© Andrew Moon

It rained throughout our walk this year. So we limited the walk to the canal side. The light was poor which made spotting and identifying the birds tricky but it has to be said it was several degrees above freezing so not too cold. That meant that while there were good numbers of birds on the lake, there were very few to be seen in the trees. And so, the six of us set off. We saw all but one of the species we heard and ended with a tally of 28 species (10 down on last year) so better than we feared.

The full list was: Great-crested grebe; cormorant; grey heron (four or so already in the trees making nests); mute swan; wigeon; gadwall; mallard; shoveler (in large numbers displaying); tufted duck; goldeneye; (males and females with plenty of courtship behaviour); smew (female only); moorhen; coot; black-headed gull (lots); lesser black-backed gull; (excellent view on the feeder by Kingfisher Hide); wren; dunnock; robin; blackbird; long-tailed tit; blue tit; great tit; chaffinch; magpie and ring-necked parakeet (heard).

Dick Beeden