Rostherne Mere 28.04.15

Cloudy and very breezy day with sunny spells

_MG_0173Despite an earlier shower of sleet and an unpromising weather forecast, an intrepid band of TT birdwatchers congregated in the car park of St Mary’s Church. From there John Hancock took the group on an informative and entertaining tour of this National Nature Reserve/SSSI/Ramsar site.

We started with a visit to the well maintained and organised A.W.Boyd Observatory, which afforded extensive views across the Mere. The cormorant roost on the north west side of the Mere (c.100 nests) was prominent, and we marvelled at the myriad of sand and house martins swooping over the near side of the Mere. Then we ambled along the eastward footpath which took us into the sloping woodland, where we were shown evidence of various management works including rhododendron clearance and sighted a number of our regular woodland friends. Onwards down to the reedbeds at the eastern edge of the Mere, we heard, but were frustrated by the non-appearance of sedge and reed warblers. A diversion along the wooded stream to the east revealed treecreepers, blackcaps and chiffchaffs. Back to the reedbeds, we were happy to see reed buntings and swallows and, out on the Mere, mute swans, great crested grebes, tufted ducks and mallards.

Continuing along the path into the woodland on the north side we were assailed with the strong scent of wild IMG_1384garlic and the carpet of new bluebells and even early purple orchids and beautiful views of the church across the Mere. Returning to the reedbeds, the warblers continued to frustrate us with their non-appearance, possibly due to the very vigorous (and chilly!) breeze. A quick diversion into the “YTS” hide revealed more views of the cormorant roost and better views of the tufted ducks. Then back into the sloping woodland where we were entertained by a songthrush and the tapping of a great spotted woodpecker.

Luncheon club members who lingered on for the afternoon were rewarded with sightings of a pair of bullfinches, a great spotted woodpecker, a pheasant, and a barn owl (albeit the latter was a captive in a local resident’s garden).

A beautiful spot well worth further visits at other times during the year! (SC)

Bird list (BP)

  1. Great Crested Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Mallard
  7. Tufted Duck
  8. Buzzard
  9. Coot
  10. Black-headed Gull
  11. Stock Dove
  12. Woodpigeon
  13. Sand Martin
  14. Swallow
  15. House Martin
  16. Blackbird
  17. Song Thrush
  18. Chiffchaff
  19. Blackcap
  20. Robin
  21. Long-tailed Tit
  22. Great Tit
  23. Blue Tit
  24. Treecreeper
  25. Magpie
  26. Carrion Crow
  27. House Sparrow
  28. Chaffinch
  29. Reed Bunting

Many thanks to Natural England and the site Warden, Rupert,  for allowing access, and to the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society for letting us enjoy the comfort of the A.W. Boyd Observatory. We are also, of course, extremely grateful to John for his initiative in organising the whole outing. 

Finally, thanks to Barbara for the day list and to Simon for his report.

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