© Andrew Moon
Seven of us this year gathered on the causeway at half past eight for a walk round the lake. The weather was sunny, but chilly and blustery and even the sun had largely disappeared by the time we finished. We saw or in many cases only heard most of the expected birds. There were good numbers of swallows, house martins and swifts over Bury and Stockers Lakes. We had only glimpses of most birds. They were really well buried in the foliage which was in most cases well developed. Several Cetti’s Warbler called from various points round the lake but as ever remained well hidden. Warblers - Reed, a few Sedge, Garden, Blackcap, Chiffchaff - were heard at many spots and we debated about a Whitethroat near the Iron Bridge. Otherwise Blackbirds, Wrens (in profusion), Robins, Chaffinches, and plenty of Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits (with young) were seen. They serenaded us as we passed along.
Different again this year. Spring really had sprung. There were lots of Little Egrets in the trees among the Grey Herons although it did not look as though they were nesting yet. But the herons were well on with raising their next generation with some chicks still in their eggs, some a few days old and even some 3 or 4 weeks old meaning they were laid around the end of January! How do we know all this? Because the cameras are up and running this year. 
It was a glorious sunny day although the breeze had a bit of a bit to it. This year we had a recruitment tent on the causeway thanks to Russell and Nelish in particular together with help from Larry, Linda and the Lees to name those I know about. They had the laptop with pictures and videos of the nests, taken the day before by our offshore cameras. See this news article.
Unlike last year it was dull, dull, dull with a cool breeze. But at least it was not raining for the five of us as we walked from the causeway down the canal side. Unsurprisingly birds generally were conspicuous by their absence. Again without some really cold weather further north bird numbers on the lake tend to remain low. But that does not explain the lack of birds among the trees. Of course they are not calling yet and the light was poor, which makes spotting and identifying them harder.

Dick Beeden and Anna Marett led the walk which was attended by about a dozen people. Like last year it was dull but not too cold. Unlike last year it was windy and the sun came out during the latter part of the walk. Fortunately the light was good enough for identifying the birds.

Unfortunately, owing to unforeseen circumstances, the Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk was cancelled. This was because we couldn’t find someone to lead it. We really do rely on our volunteers to get anything done!  Apologies to all those members who would have liked to have participated in the walk. And if you might be up for leading this or another walk in 2019 please contact our events organiser This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to read about our 2017 butterfly and dragonfly walk please click here.

Linda Ascroft

On a very hot Sunday, while England were playing Panama in the World Cup and a Bug Hunt was in progress in the Aquadrome, eight people enjoyed the Wildflower walk.  Janet Ryall stepped in at the last minute as our leader and we cannot thank her enough for sharing her wealth of knowledge.   Sue Sanderson, who usually leads our Walks, had kindly walked me through the route ahead of Sunday and together we found at least 80 wildflowers and some grasses.