Cold end to January at the lakes

Mike Andrews

Today is the last day of January and the month ends on a very wintery note at the lakes. We have seen 83 bird species in the month / year so far including some nice birds like brambling, lesser redpoll and lesser spotted woodpecker.

A lot of the action during this time of year and particularly during the cold snaps take place around the bird feeders at the centre.  Lesser redpoll, siskin and long-tailed tit continue to show well there along with some of our more regular small birds like blue tit, great tit, robin and blackbird.  Over the past few weeks, brambling have been visiting with up to 3 individuals coming in with the chaffinches to feed on the food that we provide there.

Redpoll at Lackford Lakes

Mike Andrews

Brambling have also been showing at the field feeders at the start of Sayer’s Breck trail.  This is the spot to look for reed bunting and bullfinch as well.

Ash carr is the other spot on the reserve for our smaller birds – nuthatch, treecreeper, marsh tit and siskin are good here.  This was also the location where the lesser-spotted woodpecker has been seen though you are more like to spot the bigger great spotted woodpecker.

On the lakes, good numbers of ducks continue to be seen.  The sailing lake is best right now as keeps more open water – wigeon, tufted duck, coot, gadwall and pochard all present in good numbers this morning.  As it warms up next week, ducks will scatter around the reserve on various lakes.  Hawker pool and long reach are worth a check for the goldeneye.

sailing lake close up Lackford Lakes

Mike Andrews

It is always worth a check of the slough from Paul’s, Bernards and Double Decker hides.  Here you can find lots of ducks particularly teal – hundreds of these can be present on the slough.  Also have a good scan with your binoculars and you might pick out some waders like ruff, green sandpiper, lapwing and snipe there as well.

At the end of a winters day at Lackford, it is worth checking out the sailing lake for our gull roost.  Thousands of gulls arrive here from 3pm onwards to roost on the sailing lake.  In the past week up to 8 caspian gulls and 16 yellow-legged gulls have joined the more regular gulls into roost.