Saturday, 27 April 2013

.....and now on to the Meadow Hide

10th April 2013

Most people I know who have visited The Lodge comment on how quiet it is on the birding front with little being seen. However, I knew from the website when I was researching my visit that Crossbills had been photographed coming down the drink in front of the one and only hide, the Meadow Hide. This was clearly too good to be missed so I set off.

The hide is set on the edge of the woods not far from The Lodge itself and overlooks two ponds set in a meadow. There are feeders to bring in the birds, but the main attraction is photographing birds that come down to the pools to drink. With feeders around and seed thrown out on the ground it was not too surprising to see a number of Grey Squirrels. These were generally lazing around either stretching.........


                              ...............or having a scratch

There was also a doe Muntjac under the trees wondering what all the fuss was about.

But then the birds started to arrive. First up was a Lesser Redpoll and, having had their fill on the niger seed, came down for a drink. So much better against a natural background rather than hanging on a feeder. This was a female.

Then came the big guns. Great Spotted Woodpeckers are normally very difficult to photograph at close range except when on feeders. The advantage here, however, was that there were a couple of branches strategically placed for the woodpeckers to land on before venturing on to the food. The male is the one with the red spot on the back of his head.

But the bird of the day must be the Nuthatch which was obviously building a nest nearby and was busily collecting mud and moss from the edge of the nearest pool.

And they said that The Lodge was quiet? What a great day, but I am afraid that the Crossbills will have to wait for next time.

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