Alan and Maureen, Bob P, Al, Sue and Shaun had an enjoyable walk round the Reserve on a day which started with us all feeling cold, and then having to peel off a few layers at lunchtime! There were plenty of birds about – including our first little ringed plover. A female goldeneye, many tufted duck, a pair of gadwall, some shoveler, mallard and teal were found, as were little and great crested grebe, and a water rail was heard calling.
There were many noisy Canada geese, some greylags, and a pair of Egyptian geese, and a pair of Mute swans flew in. Four snipe (at least) were seen, and there were plenty of coots and a few moorhen. The usual herring, common and black headed gulls were roosting, and a lapwing was seen on one of the smaller islands. A look at one of the small reedbeds eventually produced a couple of reed buntings.
A walk through the woodland areas produced long tailed tits, treecreeper, green woodpecker, lesser redpoll, great spotted woodpecker and plenty of robins and wrens, a linnet, song thrush, great and blue tits, singing blackbirds and dunnock, greenfinch, chaffinch and goldfinch, with several chiffchaffs, too. Best of all, perhaps, were the two blackcaps singing very loudly in close proximity – to each other and to us – so that Bob was able to take some excellent photographs. We looked over the fields hoping for wheatear, but the only birds of note here were crows, jackdaws, starlings, pheasant, feral goose and stock doves. Two buzzards gave good views; we walked on in search of lesser spotted woodpecker, but found no sign of them.
Shaun, Alan and Maureen had to leave at around lunchtime, but Bob, Al and Sue journeyed on to Bough Beech. There was little to see here, with water levels so high, but we did manage to add pied wagtail, house sparrow, grey heron and shelduck to the list. A nuthatch was heard calling as we drove homeward.
So, though we didn’t manage a large number of species, it had been a very pleasant day in the usual excellent company, with plenty of laughs.