Trip reports

Visit to Marbury Country Park

Male green woodpecker feeding on ground

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Heavy rain & also a trundling heavy load made the journey down the M6 one to forget. On arriving at the car park at Marbury Country Park 8 members were sheltering from the steady rain. We decided to chance our luck & started to walk across the parkland towards the wooded area. Nuthatches were heard & seen in numbers, a Jay was flying from the bushes & probing the ground (looking for last seasons acorns??). Chiffchaff heard & seen in treetop (a 2nd was seen later), Long Tailed Tits flitting about in the trees. along with Chaffinch & Goldfinch. By this time several Treecreepers had been seen, including one very close. Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard drumming & eventually a couple were seen. Green Woodpecker heard yaffling. Song Thrush & Blackbird seen.
A gap thro the trees allowed a view of the mere & numbers of Sand Martins & lesser numbers of Swallows were seen hawking over the mere. Jackdaws & Woodpigeons in numbers seen in the tops of the trees.
By this time we were feeling cold & damp & the chances of seeing the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker seemed to be diminishing fast, but a ranger was met, who asked if we were looking for the elusive bird & when we said we were, he very kindly took us to where a pair had been seen. As we arrived at the spot, some members very briefly saw the female flying away. After approx 10/15 minutes the male arrived & straight away began to excavate a hole in a tree by the side of the path, giving us mesmerised members a brilliant view of this elusive woodpecker. The bird was watched for a minimum of 20mins as its body seemed to dissapear into the hole (a magical moment). Thanks to the warden in the red jacket. (Sod's Law - due to the weather I had left my camera in the car boot).

After lunch (the weather by now had cleared a little) we went to the bird hide overlooking the mere. Wildfowl were very quiet - a few Mallard, several Great Crested Grebes (including one pair displaying); Grey Herons perched in a tree; Shelduck & Canada Geese on the far shore, along with a Buzzard in a Willow tree (showing well before flying away); Coot & Moorhen showed, as well as Black Headed Gulls.

The feeding station had several Blue/Great Tits along with Coal Tit, Wren,Dunnocks, Reed Buntings (2m), Blackcap heard (but not seen). Also several Grey Squirrels in attendance. As we left and began the journey home the weather also improved, but it was worth getting wet, for that moment when the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker made it's appearance.

SPECIES SEEN: Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Swallow, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Jay, Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

Apologies for any omissions. JW Bateman (Group Leader)