A break in the reeds.

Drifting about in the inbetween week I managed to sneak away from the hospitality of the outlaws for an hour or two down to a bitterly cold Far Ings, the spiffing reedbed, hawthorn and lagoon reserve in the shadow of the Humber Bridge deep in the eastern badlands.
Not sure what day it was, Boxing Day possibly, who knows – when you’ve had one turkey sarnie, you’ve had them all.
Surprisingly I was accompanied by Mrs D – the last time she came birding was to watch Griffons and (find) Cyprus Warblers on Kensington Cliffs in 2002, so the change in temperature and habitat may have come as a bit of a shock.

(look – the boss even took a habo shot with her mobile).
Despite the low temperatures and poor light, the reserve was on tiptop reedbed form, with Bittern sloping across the thoughtfully created breaks in the cover almost as soon as we sat down, tubby Kingfishers whirring past, Water Rail foraging beneath us and Bearded Tits calling from the reeds.
Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Fieldfares and Redwings too – all top notch festive fare.
Right, back to the vaccuum.

2 thoughts on “A break in the reeds.

  1. Blackbirds, house sparrows and robins are at the top of the checklist for hundreds of school children across Merseyside this week as the world’s biggest schools’ wildlife survey kicks off.
    The RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch – which takes place during the first half of the spring term (2 January-23 February) – is a chance for children to put down their books and get outside to experience and learn about the nature that lives in their local community. The Birdwatch involves children spending an hour watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.
    A recent survey of 200 teachers and 1200 school children from around the UK revealed that 96% teachers believed it was important for children to experience nature at school, while 77% of pupils agreed. With close to a million school children taking part since its launch in 2002, the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch is the perfect opportunity for schools to get outside, learn and make their first discoveries in nature.
    Last year, almost 500 children and teachers in Merseyside took part. Black headed gull was the most common playground visitor in the county and half of schools spotted one during their watch. Woodpigeons, blackbirds and magpies all featured prominently in the results, and with over 70 different species recorded, there is sure to be a few surprises in schools around the county.
    The Big Schools Birdwatch is a free activity and only takes an hour to complete. Teachers can pick any day during the first half of the spring term to take part, with the flexibility to run it as a one off or as the centre piece of a cross-curricular study, project work or a way for the children to improve their outdoor space.
    To take part in the Big Schools Birdwatch and help the next generation of children start their own wildlife adventure, visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch


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