Priory Country Park is a former gravel pits located on the South East edge of Bedford, adjacent to the River Great Ouse. Find us at Barkers Lane off A428, or in Priory Business Park off A421 Bedford bypass. Admission is Free with access to the Visitor centre and 2 hides, one overlooking the main lake and one on the Finger lakes. You will find Winter wildfowl, passage terns and waders, and Water Rail all year.
Another first this weekend when a Cuckoo was heard by JA and then seen by us all as it flew in to the Willows along the Spit and called before heading further north along the Spit. We heard it a few more times but didn't see it again.
Also on Fingers were 3 Little Egrets on the usual fallen Willow at the north end of west Fingers. There was a pair of Gadwalls and possibly another male.
In the reed bed by the main lake at the south end of the Spit a Sedge Warbler was singing and we managed to track it down, along with a Willow Warbler that was close by. It didn't show very well, keeping low down in the reeds as is often the case when they have recently arrived.
We stopped off in the Rough where EG was ringing. We had great views of a Chiffchaff in hand and then sat on a branch after release. It spent a little while recovering before moving off singing and feeding.
At the STW bridge there was another Sedge Warbler singing and we managed to get decent views as it did a couple of flight songs but it was in heavy cover for this shot.
We walked out to Meadow Lane and did a loop around the GP and the crop field however there was no sign of the Wheatears reported yesterday. We did find a small party of Linnets on the north side of the crop field and a single Swallow was spotted low over the crops. The usual Redshank and Lapwing were around in small numbers on 100 Acre. A Common Buzzard was also seen over the river at the north side of 100 Acre.
Back in the park a couple of Jays over the south side was the highlight. A nice growth of Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods) was seen on one of the Willows by the river at the Fenlake Meadows watch point. There was little of note bird wise although a Common Buzzard was seen high over Fenlake a little later while we walked along the south side of the main lake.