© Andrew Moon
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.
We had good views of several Reed buntings, House Sparrows and of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming. Several Cetti’s Warbler called from various points round the lake but they remained well hidden. Reed Warblers were everywhere but we managed just one Sedge Warbler.
 
A few Chiffchaff were heard along the canal path and a Whitethroat was heard along the river path,. Blackcap popped up periodically during the walk as did Garden Warbler. Otherwise Blackbirds, Wrens (in profusion), Robins, Chaffinches, one Bullfinch, and plenty of Blue, Great and Long Tail Tits were seen and serenaded us as we passed along.
 
We saw several Common Terns including two sitting on posts by the heron watch point. However, the tern rafts seem to have been taken over completely by Black Headed Gulls. No raptors seen this year which was a little surprising as Red Kites are now quite frequently seen over the lake. There were numerous Heron and Little Egret nests in the heronry but we did not manage to identify any youngsters. It looked as though most pairs were still sitting on eggs Not many cormorants this year. There were a few Pochard but no Red crested Pochard. Also Tufted Ducks, Coots and a few Moorhen were seen. Including the other common species like Woodpigeon, Crow, Magpie and so on, we spotted and or heard about 48 species altogether. (See list below).
 
As a bonus this year we saw lots of butterflies (large, small and green veined white; orange tip and speckled wood). We must not forget the deer, possibly roe, laying down on the edge of the woods on the other side of the river. All in all a good morning.
 
Great crested grebe          Blackcap
Great cormorant                Wren
Grey heron                         Dunnock
Little Egret                          Robin
Mute swan                          Blackbird
Greylag goose                   Song thrush
Canada goose                    Cetti’s warbler
Egyptian goose                  Sedge warbler
Mallard                                Reed Warbler
Pochard                              Garden Warbler
Tufted duck                        Jackdaw
Common Pheasant (H)      Gt Spotted Woodpecker
Moorhen                              Chiffchaff
Coot                                     Long-tailed tit
Black-headed gull              Blue tit
Herring gull                        Great tit
Common tern                     Magpie
Woodpigeon                       Carrion crow
Stock or feral pigeon         Starling
Ring-necked parakeet       Chaffinch
Jay                                      Goldfinch
House sparrow                  Reed bunting
Green Woodpecker (H)     Swallow
 
Dick Beeden