I haven't been to Washington WWT since the Avocets bred there last year, and with a membership that gives me 'free' entry to the site it seemed like time for another visit.
I was one of the first visitors to Washington WWT when it opened all those years ago, small concrete ponds and just planted trees.
Now it's a much more natural setting for wildfowl, with areas where children and adults can get close to the birds and not a concrete pond to be seen.
I was heading for the wild bird areas, with the feeders in the Hawthorn Wood my first stop, brilliant hide with great views of the birds, and a grey squirrel.
The trees around the feeders aren't the best for photographs with lots of little branches, but that's nature.
I was looking for shots of the Bullfinches and there were plenty of those about.
There's been masses of work done around the wader ponds over the winter months, I did read that they were planning to open the ponds up so passing birds could actually see the areas of water.
Trees have been cut down and hedges layered, this probably explains why there wasn't very much on the wader ponds although the Heronry was well occupied.
Redshank on the Wader Ponds
I wandered back up pausing at the new Flamingo enclosure, they were all asleep in the sunshine, standing on one spindly leg, looking like a row of pink lollipops.
I met a fellow Twitterer who kindly directed me to the pond where the Smew was, these are bird with pinned feathers so they're not wild birds, nice to see in close-up though.
Female Smew bathing
While I was at the pond I noticed people with binoculars looking at the bushes, turns out there were Waxwings feeding on the Cotoneaster berries, having missed them when they arrived enmass inthe UK for winter, I was delighted to catch them here as they work their way back to Scandinavia.
Waxwing eating a Cotoneaster Berry
All photographs used on this Blog are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and may not be used without written permission.