Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hilfield Park Reservoir (10th December)


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The first proper cold day this winter with ground frost making the day particularly difficult both for cycling to the site and standing still to scan the distant wildfowl.  The main aim of the day was to find the 1st win. Little Gull that has been present for several consecutive days.  The small number of 5+ Black-headed Gulls, 1 Herring Gull and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull initially made my hopes fall however within only a few minutes and only seconds after putting my eye to the scope the 1st. win Little Gull appeared and did its characteristical Tern-like flight pattern with repeated dives over the surface of the water.  The black W pattern on the upperwing was particularly clear and its size was only 2/3 that of the accompanying Black-headed Gulls.  It remained over the water for the rest of the morning at least until 11:40am when I left.  The viewing platform on the western side was my lookout post for much of the morning were I also noted a moderate passage of Redwing and Fieldfare in the sloe hedges in the horse field to the west of the reservoir whilst Ring-necked Parakeets were heard on many occasions although none were seen.  In addition, 1 Song Thrush, 1♀ Bullfinch and 1 calling Green Woodpecker were also of note.  The reservoir was otherwise relatively quiet with only 2♂ Wigeon, small numbers of Pochard, Gadwall and Little Grebe as well as dozens of Great Crested Grebes.

 a record shot of the 1st win. Little Gull mostly frequenting the east side of the reservoir and rarely coming closer than the center

The original photograph, as you can see it's severely cropped

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