Lackford December 2017

BLACKBOURNE U3A BIRDING GROUP VISIT TO SWT LACKFORD LAKES

Thursday the 14th December 2017

Seven of the group met in the car park at the Lackford Lakes reserve for the last birdwatching trip of 2017 . The weather was cold and windy but thankfully dry. We were denied our customary mug of hot chocolate because for some reason the visitors centre was closed for the day. Peter reported that he had already seen a Bullfinch on one of the feeders near the car park.

We set off on the footpath that runs along the edge of the boating lake and saw a group of Goldeneye in the distance although they seemed to spend more time diving that paddling on the surface. In some overhanging birch trees there were several chattering Siskins and also a few brightly coloured Goldfinches. As we walked along there were several birds crossing the path and flitting through the trees. These included Blackbird, Song Thrush, Coal Tit and Robin.

At the first hide we settled in and surveyed the scene. Gill H drew our attention to a particular area on a shingle spit and there we saw a wonderfully camouflaged Snipe. Cormorant were very numerous as were Pochard and Teal. We visited several of the other hides and steadily added to our list of birds seen and then we arrived at the fallen log where people have taken to spreading bird seed. Dave had remembered to bring some seed and accordingly he distributed it over the log. Standing back a few yards we were soon treated to the arrival of some interesting birds including Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and a beautiful Redpoll. Unexpected visitors to the food were several Mallards which had mastered the art of climbing a log with webbed feet! Gill S stood nearby to keep them at bay but she could not keep the Grey Squirrel or Wood Mice away as well.

We completed our circuit of the reserve and re-gathered at the car park where we exchanged Christmas best wishes before heading for home. This turned out to be one of our most productive trips in terms of species seen as we saw 45 species and heard 3 more.

Bird Species seen: Bullfinch, Dunnock, Marsh Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Pheasant, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Siskin, Goldfinch, Robin, Coot, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Canada Goose, Pochard, Magpie, Mute Swan, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Moorhen, Goldeneye, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lapwing, Teal, Cormorant, Greylag Goose, Shoveler, Common Snipe, Black Headed Gull, Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Jay, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Redpoll, Wood Pigeon, Egyptian Goose, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, Kestrel.

Bird Species heard only: Water Rail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest.

Other Wildlife seen: Rabbit, Woodmouse, Grey Squirrel.