An original marshland habitat which was reclaimed as parkland in the 1930's, this part of Young's Park was eventually allowed to return to marshland in 2004 after struggling for years against the flow of freshwater running down from Clennon Valley and saltwater from the bay.
The boating lake provides a resting place for many sea birds, ducks and swans
In the Biodiversity Action Plan 2013 - 2023 the conservation area is described as an amazing marsh habitat with rare plants such as the southern marsh orchid and free flowing freshwater pools supporting dragonflies and damselflies.
I didn't realise how tame the birds were, but given the amount of visitors to the park both in and out of the holiday season, I'm not surprised they are so used to people.
I love the feet of the Coot and never knew they looked like this
The Coots, Moorhens, Tufted ducks and Mallard ducks were very relaxed and posed for the camera
Youngs Park People (YPP) have taken over the management of the area and have won many awards including a number of Bay Blooms Awards. You can find out more by visiting their website (and see lovely photos of very young cygnets too).
These cygnets sometimes come across the water to Broadsands
Some of the puddles by the crazy golf area had frozen over giving me lovely shots of this Black Headed Gull.
I really enjoyed my hour here watching the birds and think this will be a very good place to improve my photography skills. I used the bridge camera for this set of photos as I wasn't sure how close the birds would be, but next time I'm going back with the Nikon as well!
Behind where I was standing are the freshwater pools and waterways of the marsh itself (above). So there will be many more opportunities to visit this lovely little wildlife haven for more photos of woodland birds as well as wetland and sea birds.
I tried a few creative effects on these images, using the softening option
Swans are just delightful and I can't help but finish this post with a set from a very obliging and elegant Mute Swan
I'm ready to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. The Blackcap has been in the garden all week and the weather is quite cold, so I'm sure I'll get a decent count this year.
It's been a joy to watch Winterwatch this week coming from Scotland and with such interesting animals like the mountain hare, golden eagle and the wildcat.
I hope you are all safe and well despite the weather
Until next time