Trip reports

Saturday 17th December 2016 - Swanbourne Lake and The Burgh

Saturday 17th December 2016 - Swanbourne Lake and The Burgh
Pheasant in the mist by John Birkett

Monday, 19 December 2016

Swanbourne Lake held a good mix of wildfowl although there were only two Mute Swans, along with Shelduck, Mallard (many of the Heinz 57 types), Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Pochard. There were many gulls, the most numerous of which were Common Gulls. Several Goldcrests were found as we walked round and there was a Chiffchaff calling near where we parked the car. A Grey Wagtail showed itself by the entrance before flying back over the lake. Several Jays and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen and we heard, rather than saw, at least three Bullfinches and we also had a Stock Dove 'singing'. I am still trying to work out how dangerous the local sheep are given the warning signs!
After crossing the road to head down to the river I found the hoped for Firecrest, a species that has become a regular on this trip. This leg of the outing yielded a Treecreeper and a couple of Mandarin with what appeared to be a Cetti's Warbler showing all too briefly in the reeds on the river bank. The fog had almost cleared at Arundel and it was reasonably warm when the sun showed through.
However, the fog was still there around the river and we certainly couldn't see The Burgh. On our way back to the cars a Song Thrush posed on a fence post of the WWT centre. I was lucky enough to see the Sparrowhawk being chased by Rooks while changing my boots.

We then drove up to Burpham and parked near the triangle at the top fields. There was fog on one side of us, but it was relatively clear on the other. I quickly found a couple of Red Kites quartering fields and then found the first of at least nine Grey Partridges. Others came up with a perched Buzzard and three Red-legged Partridges. Then the fog drifted back giving some atmospheric photo opportunities, but making birdwatching difficult!

We decided to head over to Coldwaltham and search for the Great Grey Shrike, with which we had no luck. We did, however, add some new species for the day in the form of c20 Linnets, Wigeon and a Stonechat. By now conditions for birdwatching were restricted by lack of light and more fog/mist.

We ended the day with a combined list of around 60 species.