© Andrew Moon

Three of us this year gathered on the causeway at half past eight for a walk round the lake. The weather was cold and gloomy, far from ideal for our task and about as different from last year as you can get. The recent cool weather had again slowed leaf growth making seeing the birds a bit easier than in some years. We saw most of the expected birds. There were swallows, house martins and swifts in quite good numbers over Stocker's and Bury lakes No woodpeckers, reed bunting or house sparrows though.

Several Cetti’s warbler called from various points round the lake and were seen on two occasions. Warblers were however in short supply but we did manage Reed Warbler from the causeway, Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff along the river, Whitethroat along the Fort Drew meadow, Blackcap near Stocker’s House and possibly Garden Warbler at various points around the lake. Otherwise blackbirds, wrens, robins chaffinches, greenfinch and song thrushes serenaded us as we passed along.

We saw just two common terns patrolling between Stocker's and Bury lakes but the tern rafts seem to have been taken over completely by black headed gulls. No raptors again this year which was a little surprising as red kites are now quite frequently seen over the lake.

There are still numerous nests in the heronry with both young Grey Heron and young Little Egrets in them. Good view of three young herons from the riverside path near the signpost. Not many Cormorants this year. There were a few Pochard plus just one Red-Crested Pochard. Also, Tufted duck, Coot and a few Moorhen. Otherwise Great, Long-Tailed and Blue tits flitted about. Including the other common species like Mute Swan, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Magpie and so on, we spotted and/or heard about 44 species altogether, the same as last year. All in all, not a bad morning given the dull cool weather. No butterflies this year.

Dick Beeden