Tuesday 17 November 2015

A weather-filled Cotswold Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park is fast becoming the place to be! Another trip today and is often the case when asked if they've been there before, people say 'well, I've driven through'past it'.

The great news is more people are now going there and finding how great it is.

Today's trip was a little different to others recently, due to the impending arrival of Storm Barney the trip was split into two halves, with a walk to start with, then heading to an area with hides to shelter from the forecast rain.

The first part had us walking along tracks with mature hedges and ranker areas of vegetation, perfect for a number of bird species to feed in and on.

We were soon looking at some lesser redpoll busily feeding on rosebay willowherb plants. They were soon joined by a charm of goldfinch. Other birds seen feeding along this stretch included redwing, robin, dunnock, blackbird, song thrush and chaffinch.

We soon reached our first lake where there were a pair of red crested pochard, the male was diving to gather weed and bringing it to the surface for the female to eat.

Male red crested pochard
We carried on to the next lake where we saw a variety of waterfowl including wigeon, gadwall, mallard, coot, moorhen and mute swan. A few cormorant were resting on some rocks drying their wings. A little egret was flying along the lake, no doubt looking for a sheltered fishing spot.

We even managed three types of grebe, with great crested, little and red-necked all being seen.

There were lots of smaller birds moving along the hedgerows ahead of us still, we saw a number of long-tailed tits with great tit, blue tit, as well as a few goldcrest and an elusive treecreeper.  At one point we had a flock of at least eight bullfinch busily feeding on rosehips.

Female bullfinch
 The ever vigilant long-tailed tits warned us to the presence of a sparrowhawk passing overhead.

On to our second site, where had a number of kingfisher fly-bys and managed to track him down a couple of times sat fishing on the far side of the lake.

On a bird table we were lucky enough to get great views of a male bullfinch, a coal tit and a male reed bunting.

Male reed bunting 

 In the bushes nearby we had excellent views of a goldcrest picking away at food items. A great trip! (NA)

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