Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Westhay Otter & Orchids 3rd May

A cool an cloudy day for our visit to Westhay. We started from the Island hide where our walk then took us on towards the raised bog area. Cuckoos were calling along the way and across the raised bog we saw a Whitethroat, Linnet and heard a Grasshopper Warbler but as usual just couldn't see it.  A few dragonflies here and there but still too cloudy for them. On through the woods and Blackcaps singing away. 
On to Lake hide where we had a great view of a Hobby and Cuckoo in the same tree! The Cuckoo took flight and then the Hobby was mobbed by a Magpie pair.  The lake is looking lovely with a good covering of lily leaves. The water itself free from birds but all of a sudden and for a very brief moment an Otter appeared, our closest encounter yet! What a moment.
From the new North hide there was nothing on the water itself but we did get good views of the Marsh Harrier pair and more Hobbies. Plenty of Reed Warblers singing from the reeds with the sighting of one or two.
We followed the drove track down to the road where we turned right to meet the returning drove. In one of the fields we spotted the first Southern Marsh Orchids of the season making an appearance, beautifully formed and fresh. 
Once again a lovely walk around Westhay with a total of 39 birds seen including Cuckoo, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Great White and Little Egret, Kingfisher, etc. Not the sunniest of days but our world certainly lit up when we saw the Otter.

   Otter gliding past




    Starting to dive



    Popped up amongst the Lilly pads


    Eye to Eye!

                   Apple blossom on the hill

   Southern Marsh Orchid



   Coot chick 

                 Will I grow up to look like you?

   The springtime beauty of the lanes on the Levels


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