My wife and I had planned to go out for a drive and longish dog walk today and we were struggling to decide where to go. The sighting yesterday of a Red-breasted Merganser at Corsham Lake made the decision. The possibility of a good county year-tick and a visit to a new site. So late this morning we headed out taking about forty minutes to get there. Surprisingly, not only had I not been to Corsham Lake I had not been to the town itself either. Some of it appeared quite ordinary but the original area around the high street and church was very nice.
In the park there were a lot of Goldfinches and Redwing in the trees near the church. At least two hundred Canada Geese were on the grass to the front of the house. One of was one of the CWP neck-tagged birds (JR). Approaching the lake a Kingfisher was heard and then seen as it flew across the reeds. My first of the year. There were Goosander at this end of the water but no sign of the Merganser. In all I counted nineteen Goosander.
Other than Mallard and a few Grebes that was it for waterbirds but the four common species of gulls were seen. Around the parkland we had Nuthatch, Treecreeper, GS Woodpecker and Mistle Thrush amongst the commoner stuff. We then moved onto Box and after eating a sandwich in the car braved the muddy paths on a Dipper Hunt. The river was running high and fast and we had no joy to the west of the village although an overflying Raven was another year-tick. We then headed for the mill where we got lucky with great views of a Dipper over on the far side of the millpond.
Heading east along the river got us a Little Egret and an extremely muddy dog. Heading back a Kingfisher flew across the road by the mill giving a great finish to the trip. I ended up with five Wilts ticks and three year ticks so a great success. If all goes to plan my chemotherphy will be starting next week so I am treating myself to a three day visit to Norfolk with an early start tomorrow morning. This will be my first winter birding trip up there so I am looking forward to some good birding.