Sunday, 30 September 2018

Temple Pool :: 29 September 2018

Charlotte was playing tennis in the afternoon so I decided to get the grass cut in the morning, have lunch, then head down to Temple Pool to see if any mandarin ducks were still there.

Mandarin duckIt was a beautiful afternoon with almost cloudless skies. Overhead were flocks of jackdaw and rooks, quite vocal. Buzzard over but no sign of the GS woodpeckers from last time. At the foot of the slope I crossed the horse racing track and into Temple Pool. This time I was even more careful and quite so as to not spook any of the birds on the water, I gingerly made my way to the Temple building and sat down on the steps, resting against one of the pillars.

To begin with the was nothing on the water, at least not in the open. Gradually though mallard showed, as did a couple of moorhen. Mandarin duckAfter a short while, a lone female mandarin broke from the righthand side and head down close to the water, swam out to the centre, turned, and headed back under the overhanging trees. Last time I was here it was just a single male I saw so hopes were now high.

Nothing changed for then next 10mins or so until the blue flash of a kingfisher headed down the righthand edge, in full sunlight. It landed on the bushes in the far distance (200m) but left out of sight shortly after.

Shortly after, a couple of female mandarin swan out further from the overhanging tress, followed by a male. ChiffchaffAs I got excited it hopped out of the water and onto a long hanging branch, but out of sight. Chiffchaff and blue/great tits fed on the trees and bushes either side of the temple, and a grey squirrel walked right past me.

Almost 20 minutes later another male mandarin with three females ventured out. This was followed by the male in the tree dropping into the water and making their way out into the main pool. Still around 100m away it gave the opportunity for some photos - 5 birds in all. This didn't last long and they headed towards the island at the far end. As they got close a third male, looking more like the more transitional plumage bird from last time, Kestrelappeared from the right and followed them away and out of sight.

I waited for another 5-10 minutes but they didn't show again. I was treated to the kingfisher landing on the wall at the water's edge, but all too short for a photo.

On the way back home I stopped at Balscote Quarry to see the work on the site - diggers been in much of the week. Can't wait for some water there! As I sat I had greenfinch, goldfinch and a raven mobbing a kestrel.

Sightings at Temple Pool (14) included: blue tit, buzzard, carrion crow, chiffchaff, great tit, jackdaw, kingfisher, magpie, mallard, mandarin duck, moorhen, robin, rook and woodpigeon.

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