|Hornsea Mere is the largest
natural lake in Yorkshire. Since it is only one mile from the North Sea
coast, this shallow nutrient-rich lake attracts a variety of wintering
waterfowl and passage migrants. But in the summer - it's Goose City!
As we entered the town of Hornsea, keeping our eyes open for the turn toward the Mere, we fortuitously missed the turn, blinked once, and were out of the town on the other side. In an attempt to turn around and try again, we turned onto Southhorpe Road.
||We found ourselves in the
middle of a horde of small birds flitting around the hedges, including
Chaffinch, Dunnock, Blue Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, and our first Yellow-hammers
and Goldfinch. After enjoying this spectacle for some time,
we finally made our way back into Hornsmere, and this time found the turn,
badly marked, down a very narrow alley which opened up to a meadow leading
to the marina.
And we were suddenly surrounded by geese! to see a map of the area.
||There were feral Canada and Greylag Geese
everywhere, interspersed with foraging Mallards. The photo to the left
was taken from the car window, and I could have reached out and touched
this bird - it probably would have let me, too! We spotted one "stranger"
in the midst of these flocks - a lone Barnacle Goose stayed
mostly out of the way.
Scanning the mere itself also turned up Mute Swans, more mallards, a few unidentified gulls, and a pair of Great Crested Grebes.
||The marina sold food for the birds. I know - I shouldn't encourage them to mooch but I just couldn't resist. These birds know all about plastic bags full of wheat! I certainly wasn't teaching them new bad habits! The Canadas and Mallards were very greedy, but the mothers in the bunch wouldn't let the goslings come very close to people. It was comical to watch the goslings trying to get around the parents to help themselves to the goodies. The Barnacle Goose stayed well in the background, sneering at the plebians, no doubt!|
|We finally tore ourselves away from the entertainment of observing the geese and Mallards at extremely close quarters, and I was starting to understand one of my Grandmother's favorite curses - "May you be nibbled to death by ducks!" We were off to Flamborough Head to see some "real" birds.|