Monday, 27 May 2013

Paxton Pits

A couple of Saturdays ago we drove out to Paxton Pits nature reserve, a series of pools bordered by reeds and located near Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire. It is home to otters, water voles, shrews, kingfishers, cormorants, newts and nightingales. In fact, Paxton Pits is the best location in the UK to hear them!

Our trip to Paxton Pits started well. In a pond in the picnic area there were newts, backswimmers, water striders and great diving beetles. Great diving beetles are medium sized insects which eat fish and tadpoles. Backswimmers skim upside down just under the surface of the water and are a carnivorous insect. Like the diving beetle, water striders stand on the surface of the water and zoom about like a hovercraft. Newts are amphibians resembling lizards that spend half the year on land and half in the water.

I am not sure what the types of newts I saw were. Possibly they were great crested newts, smooth newts or palmate newts.

We started the walk which was called the Heron trail. It went in a circle around the pits. Along the walk we came to a hide where you could look out over the water and be hidden from the birds. We saw cormorants, great crested grebes (a type of water bird) and other types of birds.

We continued the walk and heard nightingales and cuckoos call. We saw some more birds - a nesting coot and two mute swans. Soon the walk was over. Paxton Pits Reserve was great!
Looking for newts

Great crested grebe
Great cormorant

a robin singing

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jake, Great to see this post and to have the images of the outing. It must have been fun looking a the water creatures. Love those newts! Love Grandad,