Today we took our friends Amy and Chris to Woolston Eyes for an introduction to birding and they were truly hypnotized by this wonderful place. They were keen to see as much as possible and both showed a real interest in the birds and their environment. They saw Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Coot and Moorhen (with young). They saw Shoveler and were impressed by the colours on the males, still moulting into their winter plumage. They watched in awe as big flocks of noisy Canada Geese flew in from the south, with wave upon wave landing directly in front of us. I have to admit that their enthusiasm on seeing this spectacle made me realise that maybe I sometimes take scenes like this for granted.
A Little Grebe made an appearance to the expected “Oh it’s gorgeous” - PK and Amy liked it too!
Next up was a surprise. We were watching a young Moorhen when a male Stonechat appeared in the nearby reedbed, where it perched long enough for us all to get a good look at it through the scope. This was a bit of a rarity as only one Stonechat was recorded here in 2011.
Walking the path around the island, we watched a good number of Hoverfly (often referred to as drone fly due to their likeness to the Honey Bee) amongst the remaining Hogweed flowers (Heracleum sphondylium).
As we were leaving the island, I pointed out some good places to spot Kingfisher on the river. “I’ve never seen a Kingfisher.” Said Amy. What happened next was almost surreal, as I spotted the blue flash crossing the river away from us. Yet another Kingfisher tick for me but everyone else missed it. So we hung around for a while and I could not believe my eyes when it showed again. This time they got it and the loud yelp that came from Amy can only be described one way… avian orgasm!
We rounded the day off with a very pleasant walk around Moore, followed by a well-earned pint of the black stuff in the Red Lion.
A Hoverfly on Hogweed at the Eyes