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Thursday, 17 March 2016

March trip to Cotswold Water Park

Luckily we booked great weather for this trip! We did a circular walk at the Western end of the Cotswold Water Park and we soon picked up some movement on the first lake which turned out to be a couple of cormorant busily diving.

We headed towards the main road, which is flanked by mature hedgerows, we were lucky enough to pick up a pair of bullfinch picking at the bursting buds, always a pleasure to see! We also managed brief views of goldcrest, song thrush and redwing in these well managed hedgerows. Shortly afterwards we managed much better views of the two thrushes as they foraged on the ground looking for worms.

We soon arrived at the next lakes where we saw about 40 red-crested pochard feeding and displaying. They are mostly paired up now, with the males busily diving and bringing weed to the females to eat. 

Male red crested pochard
We were also managed to see tufted duck, coot and mute swan here.

As we wandered on along the river Thames we saw a few more bullfinch, as well as goldfinch, chaffinch and  long-tailed tit busily feeding in and on the hedgerow bushes. Despite my best efforts we only heard the cetti’s warbler in the river-side vegetation!

On the next lake we saw little grebe, mallard, lesser black-backed gull and black-headed gull to add to our growing list.

Further along the river Thames on our left, we picked up another goldcrest feeding in ivy and a male great spotted woodpecker showing very well at the top of a tree. Through the trees we could see a pair of goldeneye, a pair of great crested grebe and several wigeon.

After a brief view of a stock dove and very briefly hearing a singing marsh tit, we crossed the Thames again and checked out a lake on our left where we were treated to the display of a pair of great crested grebe – fantastic!

On to another lake, this time we saw  a number of pochard, as well as cormorant and grey heron, precariously balancing in the trees. We continued to see more of the previously mentioned duck species, giving us opportunities to compare them to each other.

We were next distracted by a lovely treecreeper working its way up trees, then flying to the base of the next one.

As we worked our way back towards the car park we saw more redwing feeding, the next sighting was of bits of a signal crayfish left on the bank by a mammal, most likely an otter.

The last duck for our listen was a pair of gadwall.

A very enjoyable trip!

Please keep an eye out for brambling, lesser redpoll and siskin in and under your garden bird feeders!

Male brambling

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