Water Park and a New Heathland Site

With some more beef to collect from Waterhay on Saturday morning I took the opportunity to combine a nice walk with some birding.I walked from the old railway bridge near to Cerney Wick to the Reed Hide and viewing screen at the end of Lake 74 It was a lovely morning, a clear blue sky and very little wind.There were plenty of birds singing with several Chiffchaff amongst them. A greater Spotted Woodpecker was drumming and a Green Woodpecker was yaffling. An overflying Curlew was good to see near to 68 and there were good numbers of Reed Buntings singing. From the viewing screen several hundred wildfowl were seen. Too many for me to attempt to count but a quick try with the Pintail got into three figures before I gave up. A Marsh Harrier appeared over the reedbed putting up a mass of Shoveler and Teal as it quartered the area.

Sunday was split between gardening and a longish dog walk from Barbury Castle towards Rockley. The highlight was a Raven along with several Red Kite and Buzzards.

On Monday I was heading up to London for my regular support visit to my Mum. I decided to leave early and by making a short diversion finally get to Thursley Common to try for the long staying Rustic and Little Buntings. I arrived at just gone eight and although I had worked out the paths I needed to take was pleased to meet a local birder in the car park. He kindly confirmed the way for me and fifteen minutes or so later I was watching one of the Little Buntings along with several of the Reed variety. After another few minutes the Rustic put in what was to be it’s only appearance. Staying only a couple of minutes before flying off.Both Littles showed together briefly with one of them staying for quite a while. With the target birds seen it was time to have a bit of a walk and to enjoy the area. Several Woodlark were displaying along with some Stonechats. A single Siskin was seen as were a small flyover flock of Crossbills. Definitely a site to revisit when more time can be spent exploring and enjoying.

In the afternoon I took my Mum to Kew Gardens for a gentle stroll before doing some shopping at M&S in the Kew Retail Park. As usual it was wall to wall Parakeets outnumbering the rest of the birds. At the lake one of the local Herons was hanging around the Sackler Bridge. When a couple started to feed the ducks it flew over and started to eat the bread. Certainly something that I haven’t seen before. It is actually a really good place to get close up views of species that are usually more wary of humans with Coot and Moorhens often coming within inches of people.

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