Mist at the Meadows
The evening is no doubt the best time to visit Papercourt Meadows, when the owls hunt over the long grass and the light begins to fade. We decided to take a trip to see what was around.
We began our walk by cutting across the middle of the reserve, before turning right and heading down towards the far end of the meadows. We saw a few Stonechats, and the Kestrel was sat on the wire as it always is. There are two resident kestrels at Papercourt, and we saw both of them over the course of the walk, mainly sat on wires but occasionally hunting.
It was a beautiful evening, and the meadows looked fantastic with the evening light shining over the grass. We followed the river around the side of the reserve, and as the sun went down further, the meadows seemed to glow, and the river turned golden. As we continued down the river, we caught a glimpse of a Barn Owl hunting in a field on the opposite side. I'd forgotten how much I love watching owls glide over the meadows and, although it was just a glimpse, it reminded me how special the meadows are for owls, especially as the winter draws closer.
We got to a bend in the river, and saw a sudden flash of blue. A Kingfisher! It had been sat only a few metres away from us and we hadn't noticed. Unfortunately, it was our only view of this individual. We noticed that there was a lot more birdsong in this area of the meadows though, mainly coming from the variety of trees along the bank of the river. There were blue tits feeding on an apple tree, and various other unidentifiable birds singing from nearby. We stood there for a while before heading back the way we had came.
|Blue Tit in Apple Tree|
We didn't see much more on our way back to the bridge leading to the car park. As our walk hadn't lasted that long as it was, we decided to walk a short way down the canal before we headed home. Great decision. Less than a minute down the path, another Kingfisher flew over our heads and perched on the metal fencing over the canal. The fences looked like a perfect perch for a kingfisher, being directly over the water. This kingfisher stayed where it was for quite a while, allowing me to take some pictures. But when I tried to get closer it, understandably, flew off further down the canal.
|Kingfisher next to Send Business Park|
As we continued, we came across a few more birds, mainly Moorhens and Pigeons. The temperature was dropping, so we turned back towards the car park. But when we next saw the meadows, we were amazed by how quickly the mist had rolled in. It was like a duvet covering the grass, and I couldn't resist heading back to the meadows and into the mist.
It was eerily beautiful in the mist. There were a few birds flying over, but other than that it was quite quiet and obviously the mist meant I couldn't see very far wherever I looked. It was an interesting experience, and a great way to finish the walk.