Monday 30 January 2017

Two Winter tours at The Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park.

With the weather not looking good we started out at one of the smaller reserves within the park, giving us an option to dive into one of the hides if the rain became to persistent.

There were lots of small birds around the feeders with Reed Buntings, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, both Blue and Great Tit along with a single Chiffchaff chasing insects.

Just before leaving the hide with the weather improving a Kingfisher landed in the tree just yards from the hide giving a brief but very close view always good to see at close range.

Walking around the lakes a pair of Goosander were fishing on the water along with a couple of Cormorants, as we walked around a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen flying in the treetops and the yaffaling call of a Green Woodpecker was heard in the distance.

A final quick look from the hide found a Roe Deer and a Fox on the middle island.

After lunch we explored a different area with several groups of Redwing and Fieldfare being seen along with Blackbird and Song Thrush.

Out on the water several duck species were seen including Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler,  Wigeon, Goldeneye along with several Great Crested Grebe.

On the walk back a Sparrowhawk flew overhead at close range and checking out the evergreen trees we found a couple of tiny Goldcrest feeding on the very outside of the tree, again giving some wonderful views which we watched for about ten minutes as they went about their feeding totally oblivious of us standing there this was the best views we have had of this tiny bird.

With the weather not great today we still saw some wonderful wildlife with our guests highlight being the tiny Goldcrest at such close range.

It just goes to show that you should not be put of by the weather we still managed 45 species of bird and a couple of mammals. DT.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

More people than birds on CWP Walk!

One of the things we do that we don't always talk about is helping to promote the Cotswold Water Park (CWP) to a wider audience.

This usually takes the form of leading walks for the Cotswold Water Park Trust. These are for anybody to turn up on the day, there's a small charge by the CWP Trust but that's it. We vary the target species and the one on last weekend was for wintering birds.

Its a good job we both went as there were 45 of us on the walk!

We saw a great selection of waterfowl, including many goosander, the males looking resplendent in the winter sunshine. On one lake there 141 red-crested pochard, which is around one quarter of the UK population!

Male goosander

A lovely male bullfinch sat hardly ten metres from us eating berries from a bush.

The best however was kept to last with five smew seen on the same lake - including a fantastic male, certainly my favourite duck and its hard to disagree when you get a good view of him!

Two male and a female smew from a previous visit