Sunday Guided Bird Walk

This morning Jon Carter led a walk around the reserve and we saw:-

Wren, blue tit, great tit, dunnock, blackbird, magpie, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, crow, herring gull, black-headed gull, jackdaw, chaffinch, house sparrow, robin, rock dove, teal, redwing, greylag geese, pink-footed geese (see below) linnet (>35), greenfinch, meadow pipit, starling, mallard, moorhen and finally 2 Woodcock (flushed by Jon from below the willows by Lucy brook).

I have been reminded that we also saw both mistle and song thrushes – apologies for omission!DSCN4248.

Also seen yesterday were linnets  (>25) in a hawthorn bush plus 77 geese flying over.


Volunteering Saturday 10th December 2016 (plus Little Egret)

I forgot to post Jonathan’s email to the volunteers but the report on what we actually did follows.

But first note that a Little Egret was observed on School Pond by the volunteers. I think this may be significant as this species, whilst common on the riverside marsh and occasional on our neighbouring drumlins, has not been seen very often, if at all (?), on the Reserve. Perhaps one of the birders will comment on this.

Thirteen volunteers attended the monthly session on a warm, dry but overcast morning.

  • The hedge overhanging the lane running from Sunnyside Lane to the Orchard was trimmed back.
  • The debris was moved away including the fallen leaves on the track.
  • The netting on the shed roof was carefully removed including its ‘harvest’ of sycamore leaves and seeds. The experiment has been very successful as the sedum appears undamaged and entirely clear of sycamore debris. There should be a huge reduction in sycamore saplings next spring.
  • Leaf debris around the shed was cleared away.
  • The broken fence post adjacent to the new double gates across the Fauna path was replaced.
  • The hedge between the Fauna path and Carr House Meadow was trimmed. Still needs reducing in height.
  • The hedge between Carr House Farm garden and the Fauna path was trimmed back and the debris removed.More work was done trimming the hedge between the Orchard and the Pads footpath.
  • More work was done trimming the hedge between the Orchard and the Pads footpath.
  • Further work was done pruning the fruit trees.
  • Tony was unable to provide refreshments on this occasion but Emily and Julia stepped into the breach with two excellent cakes.

Lots to See

An excellent tally for the third flush count of the season. 114 snipe counted, 4 of which were identified as Jack snipe. Big Meadow yielded 42 (3 Jack); School Pond 35; Hay Meadow a surprising 33 (1 Jack); Upper Sowerholme 2 and 1 in each of Flora Field and Lower Sowerholme. Cumulatively this winter’s total is running two months ahead of last winter.

But snipe were not the only birds on show. Twelve teal initially on Alder Pond were encountered again on School Pond, in the presence of a redshank. There were 3 redwing in the LGGS Field. In Big Meadow, two female pheasants were spotted and a water rail was disturbed close to the old Alder tree. Two woodcock flew off from amongst the willows along Lucy Brook in the Hay Meadow. A heron was seen by the Flora Ponds – seems to be a regular visitor here.