Tuesday 22 November – Chew Valley and Lake Leader: Mike Landen

It was a lovely November day with sunshine and rather warmer than expected as 28 of us set off from the main car park at the lake towards the dam wall. On the way we saw a couple of Long-tailed Tits. We then managed to see a number of species that included Canada Goose (two), Mallard, Goldeneye (two), Great Crested Grebe (twelve plus), Pochard (twelve plus), Tufted Duck, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull and Cormorant. As we walked back towards the entrance, we had fairly distant views of two Red Kites flying at the opposite end of the Lake. We then walked through fields on the north of the lake and added a number of common species to our list. These included Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackbird and Wren. We took a short detour from the main path in order to walk along the river bank and almost immediately some of us had a fine view of a Kingfisher perched on a branch quite close. It flew up river but then landed about 20 metres away and so enabled others to see it. Although we see Kingfisher reasonably regularly, it is one bird that always causes a buzz of excitement. A little further on we disturbed a Buzzard on the ground and it flew to a nearby branch still well in sight. We added Song Thrush, Redwing and Goldfinch to our list. After coffee break, we walked along Dumpers Lane adding Dunnock, Collared Dove and House Sparrow. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in flight and as we walked back along the lake between the two car parks, we saw another pair of Goldeneye a bit closer this time. We also added Stonechat and, in the distance, a large raft of Cormorant. Among other species seen or heard were Kestrel, Jay, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch and Bullfinch. It was a very pleasant walk with a respectable total of 42 species. Thanks to Alan for keeping a record of birds seen (and to Mike for leading). Mike Landen