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Sep 282023

We stayed quite close to home for our first outing of the autumn, with a walk at Carsington Water on Sunday, 24 September. The monthly Birdwatching for Beginners walks, which are attended on a regular basis by some of our members, traditionally follow a route around Stones Island and on to the Wildlife Centre, so we thought we would start this walk by exploring a different end of the reservoir to see what we could find there.

Setting off from the Sheepwash car park on a wet, murky morning, we followed the path along the northern edge of the reservoir. Not surprisingly, various species of ducks made up most of the birds we initially saw, with good numbers of Mallard, Gadwall and Tufted Duck. A single Heron was observed patrolling the shoreline surrounded by a multitude of Coots. A colourful male Mandarin Duck was found in Brownale Bay by two members of the group.

Coming back to the Paul Stanley hide to shelter from the increasing drizzle, we added Great Crested and Little Grebes to our list, along with a handful of Cormorants, Mute Swans and Canada Geese.  The sizeable flock of gulls on Flat Island were mostly identified as Black-headed or Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

As we continued our walk past the Bombing Tower towards the Lane End hide, a section of trees and bushes next to the path proved particularly productive with a variety of birds flitting between the branches, including a Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great and Blue Tits, as well as a party of Long-tailed Tits and a Goldcrest.

The Lane End hide didn’t really offer up anything new, so after a while for most of us it was time to call it a day.  Two members of the group did carry on to the Wildlife Centre though, where they were rewarded with more birds for our collective list for the morning, including Red-crested Pochard, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and great views of a Willow Tit.

In all, the 45 species that follow were recorded by the group, which was a pretty good total considering the somewhat damp weather:  Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Gadwall, Mandarin Duck, Teal, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Heron, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Willow Tit, Swallow, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

Chris Lamb.

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