Wollaton Hall Nottingham


Well the 3rd of January was wet and very windy at the end of a hectic day my car came back from the garage still a little difficult to start in the morning but sounding a lot better once it had started. To celebrate on the 4th of January we decided to drive to Wollaton a five mile drive.  Due to the number of jobs I had to complete it was about 11am before we arrived. We parked at the edge of the park and walked towards the lake. As we sauntered past the thick copse of young trees, our patience was rewarded by the sight of a couple of Coal Tits working their way through the trees looking for food. Amongst a flock of Long Tailed Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits were feeding and the treat of a tiny Goldcrest dashed about the canopy looking for insects.   Suddenly all the crows took off scolding some creature deep in the trees they were rapidly joined by Jackdaws and Magpies. We couldn’t see what had caused the commotion but they had obviously perceived a threat. In the old trees  near the lake a Jay sat confidently watching us approach showing the black and white marking on his head. A Mistle Thrush took off from trees near the lake and a female and male Red Crested Pochard were scrabbling for food alongside the Mallards, Mute Swans, Tufted Ducks and Coot. Male Shoveler and Pochards slept under the branches of a tree on the island in the lake whilst a Grey Heron perched in the branches above their heads. On the lake Black Headed Gulls massed in the centre whilst a couple of Common Gulls moved amongst them. Ever so often the peace was shattered as Wood Pidgeon took off from the trees crashing through the foliage with  a great commotion.  As we meandered around the lake pausing every few yards to check out the trees children, dogs, infants in pushchairs and their mothers passed us talking, giggling, gossiping, laughing some riding bicycles, or scooters  or tricycles some crying or screaming  or protesting or arguing. we let them disappear and withing a few moments peace would return. A short distance round the lake in a pair of alder trees  10 Siskin came to feed the males very bright with their yellow plumage and many of them hanging upside down to get at the alder cones. A pair of Treecreepers chased each other round the tree trunks and a Nuthatch called before making a star appearence in a nearby tree wher it obligingly stayed for  quite a few minutes. The flocks of Long Tailed Tits seemed to follow us around and wherever we looked it was hard to spot a bird that didn’t turn out to be a Long Tailed Tit. Still we managed to see Robins and a Wren in the foliage. Having walked around the lake, we headed across to the stables  finding a Mistle Thrush and a Song Thrush on the way. To return to the car, we rambled down a line of sweet chestnut trees to a small wood of ancient trees. In the distance we could see Fallow deer feeding on sugar beet and a few red deer stags sitting amongst the trees. In the trees we were pleased to find Redwings on the groung amonst the trees and the wood seemed to be full of Chaffinches and Grey Squirrels all searching in the leaf litter for food. A fallen tree lay just in front of us with dead branches sticking up from the main trunk it wasn’t until we walked around the trunk that we found ourselves face to face with a pair of Red Deer stags. We regarded them and they watched us closely neither of us moved and we slowly walked away whilst they watched us. As we stood there a flock of small birds  flew over and settled  in a London Plane tree trying to eat the seeds. These turned out to be a flock of Goldfinches We had been out for 3.5 hours and had seen 35 species of bird 5 of which we hadn’t seen yet this year making a total of 106 birds seen since the 1st of January.

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