Trip reports

Mid-week Walk at Moor Green Lakes on 9th February 2017

Mid-week Walk at Moor Green Lakes on 9th February 2017
Peter Hambrook

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cold and overcast but dry and calm. 4C
A small but select band attended this walk on an uninvitingly grey day. As usual, the car park feeders were busy with tits, robins, dunnocks and goldfinches and two of us missed out on a couple of siskins that didn't hang around. The nearby pony field held several redwings, song thrushes and blackbirds but no fieldfares.
Colebrook Lake North was fairly quiet in terms of quantity but a scan revealed teal, wigeon and a shelduck amongst the more common fare. Almost 150 lapwings occupied the main nesting island along with a few cormorants and an Egyptian goose. Moving down to the feeders enabled us to add reed bunting and nuthatch to the list, while scanning Colebrook Lake South from the viewing screen added pochard, little grebe and great crested grebe, plus an interesting hybrid, spotted by Ron, that appeared to be a pochard-x-ferruginous duck mix.
Turning left at the river, we headed towards Grove Lake. Small birds were unusually absent along the path, with only wren, goldcrest and long-tailed tit of note, although several groups of small finches flew over, remaining unidentified in the gloomy conditions. A great spotted woodpecker was heard 'chipping' but not seen. Grove Lake had more of the same plus significant numbers of shovelers, many of which were engaged in their group feeding technique, turning around and stirring up the water with their feet to disturb prey items. We then spotted a female goosander by the far bank which was soon joined by four males, while a little egret flew into the reed bed.
A scan of Horseshoe Lake revealed little of note except a few common gulls but we disturbed a green woodpecker in the rough grass beside the path, while a kestrel and a grey heron flew over.
The return to the cars was uneventful but the goosanders had moved to Colebrook Lake North, which would have saved us a walk had they done so earlier. All in all it was a quiet day but we were fortunate that it proved to be a dry one, given the horrible damp sleety conditions the next two days produced.
PETER HAMBROOK