Monday, 12 July 2010

Holywell Pond

As i sat, legs hanging out of the car early on Saturday morning in Holywell village struggling to get my new "daisy roots" on i was thinking about how i had been chastised by the Blogger of Howdon for saying it was quiet on the birding front as Swallow and House Martins swirled above my head. Juvenlie Starlings uttered all sorts of strange noises,as they do, from various rooftops and a number of Goldfinches shot through. On the way to the pond aback the houses the large numbers of House Sparrows chirped continuously as more Swallows, this time sitting on the telephone lines and yet more House Martins zipped about between the gaps in the houses. On the school field the usual Corvids were on the grass but also it was a nice surprise to see an adult Song Thrush with 2 juveniles. Mmmm, mevvies not that quiet really.
Called into the public hide first and was greeted with17 Lapwings and 2 dozen Black -headed Gulls in and around the receding waters edge, in amongst them were 3 Lesser Black-backed and a couple of Herring Gulls. As i scanned around, a Grey Heron was preening itself, perched on a large tyre in the centre of the island with a pair of Mute Swans close by with their Cygnets. More House Martins, these collecting mud from the edge of the water and disappearing overhead.
A walk up to the members hide found the feeding stations either side very quiet. A lush juvenile Robin did appear on the ground briefly and was joined by a juvenile Chaffinch but they spotted me and flew off. (Can't blame them). For the rest of the time in the hide my birding wasn't focussed as a Black-tailed Skimmer emerged from behind the reeds to my left but was something like 15 metres away. It kept tracking back and forth but always too distant for an image and my prayers weren't answered. A Four-spot Chaser was clocked to my right a little closer but added to my frustration as far as photo opportunities were concerned. Although i had lost focus on the birds on the pond a Common Sandpiper flew into my eye line, did a bit of a circuit then went in the direction of the public hide. Naffed off with the "Dragons" i left and headed back on my tracks for the half hour i had left and relocated the Sandpiper. "Great little bird to watch" i thought, as it did its Roadrunner impersonations if a Lapwing decided to get too close. Those legs can move. A bit of a ker fuffle between another Grey Heron and 8 Canada Geese which appeared around the corner of the pond sent most the species up in the air including the Sand' which disappeared. I decided to have a quick walk down to the waggonway before i left to stretch my legs and as i stuck my head back in the hide before i left there was a Little Egret. It didn't do much in the 10 minutes or so before i had to leave but i left with a smile.



  1. Well John,

    yet another quiet day (by some peoples standards anyway)and I still haven't see an Little Egret close up. Hows the new booties, mine are wearing in nicely although they do keep my little toes exceptionally warm. Am off down to Wiltshire this weekend with Carole for a few days to see son and family and am popping (whole day) into Slimbridge (Carole's request - I am just here to obey). There are plenty of places to go down there but its always better getting first hand information so if you or anyone out there reading this blog (and there will be thousands of you as its so popular) can recommend anywhere it would be appreciated.


  2. Have a safe trip John. I had to check to see where Wiltshire was! I see a Little Egret was reported at Holywell again yesterday.
    I was going to take you to see a Sparrowhawk nest with young at close quarters at the weekend but hopefully it can wait.