The place to look for our water birds has been the sailing lake and the slough. These areas continue to hold large numbers of water birds. On the sailing lake look out for goldeneye, tufted duck, pochard, wigeon and gadwall. The slough is good for lapwing, shoveler and teal. The odd shelduck is also present in this area. We have had an explosion of snipe over the last few weeks and around 30 are present on the slough – best viewing from our short stay viewing hide (Bernard’s). Kingfisher is also showing well on the slough area (Paul’s and Bernard’s hide is best). Other locations worth checking for water birds is Hawker pool for goldeneye and long reach from Bess’s hide.
Now onto small birds. In Ash carr – look out for nuthatch, treecreeper, coal tit and siskin. The area at the beginning of Sayer’s breck trail (between the two gates) is a very good spot for small birds – bullfinch is best here, and large numbers of linnet were seen there on New Year’s Day. Yesterday we had a brambling in that spot as well. The bird feeders are also a busy place for our small birds with long-tailed tit and marsh tit visiting these.
Towards the end a winters day (3pm onwards), lots of birds arrive to spend the night on the reserve. Look out for the gulls arriving on the sailing lake, reed buntings dropping into reeds and a small number of starlings (around 3000) also roosting in the reeds in front of the centre.