We decided to go somewhere different today, so decided to go and see the 3 Blue-winged Teals at Boultham Mere and then head over to the coast at Gibraltar Point NNR.
On arrival at the area for parking at Boultham Mere in Lincoln, it looked a tad uninspiring as we parked at a bowling alley car park and ducked through a gap in the hedge onto a track over a railway line and down alongside the drain. About a ten minute walk brought us to a small route across the drain where a sign declared Boultham Mere reserve off to the left. Going round the corner and up some steps lead us to a path alongside a most excellent reserve. A beautiful lake surrounded by reeds and trees and packed with duck. We didn’t go to the hide first and walked left alongside the lake to the end of the path by a bench. Here the light was not good as we were looking straight into the sun but a search of the visible ducks produced Teals and Shoveler but no Blue-winged Teals. A Water Rail sounded as though it was being murdered behind us but refused to show. As we waited a few Skylarks flew over calling (migrants?). As we watched though three ducks flew through our bins view, they looked good! A search where they had gone down revealed the three Blue-winged Teals just slipping out of view into a small bay!
The three Blue-winged Teals….. honestly!!
But after a small wait they emerged and fed along side the reeds before heading across the bay and out of sight to the right. We walked back towards the hide pausing briefly to admire a group of Fly Agaric toadstools (only lacking the pixie sitting on them!).
The Fly Agarics where a little old for the best views but still cool!
On entering the hide we found a few birders. Now we had concluded if the teals kept going they would catch us up… and sure enough they popped out and climbed out onto a wooden raft affair where they preened and rested affording excellent views of the blue fore-wings and green specs before again swimming off to the left.The only downside was the sunlight being into our faces all the time. The birds were typical first winter/eclipsey type things, don’t know much about aging them, but as they were head bobbing/displaying sort of thing etc I guess they are males?
Two of the Blue-winged Teals.
Onwards to Gibraltar Point at Skeggi! This reserve seems to get better each time we visit, which is not very often honestly. Sadly the Siberian Stonechat refused to play ball but we did enjoy excellent views of common birds and indeed 25plus little Egrets including nearly 20 in one flock! The best thing for me though was great views of a hyper Grass Snake moving really fast! We did see it still and watching us but by the time I remembered my camera it was moving off!
A disappearing Grass Snake!
Greenshank and Redshank.
Spotted Redshank and Ruff.
Common Darter (male).
The reserve had very good numbers of Common Darters flying in the warm sunshine along with a few Migrant Hawkers. Butterflies included Speckled Wood, Small White, Peacock and Comma.
On returning home we got several messages on the pager telling of birds at Gib, none of which we saw LOL! Still a lovely day!