Northern Pintail (male) - Ladywalk Nature Reserve, Warwickshire
After being cooped up in the office all week and missing out on the beginning of Spring, I was keen to get out early this morning. There had been outbreaks of glorious sunshine on and off while I was at work but typically the weather had changed for the worse now it was the weekend. Due to the rain bucketing it down I needed to choose a birding place with a degree of shelter, so I though I'd give Ladywalk a try.
Around the car park a flock of 15 Lesser Redpoll were nice to see around the feeders along with the odd Siskin and 4 Bullfinch. There was also an interesting looking melanistic Great Tit knocking around. From the Sainsburys Hide the highlights were a Bittern showing well in flight before disappearing back into the reedbed and a Great Spotted Woodpecker using the exterior of the hide as a drumming post! Other sightings included a Willow Tit, a flighty flock of 30 Siskin, another 5 Lesser Redpoll and 2 female Brambling.
From the Riverwalk Hide a male Pintail and 21 Goosander were present amongst the usual wildfowl as well as 4 Oystercatcher and 22 Lapwing. Also in the area at least 2 Cetti's Warblers were heard and the resident Tawny Owl could be seen in his usual position. All in all a very enjoyable morning indeed especially as I had the entire reserve all to myself. Access is strictly by permit holders only via a locked gate. If you are local and fancy paying Ladywalk a visit please click HERE for access details.