The fields are staying flooded on the Meadow Trail, down from the visitor centre. The black headed gull was the 1st bird to make the most of this. As an opportunistic bird, it will feed on invertebrates brought to the surface with the rising water table. Walking that way today, there were also Canada geese grazing on the grass and dabbling in the shallow waters. There were also a couple of shovelers foraging on the aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans and seeds that have come in with the floods from Cloudy Pit. They filter out the water with comb like projections (called lamellae) along the edge of the bill.
Further on, the edges of the arable fields are alive with linnets, yellowhammers, reed buntings darting down to eat the seeds from the specially grown seed mix. Reed buntings have an interesting diet as through the breeding and summer periods, they eat mainly insectivorous foods; for the remaining part of the year i.e. late summer, though autumn and winter, it is, generally, wild seeds. Goldcrest joined these birds in the trees next to the fields finding tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food.
Also, close by was the only deer that we see at Paxton Pits, the Muntjac, and as usual it was alone. They are notorious browsers, eating the shoots from shrubs, as well as woodland herbs and Brambles. They are unusual as they breed all year round.
Smart goosanders have been seen on the river. They come when the weather is at its coldest. They use their sawbills to catch and eat small fish 8-15cms.
Now have you seen any butterflies? The other day I saw a fresh Brimstone that decided to emerge on a cold frosty, but lovely bright day. Please let me know or any other sightings at firstname.lastname@example.org .