Sunday, 5 May 2013

9 new nests, 2 new species and a drenching

This morning after work I decided to get the waders on at Stithians and check out the Coot nest and Great Crested Grebe nest I saw yesterday. I was dubious about both, you see somewhere around the Coot nest is a deep channel that feeds the reservoir and the GC Grebe's nest is a fair way out. I decided to go for them in the end, don't try, don't get and after all - with nesting you only get out what you put in.
No sooner had I hit the waters edge for the Coot I came across an unexpected Moorhen on 5 eggs. The water to the Coot site was quite deep but manageable and I was able to get the record - 6 eggs. I haven't been in this part of the reserve before and was amazed with how large it is behind the willow scrub. More Sedge Warblers singing in the back, an area of open bramble and sedge reed that cannot be seen from the road.
A quick drive down to the other end of the reservoir for the GC Grebe site. The route to this one is a tricky one - lots of willow scrub, a lot of it dead and under water, peaks and troughs in the ground that you cant see. One the way out I came across my first ever Little Grebe nest (1 egg). Having battled gingerly through the sallows with the GC Grebe nest in site the inevitable happened, - my stick caught the edge of a trough, my feet caught the middle of it and the water came right over the top of my chest waders. It was bloody freezing and I had to stand there trying to breathe it was so much of a shock. Having composed myself it was onward and upward and the nest was reached - 1 egg. On the way back soaking wet I came across a Moorhen nest with 3 eggs and a damaged one floating nearby . Luckily I had a change of clothes in the car but as someone was in the hide, the car became the changing room. Hardly 5 star luxury.
The afternoon saw a trip to Hells Mouth where 3 new Cormorant nests have eggs and a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls have nested (2 eggs). The GBB Gull is my first record for this species.
Coot nest

Great Crested Grebe nest

Little Grebe nest with egg partially covered

Little Grebe nest

Moorhen nest with 1 egg floating and damaged

I'm wondering if I'm brave enough to re-visit these nests in shorts and trainers - it might be easier in the long run!.....

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