Sunday 12 January – Cotswold Water Park (CWP) Leader: Keith Williams

Just five people arrived at the Upper Up car park outside South Cerney correctly attired in wellington boots and waterproofs. The rain actually stopped as we started off across the playing field towards the Shorncote Reedbed, pausing to watch Redwing, Fieldfare and Song Thrush. As we reached the flooded section of the path we “lucked” onto the Lesser Whitethroat (possibly of the Eastern race blythi) which was already being watched by three other birders who had been waiting two hours to see it. The pits by the hides were quiet with the best being a flock of 150 Lapwings as we walked back to the cars. After a short drive to Neigh Bridge, the sun was shining as we set off again along the Thames Path examining Pits 44 -Red-crested Pochards; 65 – many Coots; 57 – Shovelers and Common Gull before a larger flock of 450 Lapwings flew over us. The Thames was high although in summer 2019 it had completely dried out in this section. We paused by Pit 38 to nibble some food while watching Goosander and Goldeneye and then crossed some damp tussocky grass to Pit 29, flushing three Snipes in the process. There was no sign of any Smew (the UK numbers this winter are approximately 75% down from the previous year) but more Red-crested Pochard were found with two Little Grebes. The return route through Somerford Keynes provided some garden birds for the list. We were only able to cover two small sections of the whole CWP but it did provide a glimpse of what can be seen, especially if you want a very flat walk. A good time was had by all with 42 species seen. (Thanks to Keith for leading – Ed) Keith Williams