Sixteen BBC members gathered on our Sunday outing on a beautiful Spring morning, the sun shining with a blue sky and cotton wool clouds, starting in the picnic area listening to the chorus of a dozen different bird songs. A real treat for this birder was the reeling song of Grasshopper Warbler, what a way to start the day.
We spent time on the boardwalk looking over the pond and feeding station, together with the usual suspects in that area good views of the nesting Heron’s and Little Egrets in a large Oak.
Continuing on (past a number of Cockerel and Hens from the farm scratching around the footpath for titbits looking splendid in an array of colours) listening to singing Goldcrest, Blackcap, Robin & Wren, good numbers of Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler from the woodland path.
At this time of year were looking for our summer migrants returning, and after a early start to the season with the warm March weather the recent cold Northerly winds seem to have slowed the expected numbers, so we spend some time listening for the variants of Reed & Sedge Warblers. Then following some information from an obviously pleased fellow birder we hurry onto get sightings of two male and a female Gargany; probably “bird of the day” for most of our group.
Looking over the ponds and scrapes were a raucous colony of Black Headed Gull, good numbers of resident duck with one or two waders, including Black-Tailed Godwit, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank and to our surprise four Avocet which I’m told are a first for Middleton. Finishing of our morning walk we found Common and Lesser Whitethroat, a bonus!!!
A fantastic return of 66 different species for this maturing reserve, a good mix of open scrub, woodland and wetland habitat. So all in all an enjoyable and rewarding day out in good company.
Well done Julie for organising and leading this walk.
(Pictures by Lee Loveridge)