Trip reports

Gartmorn Dam Country Park and Nature Reserve

Long-tailed tit perched on branch
Long-tailed tit - RSPB Images

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Twelve Group members enjoyed a day walking around the water and surrounding woodland with good weather and light.

Despite contractor work being conducted by the outlet and sunken garden there were plenty of birds on the water and we saw wigeon, a number of goldeneye, mute swans, black-headed, common and herring gulls, mallard, a goosander, tufted ducks, a little grebe and a single great-crested grebe. We noticed two coots bobbing and posturing in an early courtship dance. Greylag and Canada geese were on the water and we heard a skein of pink-footed geese overhead. Cormorants and moorhens were seen on a spit off the central island. We saw robins, a number of bullfinches, wrens and blackbirds as we walked along.
Blue and great tits were seen and heard as we walked up a stream valley with great sightings of a mistle thrush, treecreeper and a grey wagtail. A couple of goldcrests were seen among some pine trees. Walking through mixed ash and alder woodland we spied a number of redwings and then a flock of siskin with a few goldfinches and then a single redpoll foraging in the grass.

We had lunch to the sound of a great-spotted woodpecker and added a song thrush to our tally. Walking through farmland we had wonderful views of two yellowhammers and a tree with a flock of fieldfares.
Walking back along the lochside we added a grey heron flying overhead, teal and a pied wagtail. A tree contained a mini-murmuration of starlings lead to speculation as to where they would roost. A few of us were lucky enough to hear the characteristic sound of a water rail. We finished the day viewing a flock of long-tailed tits. In all, a total of 50 species was seen or heard.

Margaret Harrison