Late autumn at the lakes

slough early November

We are now into November at the lakes and many of our ducks are now arriving or will be arriving in the next few weeks to spend the winter here. The trees are changing colour and are dropping their leaves. Look out for fungi around the reserve as well.

Starting with birds – the slough (view from paul’s or Bernard’s hide), the sailing lake (view from winter hide or from the path) and long reach (view from Bess’s hide) offer the best viewing spots right now. 

The slough area shows the greatest variety of bird right now with lots of teal to be heard and seen.  In amongst them, look out for snipe – we have counted up to 14 of these on the slough this past week.  Lapwing are often camped out on the islands.  For wigeon, tufted duck and pochard head to Bess’s hide.  This past week has seen some diving birds moving on to the sailing lake where they will be found for the rest of the winter – pochard, tufted duck and the odd goldeneye can be seen there. 

pochard

pochard

It is not just the water birds to look out for, it is worth checking out the mixed bird flocks around the trails.  It is often the noise of long-tailed tits that put you on to these flocks and then you can stop and watch to see what else comes along – goldcrest, blue tit and great tit are often found with them.  Also, on the small side, we have a small number of siskin around.  These are often seen the other side of ash carr by hawker pool.  Ash carr is also worth checking out for nuthatch as well.

Now onto our trees.  When you look around the reserve at the beginning of November, many of our trees still hold most of their leaves.  By the end of the month, the leaves should have fallen so it is a great month for watching this autumn change around the reserve.  Here is a view from double decker hide.

Slough early November

slough early November

This autumn has also been particular good for fungi on the reserve, so it is worth checking around tree stumps around the blue trail, ash carr and down to Derek’s hide (green trail) for these.  The birds nest fungi – is still showing near the viewing platform and here is a glistening ink cap that I spotted by the sailing lake last week.

 

glistening ink cap

glistening ink cap