I’d set myself a target bird for today. I was determined to get a nice photo of a Nuthatch.
This should have been made easy by my other plan which was to visit Loggerheads CP just outside Mold, a leafy limestone valley – ideal for woodland birds.
Unfortunately I had not factored two things into the equation. Number one being that it was just too goddamn leafy. The place has become seriously overgrown (with trees) since I was there last. They need a big tree-thinning exercise there IMHO. Number two was that I had either a dog-walker or a jogger passing me every couple of minutes. I could have happily throttled one lady who had three barking dogs who were chasing after their toy, a pop bottle with pebbles in it. That bottle was noisy. I heard her coming from about 200m and when I saw here I realised that not only was she throwing the bottle for the dogs to fetch, she was throwing it in the river. If I ever want to clear an area of wildlife I’ll hire her – so effective!
Anyway, enough ranting. You may gather that my Nuthatch objective was not working out at this point. The only birds brave enough to hang around were Grey Wagtails which seem to thrive there. This was the only half-decent photo from Loggerheads.
Back in the car I was feeling defeated. then I remembered Burton Mere RSPB. The last time I was there Nuthatches were numerous, nesting near the visitor centre and constantly on show.
Although I could hear them calling I couldn’t see any. Again, the leafy canopy was my nemesis. It’s only to be expected at this time of year, I suppose. I had a wander around and was told that a Little Owl was showing along the track. A short walk and this grumpy little bird was in my sights. A long way off so no frame-filling competition-winning shot but my first ever Little Owl photo – that has to be worth something.
Wandering around the reserve some more just brought out the usual suspects. A single Avocet was my first of the year and a handful of Spotted Redshanks in their smart black summer plumage made a very welcome sight.
No Nuthatch though. Desperation called. I answered. I staked out the feeders. It’s a bit like cheating but why not? Goldfinches were the most numerous visitors but a goodly variety of birds turned up – including a slightly tatty but extremely welcome Nuthatch which paid several visits over a half-hour period. Mission accomplished!