Trip reports

Snow and Smew at Chasewater

Snow and Smew at Chasewater

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Our field trip took us on a circular trip around Chasewater. Setting out from Chasewater Heaths Station (and resisting the alluring aromas from the café), we took an anticlockwise route across the heathland, picking up Bullfinch and a flock of Redpoll within a few minutes. The heath also produced Meadow Pipit.

Although Slurry Pool was completely frozen over, Jeffrey's Swag and the north end of the main lake provided good views of Little Grebe, Goldeneye and a close encounter with a Kingfisher who flew directly over our heads!

Enjoying the clear blue sky, we continued around the lakeside path, spotting Pochard and Goosander. As we approached the Chasewater Innovation Centre, the drake Smew was close by, the striking black and white plumage highlighted in the bright sunshine. We celebrated seeing such a great bird with hot drinks in the visitor centre café.

Our return leg of the walk took us along the dam wall and added Shoveler to our list. In the woodland areas we had delightful views of a flock of Goldcrest busily foraging in the heather and at Fly Pool we were able to marvel at the beautiful plumage of a Gadwall just yards away from us.

Returning to the car park, we tallied 41 species from an excellent morning's birding right on our doorstep.