Places to see birds

College Lake - Tring

College Lake - Tring
Mike Langham

We started early on a fine autumn morning with a forecast of heavy showers that fortunately did not materialise. This was our first group visit to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust reserve at College Lake near Tring. Our decision to press on despite high water levels in the lakes was soon vindicated with good views of migrating swallows and martins in the sky and snipe on the lakeside margins. Not far along the path from the splendid new visitor centre we were treated to a magnificent display by a kingfisher. It showed for several minutes as it dived into the water, returning to a perch with its catch. It's reflection in the water was so clear that sometimes it seemed that there were two birds present. Sky watching rewarded us with buzzard, hobby and a magnificent red kite. A pair of green woodpeckers, perched simultaneously on fence posts round the same field, gave us a splendid opportunity to compare adult and juvenile plumages. The mandarin (well spotted James) and a whinchat (with help from a local birder) provided our list with some unexpected and welcome rarities. This is definitely a site worth a return visit, perhaps later in the season for the winter visitors.

Peter Antram

Species list:

Cormorant, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Mandarin duck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted duck, Red kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed Gull,
Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Stock dove, Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Kingfisher, Green woodpecker, Great spotted woodpecker, Sand martin, Swallow, House Martin, Wren (heard), Dunnock, Robin, Whinchat, Blackbird, Song thrush, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.

Total 46 species seen, 1 heard.