Sunday, 15 March 2015

Orrell Water Park 15/03/15

Went for a walk with the dog late this morning and I had only just got into the park when a site tick swam by me on the top lake. It wasn't anything you would call rare but it still stopped me in my tracks as I knew I had not seen one there in 30 years of watching the site. It was a very out of place looking female Shoveler. The two small lakes in Orrell Water Park are home to a motley selection of Mallard and domesticated hybrids and not a great deal else in terms of duck species so this Shoveler was more than a bit of a surprise.

I am not into keeping lists but it is always good to see a new species on a local patch.
A little further on I thought I glimpsed my first Chiffchaff of the year but it disappeared before I could get my bins on it and even though I watched for a while it didn't reappear. I continued my walk but didn't get far as someone was pigeon shooting on the fields nearby and my dog just flips when he hears any loud bangs. He is a rescue dog, twice over, and has a few issues to say the least so I decided to head back. A Chiffchaff was now showing where I thought I had glimpsed one earlier and it was obviously a recent arrival from warmer climes as the feathers around the bill were matted into 'pollen horns'. It was busily and quietly feeding and didn't call once or break into song.

Welcome to the UK the land of discarded drinks cans, crisp packets and all manner of discarded objects. Littering is getting worse in the UK and has apparently gone up by a staggering 500% since 1960 and now costs more than £1bn to clear up and we don't do that very well. Just think what else you could do with £1bn+.
There should be plenty more to follow this one in the next few days.
While I was trying to get a half decent photo of the Chiffchaff a Water Rail taunted me with fleeting views. It is one of those birds that can show annoyingly well if you don't have a camera with you. It probably won't be around much longer as it is only a winter visitor to a small patch of reeds at this site. 

This was the best view I got and I suppose it isn't bad given how secretive they can be. 
Not a bad little selection of birds for a curtailed dog walk on my local patch.

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