© Andrew Moon

Unlike last year we had bright sunshine even if it was a bit windy and on the cool side of comfortable. So it was a pleasant morning walk for the 5 of us. Surprisingly given that it had rained all day the day before birds generally were conspicuous by their absence Again without some really cold weather up north bird numbers on the lake remain low. But it does not explain the lack of birds among the trees.

So what did we see? On the lake: The dabbling ducks were represented by some Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, and Shoveler. The diving duck representatives were Tufted, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard (at the Springwell Lane end), Goldeneye both male and female (no mating display this year). No sawbills (Smew, Goosander or Mergansers) or Kingfisher. The lake also produced Coot, Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Egyptian Geese, Cormorant, Lapwing, numerous Black Headed Gull (surprisingly almost none yet gaining their black heads as they come into breeding plumage), a few Herring Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull and Mute Swan.

So much for the lake what about in the trees?: Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Woodpigeon, Magpie and Carrion Crows. We also saw Blackbirds and Robin and that was about it. Good numbers of Grey Herons were sitting on nests in the trees in the usual area (some visible from Kingfisher hide), and a Red Kite patrolled over the trees towards the motorway.

All in all not too bad a morning given how quiet it was ornithological among the trees with a tally of 29 species by the end of the morning.

Dick Beeden