Sunday, 27 January 2013

YWT Potteric Carr - 27 January 2013

The 6 inches of snow that we woke up to yesterday had been removed overnight and we work up to a world of colour again. Heading south we braved the roadworks between the M18 and Doncaster, enjoying the reflections of the sun in the flooded Carr Lodge to the left of the approach road and shortly arrived at a sunny Potteric Carr. This is one of the Trust's largest nature reserves and will soon get even larger as the Trust takes on both Carr Lodge and a further piece of land.

Sedum House and entrance to Potteric Carr YWT as viewed from the overflow car park.

We parked in the overflow car park as a guided Bittern event had led to an influx of visitors keen to see this Potteric speciality. Through the entrance we enjoyed the newly redesigned shop and binocular bar that overlooks a new feeding station, which was a hive of activity, vibrant with Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits. A lovely touch is a video camera which relays images on to a screen in the shop - the kids loved this! We headed south round the green trail admiring the new dipping station and fun Dipping In interpretation board.

The kids really enjoyed the new Dipping In interp, though the legs could have been a bit shorter!

With the sun shining and a brisk wind blowing the nature reserve looked stunning with the reedbeds shimmering in the light. Few birds were about but I noted that the local Great and Blue Tits were singing away heralding the distant spring. We noticed some Alder catkins too.

After an enjoyable walk which was facilitated by the well-surfaced paths and good signage - important for us as we had a push chair with us today - we arrived at the cafe. Siskins flew around overhead and we enjoyed a rest and lunch overlooking Willow Marsh, which has been made possible thanks to the efforts of the reserves team who have cleared some trees. The cafe was busy and Bev and Ellis were busy serving the masses.

The view across Willow Marsh from the Cafe. A Bittern has been seen flying over the reedbed here in the last week.

Visitors enjoying their lunch.

After a rest we continued round the green trail and back to Sedum House. Tired little legs prevented an exploration of the eastern end of the site which I knew would hold most birds. A Bittern had been seen on Decoy Marsh this morning so we kept our eyes peeled, but sadly it didn't show as we passed by. Hopefully some of the other visitors will have  had more luck. The kids enjoyed the reedbeds and the dipping platform back near Sedum House and I enjoyed taking a few photos. A gang of Long-tailed Tits purred in the bushes as we arrived back at the entrance/exit and we headed home having had an enjoyable couple of hours.

Views of Decoy Marsh

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