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.
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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.
Ten of us this year gathered on the causeway at half past eight for a walk round the lake. The weather was sunny, warm and calm, about as different from last year as you can get. However, it seems that the recent cold weather had slowed the migration of the incoming birds. Nevertheless we saw most of the expected birds. There were a few Swallows, (but no house martins or swifts) over Stockers Farm flood meadow along with Egyptian Geese.