Saturday, 9 March 2013

Eccleston Mere

Chiffchaff 1 singing in hedge on west side of mere
Curlew 1 flew over east calling
Water Rail 1 in ditch in SW corner
Goosander 1 imm male
Lesser Redpoll 1
Siskin 6
Snipe 7
Kingfisher 1
Tufted Duck 17 (9 males, 8 females)
Grey Wagtail 1
Pied Wagtail 6
Goldcrest 10 including at least 4 singing males
Reed Bunting 10 including at least 3 singing males

A very busy morning at the mere, great to hear the first Chiffchaff of the spring and see a Curlew flying over, but it was the Water Rail which stole the show. It was walking along the ditch towards the point where the perpendicular ditch cuts across the fields and was last seen heading away from me up this second ditch. No wonder it has been so difficult to see if it ranges far up that ditch. It was so tame today, I followed it's leisurely progress along the ditch for about 5 minutes, and it didn't seem much bothered by my presence even though it clearly knew that I was there. I tried a few photos, but it was very dull.

Almost equally as impressive are the relatively large number of Goldcrests at the mere at the moment. They seem to be everywhere, usually paired off, with males singing in all kinds of unlikely places, in the hedges, in willow trees and in the alders.

The phantom of the ditch, a headless Water Rail.

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