Not a Lot Around at Woolston.

21st August 2011
I've not managed to get out for the two previous weekends but I did make a visit to "The Eyes" this weekend.

Always full of anticipation and filled with the hope of finding some exotic/rare bird I opened the gate to the footbridge that crosses the bund to "The Eyes". Look right and left and nothing much on the bund other than a few tufted duck. Up to the first screen which looks across the south pool, Teal, Coot, Tufted Duck and a few Black-Headed Gulls flying around but nothing else on show.

However it was quite bright and a cooling breeze blowing so even if I wasn't going to see any birds it would still be a pleasant nature walk.
I normally walk anti-clockwise around the bed as it gets you to the hides quicker. Anyway I decided to take the clockwise route through the meadows I saw a couple of small birds probably Dunnock diving into the undergrowth but that was it. I could hear birds singing but that was probably a tape being played by the ringers to attract the birds to the nets. No butterflies around the wildflower meadows and still no birds and not even any Pheasants calling. So onto the Rotary Hide that looks over the North Pool. Tufted Ducks, Gadwall, Black-headed Gulls, and possibly a Black-necked Grebe could be seen but all too distant to photograph.
On the way back to the main footpath I did spot some fungus that I did take some photos of but I should have used the tripod or beanbag to make sure they were sharp but I did get one useful shot.

I walked past the Frank Lindley Hide as it is difficult to get into with the all the equipment so on to the John Morgan Hide.

Quite a few common birds on the water including Water Rail, Sand Martin, Cormorant, Black-headed Gulls, Gadwall, Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck. Unfortunately no waders on the scrape and nothing in photographing distance. A few Peacock Butterflies floating around and quite a few Brown Hawker Dragonflies zipping about looking for their next meal.I tried getting a few shots of them but I couldn't get a focus on them.

The next thing I stumbled across was a tiny ladybird like insect but it was greeny/yellow with black spots and not the usual red and black ladybird. I did take a photo not brilliant but good enough for anyone to identify it if there are any insect experts out there.

I'd now got to the stage where I just wanted to take photos of anything regardless of whether it was flying, static, animal, flora or insect. So I spent some time photographing Hoverflies and anything that came within shooting distance.

At the Sybil Hogg hide I did spot a Black-tailed Godwit just losing its summer plumage and it was just about within range. The shots where ok but no better than anything already on the website so I've not uploaded them.

So that was the end of my trip to "The Eyes", a bit frustrating in some respects but it was really nice to get out with the camera. In the three hours I was there I saw two people so it really is like having your own nature reserve when you visit "The Eyes".

Best wishes

Andy

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