Lazy morning at the Water Park

I managed another early start today for a morning at the Water Park. My original intention was a circular walk from Waterhay to the Reed Hide and Twitchers gate. In the end I didn’t stray more than a hundred or so yards from the car. The only exception was to check Lake 69 for the Common Scoter. Unfortunately it didn’t appear to be there although it was back late on in the day. With it warming up a very pleasant hour or so was spent at Twitchers Gate. A small flock of Goldeneye was a good sighting as was a Ringed Plover on the ridge in front of the scrape. A couple of Little Ringed had been seen earlier on. Nice to get both in one morning. A couple of Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard but not seen here, as were Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler. I needed to go to the Cotswold Outdoor shop and went via Cerney Wick. A flooded field looked interesting and a careful scan found Green Sandpiper, three Snipe and several Redwing. Always worth checking out the less obvious areas. Final stop was Round House Quarry on the eastern side of the park. A good selection of wildfowl here along with a flock of Fieldfare and a Treecreeper. I managed a total of sixty-one species which was pretty good for such little effort. Not one Hirundine seen, which is most unusual for this time of year. An obvious sign of the effect of the cold weather. During the afternoon I noticed on Birdguides that a Little Gull had been reported at Coate Water. So after dinner the dog was dragged off there for his evening walk. I didn’t expect the gull to still be around and it wasn’t. However it was a nice walk with plenty of birds around. I got my first seen Green Woodpecker for Wilts this year and there were three Song Thrushes singing loudly.

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7 responses to “Lazy morning at the Water Park

  1. Hi Malcolm, sorry to hear you missed out on the Little Gull this afternoon. I came across it about 12:50pm and it was in the centre of the Lake opposite the dam until about 2:30pm. It wasn’t very popular with the other gulls that were continuously chasing it. Kind regards Martin Adlam see http://swindonbirder.blogspot.co.uk/ for more images.

    • The good birds always seem to somewhere else! Are you aware of the Wiltshire Grapevine for getting info out on good birds?
      I wasn’t aware that you had a blog running.

  2. Terri and I went for an afternoon walk from Folly Farm, up to and around Liddington Hill and back today. All the regular finches and buntings were present but no migrants. One Red Kite ridge soared across us [shame I only had my 100mm macro lens on!] Pride of place though was an insect..9 Violet Oil Beetles; a declining group of insects but still holding on at both Liddington and Barbury [plus Hinton Coombes]. These were in the bottom of the defensive ditch near where the North/South ridge intersects with the hill fort. Funnily enough the population at Barbury is limited to the same SE quadrant of that ring ditch. Must be something in the microclimate/habitat created by that particular aspect….?! No sign of the Marsh Harrier at CWP then? I still need that one for my Wilts list….

    • The Wheatears yesterday were further south than you went. Straigh on at the firs gate, through the second, straight ahead over the ridge and they were on the grass towards the fence, a favoured area for them.
      I shall look out for the beetles next time I am up there. I know roughly where you mean.
      As far as I know the Harrier wasn’t seen today, I had one in Wilts about four years ago from the hide at 68.

  3. Thanks Malc. I only ever turn left at the 2nd gate – towards the fort – never walked straight on…must rectify that.
    Got the name wrong, the beetles are Black Oil Beetles not Violet [Meloe proscarabaeus]. Violet is common nationally but rare in Wilts!

    • If you carry on further you will come to the Ridgeway. Turn left and follow it along and you can get back round to the castle. It makes a nice walk. I haven’t looked for the beetles yet. Not much point when I have the dog with me.

      • OK, I’ll give that a go Malc. The beetles are big and fairly slow moving so the dog shouldn’t disturb them too much – unless he [she?] fancies a snack ;o) Also needs to be sunny to bring them out.

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