Saturday, 15 March 2008

Uttoxeter Quarry, JCB Lakes and Dimmingsdale

At Uttoxeter Quarry today:

2 Green Sandpiper
3 Oystercatcher
singing Skylark and Reed Bunting (if you can call a Reed Bunting's microphone "one-two" test a song)

The gravel company's water pump is doing a good job of exposing some mud, looking good to attract some waders.

I then decided to have a look at the JCB lakes in Rocester next. It's not somewhere I usually look at due to the wildfowl collection they have. But after reading an article in the Burton Mail a few weeks ago, there was an intruiging bit about Egyptian Geese. That have made their own way to the lakes, and haven't been introduced by the Bamford family. There are a pair of Egyptian Geese here, complete with seven goslings. And here they are, prepare to say "ahhh".

I'm sure they haven't arrived from the banks of the River Nile, but some have been gradually spreading west from the feral stronghold of Norfolk. There are some rather interesting duck species in the Bamford's collection. I don't know if they're free flying either. But I did notice species such as Ruddy Shelduck, Mandarin, Red-Crested Pochard, Ring-Necked Duck and Hooded Merganser. Here's hoping they don't do a bunk to Blithfield! No problem with the good number of Great Crested Grebes however, looking resplendent in their "Toyah Willcox" plumage!

A walk along Dimmingsdale, near Alton, next. This produced a Siskin, pair of Grey Wagtail, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Treecreeper, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Little Grebe. I would have walked along to old railway track towards Oakamoor to check the Marsh Tit feeders again, but it started raining. Some scenes of Dimmingsdale, although I'll be taking these again in the spring, once the warblers and flycatchers arrive.

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