We began at Cropston Reservoir with 13 members and Graham Deeping leading. It started as a grey, windy day. Unfortunately there was very little to see there apart from some grey wagtails, a hybrid mallard, great crested grebe and a fleeting view of a sparrowhawk. Next we moved onto Swithland Woods, where we found two more members. We could hear plenty of birds including goldcrests and chiff chaff, but they were proving elusive, due to poor light and their tendency to be high in the trees or masked by shrubs, apart from the numerous blue tits and chaffinches. However, the sun eventually appeared and so did the birds. We were then treated to good views of bullfinches, nuthatches, chiff chaff, long-tailed tits and, for the lucky ones, a pair of tree creepers. This was also an interesting location as few of us knew that we would be walking through dark green painted caravans and wooden chalets on bijou plots from 'Fantasy Land'. And then when the Green Goddess appeared - and I do mean war time fire engine - we wondered what could we find next. It was a white plastic swan in an ornate fountain with 8 stone horses! Swithland Reservoir was a return to birding with 11 different species of waterfowl and excellent views of a female sparrowhawk. Finally a goldcrest, goldfinches and a lone female redpoll in the shrubbery of the Water Board's gardens.
We should thank Graham for organising and leading what proved to be a gem of a morning. Our next walk is at Middleton Lakes on 23/4/17.
A bientot, Madeleine