Saturday, 8 March 2014

Water Voles at Cleethorpes Country Park

As water voles have been seen and photographed at the Country Park, I decided to pay a visit to try myself and also to, hopefully, photograph the kingfisher.  Although, at first light, the weather looked promising, it soon clouded over and the brisk wind made it feel very cold.  After parking up I made my way to the drain where the voles had been seen and it looked encouraging; reasonable clear water and plenty of watercress.  As I reached the second bridge over the drain I met some other photographers who had seen the kingfisher and photographed a vole, the burrow of which was in the bank opposite.  It would appear to have been very confiding.  However, despite 3 hours of waiting and watching and getting colder by the minute, my luck was out.  I did get a brief glimpse of one animal in a different part of the drain, though.  I did better with the kingfisher, getting several good sightings and even some distant images.  At one point it flew low along the drain and straight through the pipe where it went under the bank.  There were plenty of black headed gulls and magpies about and a couple of times a heron flew over as well as a little egret and a curlew.  On the main lake I had a good sight of the female goosander that has been present for some time and I noticed that at least one great crested grebe is back; I look forward to watching and photographing their beautiful courtship ritual in the weeks to come.  I include some photographs from previous years below.

To view large, click on an image.

Kingfisher hiding in blackthorn blossom
Great crested Grebe courtship ritual.
Great crested grebes displaying.

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