Trip reports

Midweek walk along the Jublilee River from Dorney. Tuesday 12th October 2021

Midweek walk along the Jublilee River from Dorney. Tuesday 12th October 2021
The weir on the Jubilee River with the usual cormorants on the buoys. (Steve Williams)

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Weather. Bright, sunny and unseasonably, but pleasantly, warm.
The Jubilee River is a flood relief channel which was built to reduce the risk of flooding in Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton. It was designed to encourage wildlife with low lying islands and lots of reed beds and over the years that the group has visited the site the vegetation has become established.

Nine of us set off along the river and noted the usual water fowl including, great crested grebe, mallard, coot, moorhen and gadwall. The hedgerows along the path were very quiet with only robin and blue tit being seen. At this point we were joined by Anna and we crossed over the bridge to explore the inlets on other side. As reached the far side Ron shouted "water rail" and some of us caught a glimpse before it disappeared back into the reeds. We decided to wait for a while, and we were rewarded when it reappeared making its way along the edge of the reeds.

From the hill we saw a red kite and a hovering kestrel before making our way to the second bridge from which Ken spotted a kingfisher. It was very obliging and it stayed still long enough for us all to get a really good view. As we crossed the bridge some corvids flew overhead. I assumed they were crows but Nigel correctly spotted that they were rooks.

As we made our way further downstream towards the weir we were accompanied by a flock of, long-tailed tits. On the far bank was a grey heron and nearby a little grebe. At the weir there were lots of mostly black headed gulls and a line of cormorants sitting on the buoys. From there we made our way to the path by the Roundmoor ditch.

Over the years the habitat here has changed dramatically. Originally there was grassland on either side of the ditch. The eastern field was then flooded and a large pond formed which is now surrounded by reeds. On the western side there is now a large shallow pond and it is no longer possible to walk along the hedge to the road without wellingtons. The new pond was clearly attractive to water fowl. There were good numbers of Canada geese and teal as well as a few shelduck, wigeon and herring, gulls. Around the edge of the pond were pied wagtails and grey wagtails were flitting about too. In the hedge we could hear Cetti's warblers but as is often the case I did not spot one.

We then made our way back to the cars to conclude what had been a pleasant walk in good weather; much better than at Staines Moor last month.

Steve Williams