It was a pleasure to welcome new members to the group on this bright, sunny day. The ‘aaah factor’ was present in the car park – seven fluffy Canada goose goslings. 19 of us made a slow progression along the river bank and back through the woodland paths to have our picnic lunch in the double-decker hide amongst the reeds at Ness End.
It was a morning of quick sightings and calls – we saw Reed buntings, we heard a Cetti’s warbler, we caught glimpses of a Sedge warbler and had a good look at a tiny Willow warbler as it perched on a wire. An Oystercatcher flew over but we tended to ignore our beautifully marked Mallards and our elegant Black-headed gulls.
The wild flowers were beginning to bloom and as often at this time of year we tried to recall the names of the less common plants; not always easy, even with a guide book. The butterflies were easier to identify. Orange tips, Peacock, Green-veined whites and Small whites flitted around in the company of yellow Brimstones. There were a few dragonflies over the reeds whilst the Common blue damsel flies emerged from the ground cover as the air became warmer.
Our lunch stop location provided a steady trickle of different birds. The graceful Great crested grebes were the most numerous – four at one time. However, Shelduck came and went, a Common tern flew overhead and a couple of Blue tits were very busy feeding a family in a nearby bush. Inevitably the highlight of the day happened when most people had left the hide to return to their cars. We were given a wonderful flying display – about 10 metres away- by a Marsh harrier as it quartered the reed beds in search of prey.
Thank you, Judith for the excellent photographs. There are many more on our Facebook site. RW
BIRD LIST: Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Cormorant, Grey heron, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck, Marsh harrier, Kestrel, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-headed gull, Wood pigeon, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, Sedge warbler, Willow warbler, Blue tit, Magpie, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, Reed bunting. 29
HEARD: Cuckoo, Cetti’s warbler, Reed warbler, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer. 5
SEEN BUT NOT BELIEVED
Kingfisher, Bearded tit. 2