A bright warm day greeted us at Washington Wetlands centre on Sunday, I asked Brian a few days previous if he would like to go to Washington with me and my dad, walking in we saw the Eurasian Cranes, Barnacle geese and Goldeneye along with quite a few others.
Moving around to the close encounters sections brought great opportunities for photography, the Ruddy Shelduck's and Mandarin strutting their stuff. Some of the birds were displaying to each other, such as the Mandarins and Wood ducks. The black swans seemed to be building up a nest of sorts too. As we moved on once more spring seemed to be well on its way, Bee's buzzed around and it was very warm in the wood, there seemed to be only Tufted ducks, Moorhen, Coots and Greylag geese inhabiting the "reservoir" and little else, although at the first pond there was alot of frog spawn and frogs which were occasionally surfacing to give good views of them. We moved to Hawthorn wood's hide and it me it seemed quiet as I'm used to seeing Great spotted woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper, unfortunately only one of them turned up (a single Great spotted turned up, but gave very poor views and didn't stay long) although the Bullfinch's and the usual tits (Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal) turned up and so did a single Greenfinch.
After this we passed by the Flamingo's and Otters to get to Wader lake which held 8 Avocets (we only saw 7 but 8 had been recorded that day) Shelduck, B-H gull, a large amount of Heron, Teal, Lapwing and Redshank to state a few. Next to the weir/stream lookout next to Amphibian pond a Common Toad sat on the ground and I nearly stood on him! Glad I didn't as he was very happy to be photographed and close up too, he had quite a few admirers walking past as well so when I got up off the ground I decided to put him safely back into the pond out of harms way, basically so he didn't get splatted. In the pond their was a mass of frog spawn and many frogs as well, Their was also a newt there too although I didn't see it. A kestrel flew over as we walked further along. We returned to the centre before having one last look in the close encounters section before we headed off, a very enjoyable day too!
I would also like to announce the fact that I have just found out I have won the British Small Animal Veterinary photography competition, so I'm also very pleased with that...