Apart from the pleasant weather, Sunday 17th did not start well. We found that we couldn’t access the Welford Road end of Stanford Reservoir. Consequently, we all headed round to the dam end, but not before Ken had seen a great egret at the pool on the other side of the road.
In the car park at the dam waiting for some latecomers to catch up we were treated to the sight of a chiff chaff singing it’s heart out, a grey wagtail, a small group of long-tailed tits, a buzzard and a first winter glaucous gull flew overhead. On the water, mute swans, coots, tufted ducks, great crested grebes, gadwalls and Canada geese were to be seen plus some moorhens on the far bank.
Finally eighteen members and friends gathered and began to walk down the eastern side of the reservoir. Although there was plenty to see on the reservoir Angie spotted a flock of tree sparrows on a hedge to our right on the other side of a small field before the gate. Another good spot were two pink-footed geese in a flock of twenty plus greylags on the field to the right at the gate. However, the geese were disturbed, fortunately they flew onto the water where we were able to compare the the two species side by side.
Further along the path we were watching a goldeneye diving amongst a group of tufted ducks. It was a beautiful bird. Julie then spotted a female goosander to the right of the tern pontoon. It was looking a bit dishevelled but set about preening itself in full view of us.
We continued walking past the feeders where several chaffinches, blue and great tits were having a feast. The fallow field next to them was filled with the sound of skylarks. It was a truly wonderful sight to see and hear so many birds in the air. Spring is here! Walking alongside this field both a buzzard and a kestrel appeared and on the far side a flock of lapwing.
Our last look at the water before turning back gave us a group of wigeon ending the day on a satisfactory note.
Birds sightings: Mute swan, Pink-footed goose, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pochard, Tufted duck, Goldeneye, Goosander (f), Red-legged partridge, Pheasant, Great crested grebe, Cormorant, Great egret, Grey heron, Common buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Glaucous gull (1st winter), Skylark, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Song thrush, Chiff chaff, Great tit, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Crow, Tree sparrow, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Reed bunting
40 species Madeleine Freeman