Trip reports

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve
rsbp images

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve is 40 acres of mixed habitat based around disused gravel workings. It is owned by Thames Water Utilities who lease it to the volunteer members of the Maple Lodge Conservation Society. Maple Lodge has many hides, two lakes and they have created a wildflower meadow.

After our recent indoor meeting of a very informative talk and excellent photos from Steve Carter about Maple Lodge, we visited this private Nature Reserve with great expectations and we were not disappointed. The weather had now improved and was much warmer.

Our party of 24, split into two groups and a friendly competition was on to see how many birds each group could find. The various hides produced good views of teal, gadwall, tufted duck and little grebe. We all enjoyed seeing six Egyptian geese along with greylag and Canada geese. Ring-necked parakeet had been seen but from the hide at the Clubhouse one was perched on a feeder for quite a while and was a delight for any photographers with their cameras.

However the highlight was definitely the treecreeper who was nesting close by the Clubhouse. We all had wonderful views of watching it come and go and then disappearing down a crack in a fence, presumably to its nest. Although there was only one more bird spotted between the groups, 43/44, between us we spotted 50 species so a good day was enjoyed by all.

Our thanks go to Steve Carter and Keith Pursall for their help in showing us around.

List of birds

Blackbird, blackcap, bullfinch, reed bunting, buzzard, chaffinch, coot, cormorant, carrion crow, collared dove, stock dove, dunnock, gadwall, goldcrest, goldfinch, Canada geese, Egyptian geese, greylag, great crested grebe, little grebe, greenfinch, black-headed gull, grey heron, jackdaw, jay, magpie, mallard, house martin, moorhen, ring-necked parakeet, pochard, red kite, lesser redpoll, robin, shoveler, sparrowhawk, swallow, mute swan, teal, song thrush, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, treecreeper, tufted duck, pied wagtail, willow warbler, great spotted woodpecker, woodpigeon and wren. We heard chiffchaff and green woodpecker. We also saw our first peacock butterfly.