Trip reports

Trip to Paxton Pits 19th May 2018

Saturday, 19 May 2018

On the same day as the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in Windsor Castle we journeyed to Paxton Pits to hopefully see and hear the romantic nightingale. The weather was hot and stunningly beautiful all day and some of us were lucky enough to hear (but not see) not one, but two of these songsters for about 20 minutes . Their song was varied and the most melodious that I have ever heard. We were so privileged .

The reserve had several cuckoos in full song as they flew around and one landed in front of us on the top of a very tall tree . He sang energetically for about 10 minutes before he flew off .

At the Hayden Hide our photographers were able to take some lovely pictures of a great spotted woodpecker at the feeders . The blue and great tits also were colourful and delicate subjects for Geoff Mogg who came on his first trip with us following his success in last years photographic competition.

The Heronry Lake has three rafts on which were about a dozen nests of common terns which they shared with black headed gulls and although it was very noisy all seemed reasonably friendly. Several pairs of cormorants had built nests in the tall trees on the far side of the lake opposite the Hayden Hide but there was a dearth of grey herons. A few greylag and canada geese flew noisily over and a couple of common buzzards circled above the moorings on the River Ouse but the numbers of water birds seemed down compared to previous years. We sat by the river and had our picnic

On the lake apart from an odd moorhen and coot, were just a pair of gadwall, a few tufted duck, and some mallard - including a small family with 3 ducklings . Two mute swans, a great crested grebe, a moorhen and a coot were seen. Maybe there were others hidden away attending to family duties. The warblers were the most abundant with whitethroat, chiffchaff, blackcap, chaffinch and reed and sedge all around the reserve. Robins were everywhere and the crows included rook,carrion,magpie and jackdaw.Three swallows flew into the Visitor Centre and inspected the wooden rafters, maybe as possible nest sites before they flew off to perch on the telephone wires. The butterflies, damselflies, and dragonflies were everywhere feasting on the spring flowers. All told we had seen over 33 species of birds


Michael Doydge, Michael Howard, Anthea Lovatt, Geoffrey Mogg, David and Sue Jones, Diane Holliday, Ron and Marion King, Derek & Jill Griffin, Paul Green, John Frone, Gavin Hughes, Alan Corner

Report by Alan Corner