Trip reports

Holmethorpe - 15 October 2019

Holmethorpe - 15 October 2019
Buzzard by Steve Grayson

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Passengers of one car passed a kestrel on a post near the entrance gate. Mercers Lake was, as is often the case, quiet with coot, black-headed gulls and a crow enjoying one of the boats. The west bank provided flocks of tits and various common hedgerow birds such as woodpigeon, robin, and nuthatch. Holmethorpe lakes were busier with great crested and little grebe, teal, mallard, coot, gadwall, herring and black-headed gulls and cormorant. A highlight was good views of a kingfisher across the lake. The drainage ditch into the western lake had a number of birds working through the undergrowth, including dunnock and grey wagtail. There was no sign of the resident house martins, which have presumably already left for more exotic locations.
The water levels in the floods to the south east were high contributing to the lack of sightings of snipe, water rail or sandpipers. However we were able to add a small number of shovelers and watch moorhen families. Without a scope between us we were unable to examine all the distant ducks in detail.
A highlight of the walk back towards Mercers was the sight of at least six common buzzards circling at various heights, along with gulls, presumably consuming insects raised up by thermals. A green woodpecker shot through at high altitude some while after we had heard one calling in the marshes.
Throughout the day many dragonflies were seen, but generally too far away for our limited expertise to provide clear identification.
The leader made a quick circuit of Spynes Mere. The water level here was much lower providing dirt islands in addition to the usual proper islands, and were well populated by cormorants, Canada and greylag geese, and gulls and various ducks. One female wigeon preened itself across the far bank before swimming away.
Finally, note should be made of the number of interesting fungi seen throughout the day.
Overall the following 41 species seen during the day (in no particular order):
mute swan, greylag goose, Canada goose, gadwall, mallard, shoveler, teal, wigeon, tufted duck, buzzard, kestrel, coot, moorhen, lapwing, black-headed gull, herring gull, feral pigeon, woodpigeon, carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, nuthatch, robin, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, coal tit, dunnock, wren, grey wagtail, kingfisher, moorhen, goldfinch, chaffinch, house sparrow, blackbird, green woodpecker, chiffchaff, goldcrest, starling, ring-necked parakeet.

Based on a report by the leader Steve Grayson