Moore Nature Reserve 31.01.17


Some sixteen members of the team met and decided, just for a change, to make the Eastern Reed Bed and the Phoenix hide our first port of call. Just as we had agreed on this ‘revolutionary’ proposal, movement in the trees above drew our attention to a couple or so  of Goldcrests (not the only ones we were to see during the morning), some titmice and a solitary Nuthatch. Moving off we disturbed a Mistle Thrush in the hedge at the side of the field and in the distance a Buzzard flew across the path. Gaining the wood, we had good sightings of a Greater-Spotted Woodpecker flying off and coming to rest on a tall conifer that seemed to be swaying in the wind in a most alarming (at least to us) fashion, before we were distracted by a small flock of Long-tailed Tits, again the first of many we encountered over the next couple of hours, flittering back and forth and feeding in the trees above.

Our first view of Birchwood Pool was striking; not only was the water level considerably higher than any of us could remember, but there was an almost total lack of gulls, usually so much in vociferous evidence. However, for a lucky few (by this time our group seemed to have split in tw0) there was some compensation in the sighting of a Kingfisher, just in front of Birch Strip Hide. Pressing on, Pump House Pool, too, appeared almost empty of bird life, although on the far side a pair of Cormorants were noted and some spotted a pair of Goldeneye.

Our arrival at Phoenix Hide saw the rapid departure of a Grey Heron and two (!) Green Woodpeckers, and despite twenty minutes or so spent scanning the reed beds, there was no sign of the bittern that had been seen on our last visit before Christmas. Thus we had to content ourselves with the spectacle of some noisy Teal in their bright plumage, a pair of Canada Geese and, on the far side of the water, a few Tufted Ducks that were diving for food. Just as we were about to leave, however, a pair of Buzzards appeared circling slowly over the reeds, one of them displaying a tail that appeared to have lost some feathers, the result, no doubt, of being attacked by another bird.

A stop at Colin’s Hide, made brief by the cool wind that seemed to blowing directly into the hide, gave good views of Shoveler and, in the distance, of a lone Pochard whose brown head was clearly visible despite the low light levels. Our way back along the path towards the wood was at first accompanied by a large Charm of Goldfinch, and with the group having once again split in two, some were treated to the sight of Redpoll and Siskin, while others enjoyed a close view of a Goldcrest on a second visit to Birch Strip Hide. Reunited at Grebe Hide (which for once lived up to its name through the presence of five or six little Grebe which were showing nicely) and having swapped news of sightings, the Team headed for the Feeding Station, where Chaffinch, Grey Wagtail and Woodpigeon (the first of the morning!) were added to our list.

A late lunch now seemed to be the order of the day and the remnants of our group began to9z7a4272 make its way back towards the car park, but before we had got very far we were urgently summoned down a side path to view an unusual sight – an owl (of uncertain species, but probably a Tawney) roosting deep inside a hollow tree and whose presence was only revealed by two pin pricks of light as its eyes surveyed the motley crew that had gathered below its resting place.

This turned out to be an intriguing conclusion to a good morning’s birding and certainly gave rise to much discussion concerning the relative size of various species of owl, as we finally ambled back to our cars.

Bird List (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great- Crested Grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Wigeon
  7. Gadwall
  8. Teal
  9. Mallard
  10. Shoveler
  11. Pochard
  12. Tufted Duck
  13. Goldeneye
  14. Buzzard
  15. Kestrel
  16. Moorhen
  17. Coot
  18. Black-headed Gull
  19. Green Woodpecker
  20. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  21. Wood Pigeon
  22. Kingfisher
  23. Grey Wagtail
  24. Robin
  25. Blackbird
  26. Song Thrush
  27. Mistle Thrush
  28. Goldcrest
  29. Long-tailed Tit
  30. Coal Tit
  31. Great Tit
  32. Blue Tit
  33. Nuthatch
  34. Carrion Crow
  35. Chaffinch
  36. Goldfinch
  37. Siskin
  38. Lesser Redpoll

Photos JH


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s