Our first stop at the Dam on a cool and fairly dull early morning gave us distant views of the much reported long-tailed duck (our target here), a Great Crested Grebe, a dozing male Goosander and a new family of Mallards, with many hirundines hawking low over the water and a tawny owl calling from the copse behind us.
Next to Pow Hill (Upper car park) which was alive with birds. Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in full song, displaying snipe which was a first for me and great to hear that strange noise they emit, Siskin also displaying, an unexpected Brambling, Meadow Pipits and a couple each of Crossbills and Redpolls.
A couple of Red Squirrels also showed briefly, and on the moors behind us, as well as the snipe there were many a Red Grouse heard and seen, Curlew calling, Buzzards, a couple of Ravens and a Ring Ouzel.
Outside the hide on the north shore a brilliantly coloured male Redstart showed superbly for a while, and from the hide itself the highlights were close views of a fishing Great Crested Grebe, a displaying pair in the distance, and flypast Common Sandpiper.
|Great Crested Grebe|
Don't see enough of these cracking birds
Add to the mix all the commoner birds like Oystercatchers and Cormorants, Greylags and an assortment of gulls and ducks in good view, plus the passerines all around our route; had we been keeping a day list it would have been pretty sizeable, though sadly one omission would be the target Osprey which failed to materialise, and the photographs pinned to the noticeboards here showed the potential for the regular visitor.
Our final stop gave Tilly the chance to do a bit of swimming, before we headed for home, well pleased with the morning's sightings; and mammals too, with grey as well as the red squirrels, a roe deer, an unidentified small rodent and of course many Easter Bunnies.