Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guided Walk 27/01/2013

As usual I arrived early and met up with TP and DK for a quick look around before the walk started. Thanks to TP who spotted a Ferruginous Duck (FD) close in to the dipping platform on the north side of the main lake. He quickly alerted DK and myself to its presence and we all had good views until it flew, with a small party of Pochards, to the south side. It remained mobile for the rest of the morning before departing at lunch time. We also had 8 Little Egrets on Kingsmead early on but they all departed shortly after we found them.

I headed back to the VC with TP to meet the group and had a scan for the FD but was unable to locate it. A good turnout for the walk and we all headed off around the west side of the main lake in the hope of picking up the FD from the south side. We had Greenfinch along the west side and the Collared Dove was taking nest material into the hedge behind the sailing club again.

A Grey Heron showed well in the south west corner and a Moorhen was added to the list. The ducks were spread across the south side and we were unable to locate the FD. Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon and Gadwall were all present along with Coot and Great Crested Grebe. I also spotted a Kingfisher heading along towards the south side hide.

A stop at the hide got us better views of the Wigeon. A good number of Cormorants were in the tree roost on the south side.

We continued along the south side stopping off in one of the fishing swims where good views of some Common Gulls were had as they were stood on a small patch of ice with some Black-headed Gulls. The FD was back over near the dipping platform and some of the group managed brief views before it flew off to the south side again.

A flock of c20 Goldfinch were spotted in the Alders across the Navigation Channel and we had good views of one of them perched at the top of one of the trees. We continued along the Navigation Channel but Fingers was mostly frozen still and the river was high and flowing fast so no bird life apart from a couple of Mute Swans. There were good numbers of Canada Geese on Kingsmead but a scan of the flock couldn't locate any interlopers, not even a Greylag!

We continued around Fingers towards the Sedgewick Seat and had a surprise Kingfisher in the meadow. A Lesser Black-backed Gull passed over south. Just past the Sedgewick Seat we heard some Bullfinches calling but were unable to locate them despite a stop at the hot spot by the Rough.

Out in the meadow we had good views of Redwing and Song Thrush and a party of 5 Herring Gulls passed over south. Next stop was the Visitor Centre where we added House Sparrow and brief views of the white rumps of departing Bullfinches to end the morning.

So a really good morning with 40 species on my personal list for the morning and most of those on the group list as well.

The next walk is Sunday 24th February, meet at the visitor centre at 9am.
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