News archive

November 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Marsh Harrier (female), close up of head

The lovely reserve of Potteric Carr

The Wildlife Trust should be congratulated on creating a wildlife oasis on land that runs between the M18, busy East Coast main railway line and a freight train line. Although the noise was ever present it doesn't seem to bother the birds with Marsh Harrier, Bittern and Cettis warblers being rare breeders. We felt 'at home' on this reserve from the first contact with the friendly staff as we arrived to the well maintained and positioned hides ...... not to mention the café ! The reserve consists of reed beds, open water, scrub land and trees with a figure of eight pathway. As a consequence we saw a wide variety of birds ranging from Treecreeper to Pintail. Birds of prey featured Marsh Harrier ( a female sitting on a bush in the middle of the reed bed), Merlin (apparently a rare sighting here) flying low past us and Kestrel. There were ducks galore with good numbers of Gadwall, Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, Shoveller, Tufted Duck and a few Pintail. Also on the water were Little and Great crested Grebe. Waders were few and far between (apparently after the recent heavy rainfall the water in the lagoons was too high) with only Lapwing and 3 Snipe being seen. A leucistic Black Headed Gull caused a moment of excitement as did the several sightings of Kingfishers flying quickly past us! Best of the passerines were at least 2 Willow Tits, Treecreeper, Fieldfare, Redwing , Goldcrest and Long tailed Tits. We spent a wonderful day here and the true mark of a place is the answer to the question of whether or not we would go back ...... a very definite yes !