So with continued sunshine and glorious warm weather me and Dad headed over to Warnham Nature Reserve. It had been many years since we last were over at the reserve and wanted to see how it and the wildlife were doing. Pulling up to the car park we saw a large new building on the water front. Walking over we saw that they had started work on a large water front bird hide, it looked similar to the main observatory hide at WWT Barnes in London. The widlife didn’t seem to mind in the slightest with terns soaring through the summer breeze and marsh frogs belting out a chorus of croaky tunes.
As we scanned the main lake we could clearly see at least a pair of Common terns circling the lake in search of prey and divebombing the surface in the hope of locking on to an unsuspecting fish. Just like a kestrel they would often wait and hover over a spot patiently watching the water below before clasping their wings together to make the dive. The bright sunshine lit up the pollen floating over the lake and the small insects in flight.
As well as the terns there were also plenty of other birds to be seen. One of the more commonly sighted species was the mute swan. From inside the hide we saw this family of adults and cygnets. They actually came all the way in, wadding through the thick weed to make it to the bank. It was fun to watch the cygnets traverse up the bank and thorough the reed beds before returning to the safety of the water.
It wasn’t just the lake that was full of life ! In the surrounding woods there were plenty of nest boxes put up by the reserve staff and it was just a matter of waiting to see which species has nested. The residents were a family of Blue tits. It was a bit of a mission as they would often fly out of the box on the opposite side of where I had set myself up. But after countless attempts and moving about I got a few I was happy with.
The final nest we found was that of a Great spotted woodpecker. Now this was unusual as it was right next to a foot path, as I was waiting with the camera setup plenty of passers by would wait a while before moving on. I thought that the constant activity nearby to the nest would discourage the adults from feeding the chicks but they came down. I could hear the chicks but wasn’t sure which hole they were in. After waiting for about an hour we saw the adults coming in to feed the chicks and to take out any faecal matter that was in the nest.
As well as photographing many of the species we saw I also shot a lot of video to produce a short film. This film was made after watching BBC Springwatch’s Mindful Moments segment in their programme. If you want, please take a look and let me know your thoughts.