Trip reports

Visit to Mere Sands Wood

Adult male siskin on feeder

Sunday, 18 November 2007

On a dank and dismally cold morning, 10 members of the group met in the car park of the nature reserve. First thing was to gather in the reception centre (a) to warm up & (b) plan a course of action. It was decided first to visit the Lancaster hide where the first bird seen was a Water Rail, giving good views as it scampered in & out of the reeds. Also seen either in the reeds or on the ground were Treesparrows & Dunnocks feeding on the remains of spilt seed, while a Reed Bunting flitted through.
On the meres, several Mallards were noted along with numbers of Teal. A Little Grebe was also seen.

Outside the hide in a feeding station area a Song Thrush was noted, along with several Blackbirds, further Treesparrows, along with Blue/Great/Coal Tits & Greenfinches and also a couple of Bullfinches.
Visits to further hides produced the following birds on the meres:- Goosanders (m/f), Cormorants, Wood Duck, Pintails, Shovelers, Wigeon, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Goldeneye, along with Coot & Moorhen, Grey Heron, & a Great Crested Grebe, as well as further sightings of previously seen birds.

The woods, as we walked through them to the various hides, were sombre & quiet with very little movement,although we did see the following, if only in brief glimpses:-
Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Chaffinches, Long Tailed Tits, Jay, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskins - a small active group flitting about. Overhead were Jackdaws, Crow, Pinkfeet were observed. Rooks were noted in the fields, along with Starlings.

A second feeding station produced futher sightings of Treesparrows and also a second Great Spotted Woodpecker and a rather plump Woodpigeon. Unfortunatley we missed the star bird, which was a Bittern that had recently taken up residence. I believe as we left the hide it flew across the mere - the joys of birdwatching! Some you see, some you don't.

Although the weather was cold with poor visibility, at least we stayed dry, which given the forecast, surprised me.

Species seen by some or all of the group:-
Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Pink Footed Goose, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Wood Duck, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Starling, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.

Apologies for any omissions. J.W. Bateman Leader.