Bird Spotting at Reddish Vale

Bird Spotting at Reddish Vale

The weekend before last, Damian and my Dad were doing some repointing work to the side of our house, so I took the children for a walk around Reddish Vale to get them out of the house and to stop them from ‘helping’ too much! Reddish Vale is a place I’ve really grown to love over the last month and it’s a place the children are enjoying too as we explore and get to know it better.

We had a good wander around the lakes and it’s truly amazing just how many different types of birds you can see. I am, by no means, a proficient bird spotter; I can just about name the more common types of ducks. However, as we embark on our nature curriculum this week I want to be able to identify more of the creatures we see over the course of the year.

Whilst we were at Reddish Vale we managed to spot the beautiful Mute Swans and their two cygnets. I love watching the swans, as do the children. It was fun watching them pop their heads under and seeing the water roll off their feathers when they popped back up again. There’s an experiment to do with the children in a few weeks I think to demonstrate how their feathers stay waterproof.

reddish vale mute swan

We also spotted the herons, something that never fails to impress me. There tends to be one on the pond dipping pond past the butterfly meadow most days we have been there, although this time we did spot a good five or so on the main water areas. The most amazing spot was when we saw a lone heron on the decked area with some mallards. It started walking so I (wrongly) assumed it was about to take off in flight. However it walked around the decked area and grabbed a magpie out of a bush! I was truly astounded – it was only the distinctive squawking of the magpie and the flash of black and white that confirmed it was a magpie it has grabbed. It was amazing to see.

reddish vale heron

We of couse spotted pleny of mallards and one that resembled a mallard, but was much too stocky and much darker. I tweeted the RSPB to ask what it was and they promply informed me that it was in fact a ‘manky mallard’ – the name made me chuckle!

The children and I enjoyed watching the Great Crested Grebes and their young dive under the water – they are very beautiful birds and I intend to have a go at sketching one this week if I get chance. Miss E has a much better eye than me – she was able to spot them come up out of the water across the way – much better eye sight than me and I think she quite enjoyed looking out for them!

We also saw a robin – it was a great lesson for Mr D in patience and silence. We left some bird seed on the edge of the fence for it. I was confident it would come to take some if we could stay quiet enough and, sure enough, it hopped along to take a beak full!

On the walk back towards the car we spotted what I think are moorhen chicks – Miss E was very taken with these and they are lovely little things.

I was also lucky enough to spot a kingfisher. It’s the first time I have seen one and it’s colours were so striking. I wish I had had my camera in my hand but it flew off over the river before I could take a picture. I really hope I get to see one again on our next visit there. It is such a beautiful bird and I hope the children get to see it too.

I’m really looking forward to starting our nature curriculum and getting better at spotting the different birds and creatures.

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14 Comments

  1. 4th September 2017 / 08:04

    What lovely photos. Even in my mid 30s I still enjoy going to feed the ducks and we can get some fantastic pictures of these amazing creatures!

  2. 4th September 2017 / 08:43

    How lovely to read, we’ve been away on The Broads recently and the bird and other wildlife was astounding. Children never tire of nature, you’ll have a wonderful time covering this subject x

  3. 4th September 2017 / 09:45

    Ahh what gorgeous photos! This looks like such a lovely place to watch the birds!

  4. 4th September 2017 / 10:33

    Those moorhen chicks look adorable. I’d love to be able to name birds too. My SIL is a birdwatcher and can easily name them, even by just listening to them chirp 🙂 I bet the boys enjoyed this lovely and educational walk 🙂

  5. 4th September 2017 / 10:34

    Stunning photos – the kingfisher looks like such a magical bird 🙂

  6. 4th September 2017 / 14:17

    Ahhh how lovely we love to go and spot birds and this looks like the perfect place to do so….I have to say though I am a bit of a novice when it comes to naming them!

  7. 4th September 2017 / 18:02

    I love bird-watching with Sophie – I can’t believe the heron took a magpie!! Great that you saw a kingfisher, they’re one of my favourites 🙂 x

  8. 5th September 2017 / 03:30

    Wow I couldn’t think of a better way to start your nature curriculum. The photos look great x

  9. 5th September 2017 / 07:22

    What beautiful photos. I love taking a walk around the park and spotting swans and birds 🙂

  10. 5th September 2017 / 10:13

    You’ve taken some beautiful photos here 🙂 Great to add to the nature collection!

  11. 5th September 2017 / 12:28

    I have always wanted to spot a Kingfisher so you were very lucky!!

  12. 5th September 2017 / 14:32

    I can do herons and swans, but my birdspotting and birder knowledge doesn’t get much better than that i’m afraid!

  13. 8th September 2017 / 00:02

    My toddler loves animals and Im sure he would enjoy looking at all the birds!

  14. 8th September 2017 / 11:49

    Oh I have never seen a heron, I would love to see one and I didn’t realise they would do that to other birds either!

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