Trip reports

Group Ad Hoc Outing to Marbury Country Park 11 January 2018

Group Ad Hoc Outing to Marbury Country Park 11 January 2018
Hawfinch - Steve Seal

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The weather forecast for fog didn't materialise but it was a cool, damp morning with cloud cover that occasionally cleared for a few moments of blue sky.
Alan arrived early and we soon had a phone call telling us that he had found the three hawfinches in the area known as the Old Hall. We all made our way there from the car park via the facilities to find Alan with his telescope trained on a hawfinch. He was getting worried because now there were only two birds visible and we spent the next twenty minutes admiring them. In addition, we saw redwing and blackbirds working the leaf litter around the pick-nick tables and a treecreeper inspecting the tables for any little morsels of food. A male bullfinch made a quick appearance together with the usual blue and great tits in the understory of bushes with chaffinch and greenfinch in the trees with the hawfinch.

We moved on down to the screen hide by the Mere reedbed to search for the bittern but it was a bit early.If the bittern makes an appearance it's usually around dusk as it comes into the reedbed to roost. No luck after scanning the area but we did see several male and female goosander, great crested grebe, coot and tufted ducks on the water. The feeders in front of the hide were well stocked for the frequent visits of dunnock, reed bunting, nuthatch, great and blue tits. Despite searching the kingfisher was nowhere to be seen so we moved along the edge of the Mere to find a spot just past the boat house to look across at the gull roost.

The majority of the gulls were black-headed with common gulls standing sentry on the posts rising from the water where they were in competition with the resident cormorants. Two great black-backed gulls were standing on the shore edge with some mute swans and as we scanned back up into the fields we found a few lapwing and a large group of Canada geese. No curlew or oystercatchers were present today.

We walked along the water edge and back up into the woods to visit the other hide where we added coal tit and moorhen to the daily list. We continued through the woodland making our way around and back to the car park stopping to watch a kestrel hunting and goldfinches in the tree tops. Alas there was no sign of any woodpeckers, both great and lesser spotted so we will have to come back a little later in the season when they maybe a little noisier to help us find them. We saw thirty eight species during the visit and these are listed below.

great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo)
mute swan (Cygnus olor)
Canada goose (Branta Canadensis)
teal (Anas crecca)
mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
tufted duck (Aythya fuligula)
goosander (Mergus merganser)
kestrel (falco tinnunculus)
common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
coot (Fulica atra)
lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
great black-backed gull (Larus marinus)
common gull (Larus canus)
woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
dunnock (Prunella modularis)
song thrush (Turdus philomelos)
redwing (Turdua iliacus)
blackbird (Turdua merula)
robin (Erithicus rubecula)
coal tit (Periparus ater)
great tit (Periparus major)
blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)
jay (Garrulus glandarius)
magpie (Pica pica)
carrion crow (Corvus corone)
starling (Stumus vulgaris)
chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
greenfinch (Fringella Chloris)
goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)
reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Ian and Lydia Taylor, 13 January 2018