It's a place I've wanted to visit for several years, but yesterday we finally went.
I'm not a serious birdwatcher. I can recognise garden birds, and some wildfowl but that's as far as my knowledge extends. What I do have though, is an absurdly deep love of nature. It doesn't matter that I can't identify many of the birds, I simply came to enjoy their company.
I wasn't disappointed, in fact I was totally overwhelmed by the sounds of thousands of feathered voices calling to each other across the mere and above our heads.
I can't begin to describe the noise level that echoed above the mere as hundreds and hundreds of birds landed and took off. It was almost like the roar of a motorway. Activity was constant, with many comings and goings.
There are areas where you can wander round and discover birds from many different parts of the world. So many shapes, sizes and personalities...
I outstayed my welcome here, and got a bit too close to the little (black-headed??) gull above.
Not all of the animals here are feathered.
And some are a little wooden...
Although the mere itself is a huge, open expanse of water and marshland, the edges have been landscaped with slopes and plantings which protect the privacy of its residents and ensure the many visitors don't cause too much intrusion. The birds can be viewed from a selection of hides dotted round the perimeter of the mere. The most elaborate is the Harrier Hide. Built to look like wings, and surrounded by pillars of wood taken from the mere.
This flock was arriving on the other side of the mere. There must have been hundreds of birds here. The sound of their calls was incredible.
There are also over one thousand swans here at the moment.
I took almost two hundred photos, there always seemed to be something happening to snap, and I wanted plenty of pictures to remember this wonderful experience by. It's rare to have the privilege to observe a true spectacle of nature, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see, and above all, hear, these beautiful birds.