The sunny days of last week have quickly been forgotten, as the clouds seem to have made a home over the reserve this weekend. However, the temperature has been a lot warmer and if you are quick enough to dodge the showers there is plenty to see on the reserve.
In honour of Draw a Bird Day I decided to use my lunch break to do just that! I must first express that my artistic skill is pretty much none existent, but nonetheless I decided to give it a go. I situated myself in the center looking out over the bird feeders for inspiration. A redpoll flicked between the feeder and bushes, while a bullfinch sat proudly atop the small tree. There was even a tree sparrow, and the beautiful black headed reed buntings made an appearance. In the end the bird I selected to draw was the blackcap, I must admit that this was not because I saw one, but very simply because I did not have any coloured pencils! Surprisingly, I had a very relaxing hour and got to really enjoy my lunch break, this is what draw a bird day is about, taking pleasure in simple things.
As for the Manton Bay pair, they have been very busy around the nest. On Saturday morning the pair were visited by a male from one of our other nest sites in the area. He swooped down towards the nest, but quickly flew off once Maya and 33 were on his case. There has also been a visit from our good old friends the Egyptian geese, however the pair weren’t having any of it and quickly chased them off. Otherwise, the pair have been busy bringing in nesting material and sticks, at one point it looked as though 33 was trying to put in a new perch!
The pair has also been sharing most of the incubation, with 33 diving on the eggs whenever he can and Maya having to push him off. 33 also seems to be favouring evening fishing trips, as over the last few days the fish have all been brought in late afternoon. After having his share of the fish (the head) he quickly passes the fish over to Maya.
The Waderscrap hide has kept our volunteers very busy with plenty of muddy boots passing though the hide. Barry and Ken also reported that this afternoon they had not one but two great northern divers, sand martins and swallows, a sure sign that spring is here even if the weather is not reflecting it.