Tuesday 13 July – Chew Valley Lake Leader: Mike Landen

Nineteen members met in the main car park at Chew Valley Lake on a very pleasant morning with a good temperature for walking. We started birding from the end of the car park, looking towards the dam wall. There was a large flock of Canada Geese in front of us and in the distance, towards the end of the dam, two Great Black-backed Gulls and a Raven. A little later they were joined by a Grey Heron. A Little Egret was at the other side of the lake with a good number of Black-headed Gulls, including two or three rather attractive juveniles. The Tufted Ducks were mostly in eclipse plumage with male and female looking similar. A Common Sandpiper was quite close giving us some nice views, also Lapwing and Cormorant. We crossed the road to the north of the lake and walking along a lane we heard Blackcap, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff, as well as seeing a Wren. We entered a small wood and heard a Treecreeper. We continued through open countryside and saw a Buzzard carrying prey. We headed south along the road out of Chew Magna and, just as we left the road, spotted a Song Thrush. As we followed a lane across open farmland, the hedgerows provided good views of a Yellowhammer. Four more were seen or heard. This stretch also yielded House Martins, Swallows and Swifts. Across the fields a Kestrel perched in a dead tree with a second one flying close by. We saw a Roe Deer and then a reasonable view of a Linnet and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in flight. Walking back along the lakeside path between the two car parks we added Mute Swan, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Crested Grebe to our list and two of the group were fortunate to see a Kingfisher. It was an enjoyable walk with a total of 49 species. Thanks to Nick for keeping a record of birds. (and to Mike for leading). Mike Landen