Wandering at the Water Park

I had hoped to get out for a full day of birding today but with loads to be done at home I settled for a morning at the Water Park. The route today was along the Thames Path from Waterhay to the Reed Hide and screen and the back alongside Lake 68. First stop was Lake 82 where there were good numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard and Red-crested Pochard. Then it was fingers crossed that the goose flock was in the Waterhay field. It was and along with a couple of hundred Canada and forty or so Greylag were the three Pink-footed. Fortunately they were the nearest birds and they weren’t bothered when I stopped to take some pictures.

From here it was a case of following the Thames Path past some more pits until it meets back up with the river. It was pretty quiet along here with little on the water and not much more in the trees and fields.

Arriving at the Reed Hide I sat for a few minutes but apart from a small flock of Teal over the only birds seen were Mute Swan and Mallard along with corvids and pigeons. There was a lot more to be seen from the screen, from here there is a good view along lake 74 and it seemed that most of the wildfowl was at this end. Amongst the Tufties, Pochard and Wigeon were fourteen Goldeneye and a dozen Pintail. The Goldeneye were pretty active with lots of displaying and even some mating. Also seen from here were two of the hybrid Golden Merganser (Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser) which have been around the Park for two or three years. They are certainly interesting looking ducks. The walk back along the path by 68 was quiet as well. It is a big lake but there were less than twenty birds on the water. The highlights along here were a Great Spot and a couple of Bullfinches. Back at the car I was greeted as usual by the local Robin which, when I left the drivers door open while getting out of my wellies decided to fly into the car for a look around. In all I managed an okay forty-three species which got me three Wiltshire year-ticks.

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