bit peckish after a long drive and knowing we only had an hour and a half or so of good light left in the day, I suggested heading to Lin Dyke just a few miles away at RSPB Fairburn Ings Reserve. After only being in the hide a few seconds we witnessed a spectacular fight between a couple of adult swans. It was clear a male was pursuing another adult but hard to tell the sexes apart in the rapidly decreasing light. With it only being early January it seemed a bit early to be pursuing females so we figured it was probably a territorial dispute but not too sure. A few youngsters were present and the irate male actually turned on one at one point. The adult not being pursued was keen to lead the youngsters away...all made for great watching anyway, certainly better than sitting in watching rubbish soap operas! Here are a couple of shots taken from Lin Dyke hide.

A puffed up male make making a beeline

I also managed to get out for my first ringing session of the year, after not managing to get much training done in 2013 due to work commitments and a very busy trainer I'm hoping this year is going to be very different so expect to see plenty more updates on that as I progress. I will post more about Saturday morning's session another night as I'm needing to get to my bed now!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a good day out Meg and some good photos, and yes, they are Pinkies.
    Fairburn is a great place and great birds, a place I used to visit regular on a Sunday morning.