A Walk at Coate Water

A day off today and the original plan of a trip to Savernake with Ian had been cancelled. I didn’t fancy Savernake on my own again and had all but decided on the Water Park. At the last minute I changed my mind for the bizarre reason that it was frosty and my car scraper had broken. My Wife was ready to go to work so after letting her defrost her car I got her to drop me at Coate Water on her way. Plan was to have a walk around Coate and then to walk home to Chiseldon. I started at the outfall stream, wondering if the Dipper from last year had returned. No sign but did find a Grey Wagtail. A good part of the main lake was frozen with Black-headed gulls standing around on the ice. The usual gulls, Coot and Mallard around the diving board along with a few Tufted Duck and a pair of Pochard. A single male Goosander was asleep a little further out. Moving on to the other end of the lake I counted sixty-one Mute Swans, probably the most I have seen here. In the woods near to the Hodson road were a couple of Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Water Rail was heard. Arriving at the causeway a Kingfisher was spotted on the nature reserve lake. At Hide 1 a Water Rail was picking up food under the feeders, one of the best places around to see one of these.DSCN2335 This end of the lake was frozen but I could hear Teal and Wigeon calling from the far end. On the way to Hide 2 I added Bullfinch and Goldcrest to the day list and top end of the lake were good numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. A field  here had good numbers of Starling, Blackbird, Redwing and Song thrush feeding amongst the Sheep. The walk back to Chiseldon was very quiet with a Buzzard the only new species seen giving a walk total of forty-six species.

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