SWT Lackford Lakes, February 2019

BLACKBOURNE U3A BIRDING GROUP VISIT TO SWT LACKFORD LAKES

Thursday the 14th February 2019

A very depleted but keen group of 5 members met in the car park at Lackford in time for a 10am start. The original plan was to visit the Stour estuary, but, with so many of the group unable to attend it was decided to change to Lackford.

The weather was absolutely glorious with bright, warm sunshine and virtually no wind. Ideal conditions for birdwatching. We set off towards the boating lake and soon saw Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit in the Silver Birch and Alder trees. Earlier, Sheila had spotted a Bullfinch in the Hawthorn hedges near the visitor centre. On the boating Lake was a fine array of Ducks including Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Pochard. In the distance were some Goldeneye.

The first hide looks over a lake and shingle spits and we soon had good views of Lapwing, Wigeon and Teal. When the male Teal turned in to the sunshine their colours looked magnificent. To our right, hiding in the brambles was a Kingfisher. He was obviously hiding from the hoards of serious photographers that we encountered in the next few hides! There were several apparent pairings of a Black Headed Gull and a Coot. It appears that nearly every Coot had an attendant Black Headed Gull which was waiting for the Coot to dive down and bring up some weed. The Gull then pinched any little titbits that were in the weed. The Coots didn’t seem to mind but the Gulls were quick to chase off any other Gull that came close to the partnership.

Next we went through the Alder carr woodland and Peter soon spotted a Treecreeper jerkily ascending a nearby tree. As we carried on we saw several of these busy little birds and also heard their ‘seep, seep’ call. The last hide looking over another lake gave us good views of 3 Dabchicks or Little Grebes.

We arrived back at the visitor centre and enjoyed a coffee and slice of cake as we looked at the birds on the feeders. After most of us had left Peter and Gill spotted another bird for the list – a Brambling. The number of bird species seen was quite staggering for an inland site. 53 species in total and only one ‘wader’ a Lapwing and no warblers. According to my records, which only go back a couple of years this has only been beaten at Minsmere in April 2018 with 54 species which would have included waders and warblers.

BIRDS SEEN: Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Linnet, Robin, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Canada Goose, Black Headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Grey Lag Goose, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Cormorant, Siskin, Egyptian Goose, Goldeneye, Herring Gull, Jay, Lapwing, Moorhen, Wigeon, Teal, Kingfisher, Shelduck, Carrion Crow, Little Egret, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Grey Heron, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Wren, Treecreeper, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Jackdaw, Little Grebe, Lesser Black backed Gull, Bullfinch, Lesser Redpoll and Brambling.

BIRDS HEARD: Green Woodpecker, Water Rail.