Mere Sands Wood and Marshside 20.03.17

Sunshine and a brisk wind
The sun was shining, the birds were singing and Team Tuesday were in fine spirits after negotiating the tight confines of the car park and the free thinking of the car park payment machine. At the feeding station a pheasant on one bird table and a mallard on the other were an unexpected combination, but it wasn’t long before reed buntings took over the breakfast menu and Team Tuesday were off.
The lakes at Mere Sands Wood were created from sand extraction during the 1970s and a woodland path surrounding them, with diversions to various hides was the planned route for the morning. At Marshall Hide an “army of cormorants” guarded the far flank although two little egrets could be seen, with shoveler, teal and shelduck showing as well. Two greylags flew in to join the Canada geese, tufted ducks and little grebe.
Looking out to the fields from the woods two red-legged partridge were spotted with their exotic markings showing well in the sunlight and in Redwing Hide the light proved to our advantage again giving close views of shoveler. At Kingfisher Hide the star turn was a . . .kingfisher. In no hurry to disappear it showed off its fishing skills, banging the fish against a branch before swallowing it head first. Herring and black-headed gulls were also added to the list.
On through the trees keen eyes spotted treecreeper, sparrowhawk and a great spotted woodpecker and at Mere End a male goldeneye dived for food as did Team Tuesday as they headed towards lunch. Venues were split between al fresco picnics, car park comforts and Marshside Visitor Centre’s welcoming chairs.
Re-convening at Marshside, we were greeted with a warm and knowledgeable welcome and soon avocet, pintail, and black-tailed godwit were being admired against a chorus of black-headed gulls while a keen eyed member of the group picked out the Mediterranean gull from the crowd. Along the front near Nell’s Hide a small group of pink-feet caught our attention and from the hide itself curlew and snipe rounded off a fine day’s birding. (HP)

Bird List (MH)

Mere Sands Wood

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Shelduck
  4. Mallard
  5. Gadwall
  6. Shoveler
  7. Teal
  8. Tufted Duck
  9. Goldeneye
  10. Pheasant
  11. Red-legged Partridge
  12. Great crested Grebe
  13. Little Grebe
  14. Cormorant
  15. Little Egret
  16. Grey Heron
  17. Sparrowhawk
  18. Moorhen
  19. Coot
  20. Blacked-headed Gull
  21. Herring Gull
  22. Woodpiegeon
  23. Collared Dove
  24. Kingfisher
  25. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  26. Dunnock
  27. Robin
  28. Blackbird
  29. Long-tailed Tit
  30. Coal Tit
  31. Blue Tit
  32. Great Tit
  33. Treecreeper
  34. Jay
  35. Magpie
  36. Carrion Crow
  37. Jackdaw
  38. Chaffinch
  39. Goldfinch
  40. Bullfinch
  41. Reed Bunting

Marshside

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Canada Goose
  3. Greylag Goose
  4. Pink-footed Goose
  5. Shelduck
  6. Widgeon
  7. Mallard
  8. Gadwall
  9. Shoveler
  10. Pintail
  11. Teal
  12. Tufted Duck
  13. Pheasant
  14. Great Crested Grebe
  15. Little Grebe
  16. Little Egret
  17. Moorhen
  18. Coot
  19. Avocet
  20. Otstercatcher
  21. Lapwing
  22. Black-tailed Godwit
  23. Redshank
  24. Curlew
  25. Common Snipe
  26. Black-headed Gull
  27. Greater Black-backed Gull
  28. Mediterranean Gull
  29. Herring Gull
  30. Woodpigeon
  31. Skylark
  32. Starling
  33. Carrion Crow

(Photos DC)

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