Monday, 20 February 2012

WWT Caerlaverock

Off on the way to WWT Caerlaverock on Saturday morning and on leaving it was grey and raining, it didn't look to promising but we hoped it would clear as we moved north-westerly. It got increasingly brighter and on nearing  Caerlaverock it was bright and passing fields upon fields of Barnacle geese was amazing to look at, and then one or two fields seemed to lift altogether against the backdrop of the hills behind meant it was an amazing sight to look at, on the way up I had seen 3 Buzzards and 1 or 2 Kestrels along with a few waders, I think Brian and Mark were on the wrong side of the coach.
And not long after seeing the Geese lift I saw a lone Merlin flying low along the fields next to us. As soon as we set foot off the coach the sounds of a Wetland centre filled the air with Whooper Swan, Geese and Waders being heard, there was Chaffinch's a plenty on the feeders in the centre  and on looking from the farm house tower through the HUGE pair of binoculars I quickly caught sight of a bright white bird amongst the flock of Barnacles, it turned out to be the Ross's goose, a first for me and a very recognizable bird amongest the Barnacles, from the tower we also saw Black-tailed godwit and lots of waterfowl.
Moving on brought Yellowhammer (I only saw my first on wednesday), Reed bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blue tit, Great tit and plenty of House sparrow, The first hide was excellent for viewing the Swans and lots of Wigeon ,we moved on to the next hide which brought Barnacle geese and our lunch, the tower brought again Barnacles (no surprise there then) Shelduck and Heron and lots of Bird of Prey pellets on the ledges of the tower which had a great vantage point.
 The next few hides brought the normal, and then we caught sight of Heron with its lunch, that being a frog which was strange to watch but interesting. At the next hide there was nothing to see and we had just sat down and Brian realised he left his bag behind which meant another trip to the tower, finding his bag we were informed a very early Ring Ouzel had been seen although we unfortunately didn't see it .The rest was down to the Whoopers putting on a "flight display" from one pond to another, on leaving we saw yet another Merlin and that ended a great day although we did get hit by the rain quite a few times!
also thank you to Brian for the film camera which will soon have film in it and be out working!
Male Chaffinch

A very close Male Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Male House sparrow (left) male Chaffinch (right)

Pigeon in flight


The intruder

Thought I'd try something different

Male Chaffinch

Heron with his lunch

Just a small amount of Barnacle geese

Who you looking at!?

Yellowhammer (male)

Drake Wigeon

Male Wigeon

Male Wigeon

Male wigeon

Coming in for landing!

Formation take off

Whooper swans in flight


Another formation take-off

Whooper Swan

Whooper swan

In with the crowd


  1. Great set of photos Sam.
    A great way to end the 'WEEK OF THE YELLOWHAMMER'.
    :-) Cheers Brian.

  2. Sounds like a great day and some nice images. You mention the Grey Heron having lunch Sam,some things you see are hard to take. I remember seeing a Grey Heron at Thornley Woods eating Frog after poor Frog and seeing their legs dangling was awful but its all part of nature. Painful to watch sometimes though.

  3. Great pictures once again Sam! It is nice to see the Yellowhammers (amongst the other birds), as often they don't show themselves in such good numbers.