Trip report: Backwell Lake (12 Febuary 2013)

On a chilly grey morning 22 birdwatchers met at The Perrings, Nailsea for a walk round Backwell Lake and the local countryside towards Chelvey Batch and Manor. Two Little Egrets were on the bank at the lake, one already with breeding plumes but the Goosander which are normally present during winter were absent. However, Tufted Duck, Shoveler and Gadwall were present with the usual Mallard, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Moorhens and Coot. A few Common Gulls were on the water with the Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. In the Alder trees we saw plenty of Goldfinches and two Siskins. At the bridge by the end of the lake we saw a Tree Creeper and some Redwings. Several lucky members of the group had seen Bullfinch and a female Blackcap in the trees by the AWT reserve. As we walked along Youngwood Lane we added more Redwing, a Song Thrush and Pied Wagtails in the fields with the horses. There were Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits along the hedgerows with Chaffinches, one of which was already calling in sub-song. Other highlights of the morning were a pair of Peregrines circling overhead, a Buzzard and a Kestrel hovering. Fieldfares were added to the list of winter thrushes. It was a rather muddy walk but very enjoyable. We saw the first Celandines and Violets of spring. In total 43 species of bird were seen. Thanks to John and Sue Prince for leading.