I took a walk around Holywell Pond early on Sunday morning under dull November skies. The birds were going about their business without being tremendously lively but there was still plenty of activity to be enjoyed.
The hedgerows beside the pond held the usual complement of Robins, Wrens, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Greenfinches and Blackbirds but the pond itself was fairly quiet. There was a party of Teal sifting the water close by the scrape, whilst a large flock of Black Headed Gulls loafed a little further out on the water. Beyond the gulls I spotted a few small parties of Tufted Ducks, as well as a brilliant white pair of Mute Swans. And perched on the rocks by the island were five Cormorants – the most I have seen here – but for the first time in a while no geese.
In the field to the east of the reserve I caught a glimpse of rusty red which I first hoped might be a fox but which revealed itself to be a cock Pheasant! A little further on, a mixed flock of Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers moved between the bushes and the field margins where they were foraging for food amongst the autumn-sown crop.
I decided to walk out over the fields towards the coastline and I am glad I did; as I looked up a magnificent golden looking bird flew over, looking almost supernatural in the dull grey light – it was of course a Barn Owl. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful sight on a cold morning in early winter!
Once the owl was out of sight I decided to head back towards the pond. Still on the fields, a Kestrel hovered at height, looking for breakfast but not having much luck whilst I watched. The hedgerow along the southern boundary of the reserve was still busy with Robins, Tits and finches but they were joined by around 10 or so of the resident Tree Sparrows which are always a real pleasure to see.
I hardly had the camera out at all on Sunday with the light being so dim (not like the afternoon!) so this picture of a Robin was taken on my previous visit.