Trip reports

Coach trip to Welney, 14th May 2016.

Coach trip to Welney, 14th May 2016.
Whooper swans by Ben Hall (

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Welney was a new venue for many of us on the trip so we were all looking forward to finding out what they had to offer. We were all greeted warmly by the friendly and helpful volunteers who guided us through the entrance into a very well appointed visitor's centre.

After a quick look around it was out onto the first floor terrace to scan the horizon over Lady Fen and check the bird feeders below. There were the usual suspects of tufted duck, shelduck and coot and the bird feeders were hosting goldcrests. A few of the group went off on their own, but the majority of the group moved off with Andrew Peel to explore the wetlands.

From the visitor's centre we walked over the bridge to the main observatory and settled down to scan the main lagoon and canals from where we saw common tern nesting, whooper swans, a little egret, shoveler, redshank and plenty of avocet, some on their nests. The swifts, house martins and swallows were doing their aerial tricks right in front of us! What a treat!

We moved on along the path toward the Reedbed Hide and stopped for a few minutes trying to see the Cetti's warbler that we could hear, but it decided not to show itself. On to the Reedbed Hide we went. This hide gave us a slightly different view of the Ouse washes and the birds we had been watching before and a lucky few of us also saw a reed bunting.

Heading back down the pathway again, the Cetti's was teasing us, it kept warbling a few notes and stopping, so we stood and waited. Those with sharp eyes and quick reactions saw a little brown bird that could well have been the culprit! While there a friendly robin was busy flitting from bush to bush and down onto the path, giving everyone a smile.

Back we went to the main observatory and enjoyed the views from a very comfortable hide! Once again the aerial acrobats were swooping right in front of us. On one of the islands there was a pied wagtail, redshank were doing what they do best wading and feeding and in the distance greylag geese could be seen.

Time to check the other hides. We stopped at the Nelson-Lyle Hide where we had lunch while watching out for anything new. Then we moved on to Lyle Hide for a while and as we came out we stopped and waited again as another Cetti's treated us to short bursts of song, but never showed although one lucky member managed to get a lovely site of him at the top of the tree a bit earlier. Maybe it was because he was on his own at the time. Two linnet flew over giving us the signal to move on.

The last hide. Friends Hide, proved to be full of surprises. Here we saw buzzard, grey heron, a common sandpiper, three black tailed godwits and even oystercatchers. There were little ringed plovers and ringed plovers giving excellent views through the scopes and it was a great opportunity for everyone to see the bright yellow eye ring which distinguishes the little ringed plover from the ringed plover.

To round off the day, back at the cafe from one of the windows we could watch a mother coot with her two chicks on the nest with father coot busy bringing food for the little ones.

Also seen through the day... a stoat, two fox cubs, an orange tip and small white, 7-spot ladybird and a white-tailed bumble bee!

Altogether a wonderful day's bird watching!