Trip reports

Sunday 3rd October 2021 RSPB Middleton Lakes

Sunday 3rd October 2021 RSPB Middleton Lakes

Friday, 22 October 2021

A sunny and cloudy autumn morning with rain in the forecast for later in the day saw the club back at this large reserve for the first time since October 2017. In our absence a substantial footbridge had been constructed over the river Tame allowing access to Dosthill lake. This was extremely helpful as our most exciting sighting of the day was the Black-necked Grebe which has been seen on this lake for the past few weeks. When we reached this point in our partial tour of the site the bird was floating on the middle of the lake preening its plumage in the sunshine. Its bright red eye really shone through the telescope and its ear tufts were still faintly visible. The only other time I'd seen this bird it was amongst Little Grebes and spent more time under the water feeding than on top of it!

Other outstanding sightings included Nuthatches who had got used to finding seeds on bridge parapets and wooden posts along the woodland trails and took no notice of people going for a walk or sitting on a bench close by. We also were treated to some good views of Great White Egrets both in flight and stalking through the lakeside vegetation. Although becoming more common in recent years it is still a memorable experience to see them. We heard a number of Cetti Warblers in the dense vegetation which must be really something in the spring when they are in full voice.

Our total bird count was 44+: carrion crow, rook, raven, jackdaw, magpie, jay, blackbird, starling, robin, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, wren, dunnock, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, nuthatch, great-spotted woodpecker, pheasant, wood pigeon, stock dove, chiff chaff, cetti warbler, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, mute swan, coot, moorhen, Canada goose greylag goose, grey heron, great white egret, cormorant, lapwing, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, mallard, tufted duck, gadwall, teal, shoveler and wigeon. A kestrel was the only bird of prey spotted.