Thursday, 8 October 2015

Some Unusuals at RSPB Langford Lowfields

Today I cycled to RSPB Langford Lowfields using my "touring" route, which instead of a direct 10km ride, is an 18km ride via Stapleford Woods so you end up doing around 30 in all.

It was a pleasant afternoon for it, the wind of the morning had dropped, the weather was decent, and a group of three roe deer were watching me from a field, bright white bottoms shining like stars. I assume they were roe, even a a distance they looked bigger than the dog sized muntjacs that also live in the area.

When I arrived at about 430pm, there was a fair amount of quacking going on out on the water, and an egret was flying across the reed bed, scorching white, Sirius white. I took some photographs of a lovely sky, and settled down to scan through my binoculars.

Phase 1 was busier than I'd seen it for a while, with plenty of mute swans on the water and the gorgeous sight of a pair flying low and slow overhead, their wings beating with "wheee-wooo" sound I've never heard before. Tufted ducks, mainly out of eclipse, were numerous and of course most of the noise was coming from the inevitable mallards. But amongst all this, there a few things a little more unusual.

First up was the target of my visit after hearing they had been spotted on the water. A duck slightly smaller than a mallard, with almost pinkish looking flanks that were especially striking when it dabbled.. The bird was a long way across the lake, but I could still tell in my 10x50s it had a whopping great beak.

A shoveller! My first ever. The bottle green head wasn't particularly noticeable, but it may have not fully emerged from eclipse.

Not far away, were a pair of ducks coasting across the water, one a plain brown, the other a rather mottled looking duck with a white speculum. I thought at the time it might have been a gadwall, but looking it up when I got back, it may have been a wigeon of some description. The red and yellow head wasn't clear, but again the bird was a long way off.

The final bird was a small wader I noticed flying low across the water before settling down to feed on a mud bank. I had, and still have, no idea what it was, although its beak was short and its plumage mottled. Turnstone perhaps? I have no idea.

So, an interesting little session for me at Langford, and I even bin-scoped a couple of slightly less awful than usual shots for you!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 08.10.15

Lovely skies above the reed bed

Across the water

Through the binoculars, far far away

Bin scoped again, a heron watches over us

Lots of these have emerged on site since I last visited

Rays piercing through on the way home


  1. Beautiful images! The last one is my favourite.

  2. It's a lovely peaceful place, and you just have to be in the right place at the right time to see the good stuff. Thanks for saying hello!

  3. Looks and sounds a great reserve Simon. Great photos - love the skies in the first two :)