Ok, get yourselves a cup of tea because there’s a serious amount of photos to get through… I am going to divide my photos from Pensthorpe up because there are 100.
Yes you heard that correctly, 100!
I have no idea how I managed it because I’m no great fan of wading/water birds but the photos are mainly of the ducks/geese and a rather beautiful and amazing surprise!
Then there are also photos of some of the gardens… Piet Oudolf’s Millennium Garden in particular was a disappointment; clearly it is geared towards Late Summer/Autumn… Oh well, another time perhaps.
I’d known I was pushing it and with the harsh winter plants are behind – Bluebells are still out compared to this time last year when there was barely any left.
So on with the first instalment:
First stop is the lovely B&B we stayed in, Swanton Morley near Dereham… Called Hunter’s Hall.
It was on a farm, and looked to be converted stables, nice rooms and seemed to work more like a hotel than your average B&B.
Fields, this did have some white British White cows in it on the Sunday, but sadly they’d disappeared on the Monday when we left… There was a huge bull!
From the B&B we set off to Pensthorpe, not really knowing what to expect as all I wanted to see was the Millennium garden…
There are so many water birds here it’s unreal, and so many of them are far too tame. If you don’t like birds around your feet then you may be best avoiding one of the entrances into the reserve – i.e. don’t go in the left entrance, go straight ahead into the nature garden!
Lots of Ducks/Geese as promised. Wonderful Mandarins too!
Urm… Any ideas?
Mr Mandarin showing off to his wife
Fluffing up his feathers…
White Cheeked Pintail
Baby Coots, only a mother could love them!
And indeed she does…
As it began to rain she covered them up…
Red Crested Pochard
Lots of fighting for food
Black Headed Gull
I was thinking Sedge Warbler…
Same again, or a Reed Warbler??
Juvenile Blackbird being protected by dad
Hoard of Greylag (?)Geese coming to attack Pete… Babies made such a cute noise compared to the hissing of the parents! Eeek.
I think this was a baby Barnacle Goose
Gorgeous little female Smew, my favourite.
Pretty too, but I don’t know what it is.
Poor one legged Mallard 😉
Another unknown… I’m not very good at this!
Juvenile Mallard maybe?
Female Gooseander… Let me tell you, they’re vicious!
Poor little female Smew didn’t stand a chance!
They kept on pushing her under water.
And on our way out we came across this…
Mmm, I smell something
Widgeon?? Nup, urm, no idea!
I thought birds didn’t have teeth!!! Scary. Merganser? No idea. Pretty though.
Male Smew again
Moorhen feeding baby
So what did I learn from all this??
• I know far more ducks/waders/water birds than I thought I knew.
• I still have a long way to go.
(Corrections thanks to Shirl)