A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Walk At The Beginning Of Winter

One of the RSPB's newest nature reserves lies on my doorstep. 

This reserve is becoming important for bitterns, water rails, cuckoos, owls, all kinds of duck, and various birds of prey. The top photo on the signboard shows a marsh harrier; the bottom a little ringed plover.

The morning was fine but cold. The leaves had now fallen from the trees and winter skulked around the corner. A low and intense sun turned the reed beds gold and a sharp breeze ruffled the blue water of the old gravel pit lakes.

There were not many birds about; I barely spotted twenty species. But the sun illuminated brilliantly the glossy green heads of mallard and goldeneye and the snowy-white feathers of a mute swan near the causeway.

Inside the delightful wooden 'beach hut', which serves as a tiny reception centre.

On one wall there's a display of 'natural curiosities', including the oak apples (or oak galls) you can see on the right (these would originally have been home to gall wasp larvae).

As I began the walk home, long rafts of cloud blotted out the sun, and it seemed more like early evening than early afternoon.

Electricity pylons striding across the flat plain of the Trent valley.


The Weaver of Grass said...

These pictures are beautiful Robert - lucky to have it on your doorstep because a walk round here would never be the same twice would it.
A Happy Christmas to you all.

Ruth said...

I really love wetlands like that, just gorgeous. What a beautiful walk!

Happy solstice!

Gail said...

Beautiful pictures - glorious nature reserve to explore and savor
Merry Christmas
Love, Gail

Amanda Summer said...

What a gorgeous sanctuary to have at your doorstep.

Wishing you a very Happy Holidays dear Robert and many good walks in the New Year.


dritanje said...

How lovely! I now know what hooper swans are like and shall look out for them. I did notice that my hedge sparrows were vocal today and wonder if they are celebrating the shifting of the light which I'm sure they're more sensitive to, than us.

George said...

A lovely walk, Robert. I love wetlands, and it's nice to have places of solitude nearby that can be visited with the drop of a hat. Have a great holiday with your friends and family.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting — Weaver, Ruth, Gail, Amanda, Dritanje and George. A Happy Christmas to you all.

catharus said...