Trip reports

Sunday 19th January 2020 Venus Pool

Sunday 19th January 2020 Venus Pool

Sunday, 19 January 2020

The weather combined with the closeness to home I thought would encourage more of the membership to get out and about so I was very surprised to see only 8 people turn up but at least one was not a regular attendee.
Ian, as usual, was there very early and was able to enjoy the sighting of a solitary bewick swan which had roosted on the pool amongst the mute swans overnight. It departed with them to feed in the fields before the group convened.
A good selection of birds was spotted on the two lakes, the bird feeders and strolling around the neighbouring fields although getting the birds not positioned between us and the winter sun along the hedgerows was a bit of a challenge. The water level in the pool was obviously high given the amount of rain this winter so there were fewer waders than sometimes and surprisingly very few geese; not one Canada to be seen!
Water birds included teal, mallard, wigeon, shoveler, shelduck, coot, moorhen, cormorant, mute swan, great crested grebe, gadwall, tufted duck, pochard, greylag goose and black-headed gull. Later in the morning we had a good close up view of snipe in the rushes at the water's edge in front of the main hide. Lapwing were the only other wader seen.
Walking round the fields we saw pheasant, carrion crow, jackdaw, linnet, yellowhammer, reed bunting, chaffinch, bullfinch, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, blackbird, song thrush, great tit, long-tailed tit, blue tit, robin, buzzard and sparrow hawk. Some barn owl pellets were collected from below the box in the large oak tree (photo included). Two of us returned to the car park separately and spotted two redpoll feeding on the tall seed heads at the edge of the field.
At the feeding station many birds already seen were encountered again darting out from the neighbouring bushes. In addition, dunnock and a water rail were seen skulking on the ground.
In all an enjoyable morning outing in the fresh air with about 39 species seen. We all departed for various Sunday lunch engagements having worked up a good appetite.