Rostherne Mere 01.05.18

Long sunny intervals, but a chilly wind

On a bright and fairly warm May Day morning a goodly number of Team Tuesday set forth at Rostherne.  We greatly appreciate permission to go into the reserve from site manager Rupert of Natural England, thank our own John H for organising it at bluebell time,  and also Steve, one of the volunteers,  who accompanied us on this occasion, full of information.

Several birds such as goldfinch, house sparrow and blackbird, were seen on our way through the village, including a circling buzzard, as we made our way to the Observatory. Having paid our dues, with some encouragement given to become yearly members, we settled for a view of the Mere with some thermos flasks quickly being produced. The Mere showed relatively few water birds, but we had fine views of a good half dozen great crested grebes, trees laden with cormorants and a pair of mandarin ducks. Black headed and lesser black-backed gulls were further out and buzzards were taking advantage of the thermals during the morning. We had close-up views of a pair of kestrels perching on a dead tree, and witnessed a mating session reminiscent of the Trans-Pennine Trail, last week. Not to be outdone, a couple of blue tits, not far from the hide, also decided that the mating season was well and truly here. The bird table brought great tits, blue tits and a shy coal tit into view, and we also had a glimpse of a nuthatch. Finally, from the thicket of brambles a fine male bullfinch appeared, the colours of its plumage almost catching fire in the sunlight.

We next set out on our amble through the woods and fields. Chiffchaffs called constantly, but were difficult to spot due to the tree foliage. Blackcaps were singing, searched for and eventually spotted. The yaffle of the green woodpecker teased us and some sharp eyes saw it fly, and a great spotted woodpecker was drumming but elusive.
As it warmed up, the butterflies appeared and we had four species to enjoy, brimstone, peacock, veined white and several pristine orange tips. In the reed beds Steve pointed out the reeds flattened by the starlings roost and a fine male reed bunting showed. Steve then explained the difference between the songs of the reed and sedge warblers, squeaky reeds and scratchy sedges, but not one popped up to back him up.

Moving on, we walked through swathes of bluebells admiring them and some of the other spring flowers in evidence, including wood sorrel and several clumps of early purple orchids. We looked in vain for John’s bear, but may have found it’s poo! Coming back we checked the owl box for the barn owl, but to no avail. Then we called into the Bittern Hide, enjoying the comfort of the carpeted seats, but little was to be seen, even the mouse refusing to appear. As we came back up through the woods we inspected the badger holt still hearing constant wren songs and met Sheila and Dr. Ben, who had just finished their count for the day. They had seen swifts and a spotted flycatcher and were interested in our sightings of butterflies. By then it was time to leave this idyllic spot and head home. (TG)

Bird List (MHo)

  1. Mute swan
  2. Canada goose
  3. Mallard
  4. Mandarin
  5. Tufted duck
  6. Pheasant
  7. Great Crested Grebe
  8. Cormorant
  9. Common buzzard
  10. Kestrel
  11. Coot
  12. Black-headed gull
  13. Lesser black-backed gull
  14. Stock dove
  15. Woodpigeon
  16. Collared dove
  17. Pied wagtail
  18. Dunnock
  19. Robin
  20. Blackbird
  21. Blackcap
  22. Long-tailed tit
  23. Coal tit
  24. Blue tit
  25. Great tit
  26. Nuthatch
  27. Magpie
  28. Jackdaw
  29. Carrion crow
  30. House sparrow
  31. Chaffinch
  32. Goldfinch
  33. Bullfinch
  34. Reed bunting

Photos DC & CG

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One thought on “Rostherne Mere 01.05.18

  1. We (Cath, Cherrill and myself) saw a mistle thrush and starling on the cricket pitch on the way back to the carpark.

    Like

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