Trip reports

Mid-week Walk at Moor Green Lakes

Mid-week Walk at Moor Green Lakes
Little Grebe by Peter Hambrook

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Weather: Mainly overcast but dry and very mild with a moderate SW wind. 13C - Eight of us managed to escape the Christmas shopping for a few hours and enjoyed a productive morning checking out the lakes here. Even before getting more than a few steps from the car park we had tits visiting the feeders and a nuthatch calling from a nearby tall tree before flying overhead. The horse field right next to the car park is usually good for thrushes and today held a song thrush and 12 redwings as well as the usual blackbirds. Also seen briefly by some was a male bullfinch, while a green woodpecker was heard.

Moving on down the path so that we could view the first of the lakes, Colebrook Lake North, we found good numbers of lapwing, along with the usual tufties, plus a grey heron and a little egret, several teal and shovelers, a great crested grebe, a few pochard and gadwall and, always nice to see, a male goldeneye that was busy fishing. A stop at the feeders gave us only great and blue tits but proceeding to Colebrook Lake South we immediately connected with our target bird for the visit, two male and a female goosander, that later gave us fairly close views (by goosander standards). With the pressure off we could relax a bit, so when another birder mentioned a redpoll along the path past the New Workings we decided to visit that area next. We didn't find the redpoll but came across a feeding flock of tits that included long-tailed, a close grey wagtail sat on a twig just above the fast-flowing river and distantly we saw two red kites, while closer were two hunting kestrels. Although the open water held little of interest except a little grebe, beyond, on the grassy area, were the resident barnacle goose flock, some 26 strong, with a strange looking goose tagging along that obviously had some farmyard origins in its genes, while a small flock of Canada geese also joined the throng.

Heading back east along the river we passed close by the goosanders, albeit screened by trees, before encountering a few goldcrests, a jay and a brief sighting of a great spotted woodpecker. As we passed a strangely quiet Grove Lake, with just a couple of little egrets of note, Graham spotted a lesser redpoll feeding in an alder and we soon realised that this was part of a flock containing 50-60 goldfinches and perhaps 15 siskins as well as a few more redpolls and we spent some time sorting through them as they fed in the branches above us.

Final stop before walking back to the cars was along the path that gives a rather obstructed view of Horseshoe Lake, where we could see black-headed, common and herring gulls plus a few cormorants. A brief stop at the feeders on the way back provided a male reed bunting to round off an excellent morning with just over fifty species recorded between us.

Peter Hambrook