Tuesday 24 November – Cheddar Reservoir

It was grey and windy with such choppy water, how were we to see the waterfowl? A good crowd (22) of dedicated watchers saw most of the birds on offer. As rain had fallen, the way across the moor was bound to be wet – twelve chose this way with me and the others stayed on the reservoir rim with Sue & John and Jane. We got onto Middle Moor Lane and then Stubbingham Drove where the call of Fieldfare was heard, the ‘caw’ of Rooks, and the ‘crackle’ of Pheasant. A mystery call was heard and a large winged bird disappeared into the trees- alas, the one that got away. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flashed from tree to tree and a Green Woodpecker disappeared into the scrub before reappearing again in a field where the boundary hedges were thick with Starlings, Fieldfare, and a few Redwing. We proceeded along the Cheddar Yeo where a couple of Little Grebes dived and swam, and back up Ellenge Stream (a previously seen Otter didn’t reappear!) and into Axbridge. Plenty of local songsters on offer in the village, a Grey Wagtail just by Walnut Farm, and Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Bullfinch recorded , plus a small party of Long-tailed Tits – so plenty to watch. We went back onto the tank rim to view the ducks. A dozen Gadwalls, many ‘Heinz 57′ Mallards, Tufted, a few Wigeon, a good few Pochards and many, many Coot, but alas the Red-crested Pochard were not in our sight. How fortunate that the rim walkers recorded 36 species including three we had not seen- Red-crested Pochard, Meadow Pipit, and Song Thrush, bringing the total up to a credible 51. (Thanks to Sue & John and Jane for leading the tank rim party and to Nick for being in charge overall.) Nick Hawkridge