Trip reports

Ad Hoc Outing to Westport Lake 14 September 2017

Ad Hoc Outing to Westport Lake 14 September 2017
RSPB - black-necked grebe

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The walk started well when a kingfisher was seen briefly flying across the small lake. We all waited for more but were disappointed when only brief flight views were seen before the bird was hidden in the bushes overhanging the lake. The call of a raven attracted our attention when a single bird was calling from the trees opposite. After a while we gave up on seeing better views of the kingfisher and started walking around the main lake easily finding tufted ducks, mute swans, great-crested grebes and black-headed gulls before we found the reason for the trip - a beautiful juvenile black-necked grebe. We watched through our telescopes for several minutes as the bird dived under the water before re-surfacing. After about ten minutes we continued around the wooded nature area along the side of the lake. Earlier in the morning the leaders had filled the various receptacles with bird seed situated on the fence posts to attract woodland birds - the pigeons were very happy. While walking along the tree covered path we saw a pair of bullfinches, a female blackcap as well as blue and great tits. Robins and dunnocks were singing to establish their winter territories and in the small ponds amongst the trees and bushes moorhens and coot were feeding.
We left the woodland area to re-join the lake path and we were treated to some close up stunning views in bright sunlight of the black-necked grebe. Looking across the lake revealed large numbers of coot, herring gulls and more black-headed gulls and if you went close to the edge you were soon joined by mallards waiting to be fed!
Time was moving on and we had only walked along one side of the lake before we decided to turn for the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust café and another look for the kingfisher. This was a wise decision because no sooner had we reached the kingfisher spot when the heavens opened and we all made a quick exit for cover.
Leaders: Ian and Lydia Taylor

List of birds seen:
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)