Burton Wetlands 24.11.15

Overcast, heavy showers, but a few sunny intervals (and rainbows!)

Despite the unfavourable weather forecast, a group of about 16 hardy – or should it be ‘foolhardy’? – members of TT decided to brave the elements and gather at Burton RSPB reserve. From the welcome warmth of the reception building, the group was immediately treated to the sight of a marsh harrier hawking across the reeds searching for prey. This alone made the journey through drizzle and motorway spray seem worthwhile – so, feeling more enthusiastic the group turned their attention to the murky view across the water where dozens of teal, widgeon and black-tailed godwit dominated the scene. Having added lapwing, shoveler, greylag goose and snipe to the list, it was decided to move on to the Marsh Covert hide for lunch, before heading out to the further reaches of the reserve. A few members of the group decided to walk the longer route around the fishery pools and were rewarded by views of not just one, but two kingfishers.

On reaching the hide it was obvious that lunch was to be the highlight here, as the few visible birds were in the far distance – but at least a kestrel agreed that it was lunchtime, hovering, then swooping onto a poor unsuspecting mouse just in front of one of the windows. Lunch over, the walk to the next hide was tackled, despite intermittent drizzle and blustery winds. Along the way a flock of redwings were DSCN6306.jpgspotted in a field, linnets(?) flew overhead, and a couple of lesser redpolls were noted by some sharp-eyed members. In front of the old Inner Marsh Farm hide a pair of stonechat flitted amongst the reeds and a pair of redshank flew in briefly to be added to the list, as the sun illuminated the scene turning the reeds from a dull grey to a rich golden hue.

Indeed the sun now seemed more inviting and as the shelter was left, a green woodpecker yaffled above and a bullfinch sat posing in a tree. A walk to take in marshside views was soon curtailed, however, as the weather closed in once more, but passing through the grazing ground of a flock of sheep we caught sight of a veritable vollery of pied wagtails and several starlings, enjoying the churned up mud. Back to the reception building, a few decided to complete a full tour of the site by visiting the feeders near the barn to find flocks of greenfinch and gold finch, leaving more weary-footed TT members in the warmth, where a kingfisher obliged and posed on a branch. Satisfied with a good day in bracing air, it was time for TT to return home. (MH)

Bird List (BP)

  1. Grey Heron
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Shelduck
  5. Wigeon
  6. Teal
  7. Mallard
  8. Shoveler
  9. Tufted Duck
  10. Marsh Harrier
  11. Buzzard
  12. Kestrel
  13. Pheasant
  14. Moorhen
  15. Coot
  16. Lapwing
  17. Dunlin
  18. Snipe
  19. Black-tailed Godwit
  20. Curlew (heard)
  21. Redshank
  22. Black-headed Gull
  23. Common Gull
  24. Wood Pigeon
  25. Collared Dove
  26. Kingfisher
  27. Green Woodpecker
  28. Pied Wagtail
  29. Robin
  30. Stonechat
  31. Blackbird
  32. Redwing
  33. Great Tit
  34. Blue Tit
  35. Magpie
  36. Jackdaw
  37. Carrion Crow
  38. Starling
  39. Chaffinch
  40. Greenfinch
  41. Goldfinch
  42. Linnet
  43. Lesser Redpoll
  44. Bullfinch
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