Marbury Country Park (Witton Bridge) 09.02.16

Bright and sunny with plenty of blue sky – NO RAIN!!! – colder later

Team Tuesday arrived promptly at Witton Bridge car park eager to enjoy the welcoming winter sunshine. Such was our enthusiasm to get on the trail that our usual eagle-eyed perusal for car park birds rendered little more than a magpie or two. The path towards Haydn’s Pool was very muddy so heads were down to start with, but, as we entered the woodland, one alert TT member had us all looking at the striking colours of a jay, quickly followed by goldfinch and titmice high up in the sunlit treetops.

Arrival at the bridge gave us aerial displays from first, a grey heron, and then four buzzards enjoying the thermals. (Some members of TT were also soon enjoying their thermals to combat the cold wind coming through the screens at Haydn’s Pool.) A kestrel provided a backdrop to the waterfowl on the pool and teal, tufted ducks and gadwall were noted. Moving back into the woodland, two goldcrest were spotted at very close range and gave the team a few minutes of pure delight gazing at these busy birds, quickly followed by glimpses of robin and wren.

The walk along the path towards Neumann’s Flash was accompanied by a dunnock, and as we arrived at the hide the buzzards put on another show. With the sun still shining we noted great created grebe, black-headed and lesser black-backed gulls, and mute swans. Continuing round the flash, redwing were spotted on the grass through the trees, and on the water we saw more shovelers than mallard. Around 12.15 we lost the sunshine and the sudden drop in temperature was noted. With little to see at Ashton Flash except sheep, our arrival back at the car park could perhaps have been expected to have felt a little low key, but not for Team Tuesday with a morning’s birding behind us, the prospects of more birding next week and pancakes for tea! (HP)

Bird List (MH)

1. Great Crested Grebe
2. Cormorant
3. Grey heron
4. Mute swan
5. Mallard
6. Teal
7. Wigeon
8. Shoveler
9. Pochard
10. Tufted duck
11. Common buzzard
12. Kestrel
13. Coot
14. Black-headed gull
15. Lesser black backed gull
16. Herring gull
17. Woodpigeon
18. Goldcrest
19. Blackbird
20. Redwing
21. Long-tailed tit
22. Great tit
23. Blue tit
24. Nuthatch
25. Wren
26. Chaffinch
27. Goldfinch
28. Jay
29. Magpie
30. Carrion crow

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