Sorry - couldn't resist that vaguely palindromic title for this short post!
I'd not been out birding for nearly a week, the sun was shining, and I had a couple of hours to spare, so I set off to go to nearby Hicks Lodge. I parked in Oakthorpe Colliery car park, decided to leave my wellington boots in the car as, although the path into Hicks Lodge from the car park had been very muddy on my previous visit, we'd enjoyed a spell of dryer windy weather so I was confident that conditions would be better - wrong, the path was even worse and the muddy water came over the top of my footwear! Undaunted, I continued. Without further 'beating about the bush', here's how the brief visit unfolded.
This is the bush that I didn't 'beat about' - it was a joy to see the gorse in bloom as I neared the lakes. I realise now that I'm probably thoroughly confusing my overseas readers - I'm even in danger of confusing myself!
|Gorse (Ulex europaeus) - Hicks Lodge|
The second small pond on my right, before I got to the main lake, held a couple of Coot. The water was sheltered and as still as a mill pond.
|Coot (Fulica atra) - Hicks Lodge|
|Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) - Hicks Lodge|
|Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) + Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) - Hicks Lodge|
I spent a little time in the hide here, but to no avail, when I spotted a drake Goosander on the far side of the lake, so I trotted round the path, watching out for hazards of boisterous dogs and speeding cyclists.
This Canada Goose was OK until I stopped, but was wary and headed for the water, so I grabbed a quick shot before continuing along the path.
|Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) - Hicks Lodge|
I stopped to take some shots of the Goosander which, obligingly, cruised past at a distance of only about 50 metres,
|Goosander (Mergus merganser) (male) - Hicks Lodge|
My feet were reasonably dry by this time and, as I didn't fancy getting them wet and muddy again, I decided to return to my car by road. This added approximately 1 mile (1600 metres) to my journey back but was well worth it.
Back at my car, I sat and relaxed for a while, watching the birds coming to the feeders, but no worthwhile photos resulted. It was time to head home and start cooking tea.
Thank you for dropping by - again, I'm not sure what my next post will bring. Time will tell!