Not a very bright day, with heavy rain early on, so it was not surprising that only ten people turned up. Collared Dove, House Sparrow and Blackbird were seen around the Church, and as we walked down the Gang Wall path the first Chiffchaff was heard and later seen. A Sparrowhawk was seen by a few as it hedge hopped, and a mixed flock of Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Chiffchaff flitted past at the end of the path which had been protecting us from the rain. This now became heavy, so we put on our wet gear and battled our way across the fields with heads held low. We took a welcome stop at a convenient barn for coffee, as the rain eased and six or seven Greenfinch perched for a while on overhead wires. We saw swooping Swallows, House Martins and one lone Sand Martin over the railway line, with Goldfinch and Kestrel further along at the start of Wemberham Lane and then two Lapwings and a Grey Heron up against a far hedge. A very smart Red Admiral Butterfly was seen posing for a photo shoot and just after that we saw an amazing total of 30 to 40 House Sparrows pecking away in a chicken run. As we made our way back, we added Buzzard, Moorhen, about 30 Mallards, Starling, Dunnock and Great Tit to our list. A total of 32 species was noted. It was also a good walk for butterflies with Comma, Speckled Wood, Small White and lots of Red Admirals.
(Many thanks for leading, Geoff.)
We had an unpromising start with rain which seldom let up throughout the walk. However 13 of us persevered during which time Gadwall, Sand Martin, and Common Tern put in an appearance on the sheltered side of the lake, taken to give us some protection from the elements. Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard and Swallows and House Martins seemed to be gathering for their long journey, but after an hour and a half, we admitted defeat in the face of torrential rain and made our way home. 18 species seen. (Thanks to Margaret for leading.)
Ten members met at Herriotts Bridge on a grey overcast morning for this walk around the various areas of the lake. At Herriott’s Bridge and Pool we observed Water Rail, a Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, and seven Ruff as well as Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Pochard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck. A Reed Warbler flew across the reed bed and a Wheatear was spotted by the bridge. Moving to Stratford Hide we saw a Greenshank feeding on the mud by the hide and a very large number of Great Crested Grebe. We walked around to Moreton Hide and noted four Common Tern, and a small flock of Ringed Plover. (No sign of any Pec Sand!) We then moved on to Heron’s Green Bay and Pool, which was the last stop and there saw Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, a Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, two Little Stint and also a small number of Swallow and Sand Martin, 14 Little Grebe and a Grey Wagtail to finish off a good morning’s birding. Total number of species recorded for the morning was 36. Many thanks to Charles for leading and Richard Mielcareck for his help with an identification problem.