I paid Denso Marston Nature Reserve another visit on Thursday. It is still quite wet and muddy from the rain and floods but is much tidier than I expected. After previous floods the trees on the river bank seemed to be choked with rubbish but this time, though there was silt around and branches littering the place, it seemed to be a lot less cluttered.
I spent quite a bit of time near the pond talking to Steve, the Warden of the Reserve. Within a few seconds of him heading back to his classroom/shipping container a Kingfisher flew around the pond and landed in one of the trees on the “island”. Almost immediately it swooped and returned to its perch with a Newt in its beak. I don’t know if Newts are a lot more robust than fish but it spent quite a while bashing it against the branch before tipping it back and swallowing it.
After the Kingfisher had flown off I went for a bit of a wander. As I walked along several Redwing flew from tree to tree, keeping their distance but I managed to catch one in the viewfinder. There were quite a few Blue Tits around too. This one was near the Spider Club feeding station. Blackbirds, Jackdaws, Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Goosander, Bullfinch, Wood Pigeon, Goldfinch, Gold Crest were also flitting around.
When I got back to the pond I was quite surprised to see a Grey Heron on the edge. Normally the first you see of them is when they launch into the air and fly away. If they aren’t flying away they are often perfectly still so it makes me wonder how often I walk past them without seeing them. I know I have seen many people do this along the canal. The Heron ignored me and seemed intent on something in front of it. After a minute or two it lunged forward and came up with a decent sized frog. The frog looks a bit grumpy. It then got tossed about a bit, squeezed in various places and then swallowed.
The Heron then had a bit of a shake/shiver and lots of its feathers stood up. It then had a look around, launched into the air and flew off to the other end of the pond. I decided that it was then a suitable time for me to head for home.