Rostherne Mere 02.05.17

Warm sunshine for most of the morning.

 Judicious parking in the small car park at Rostherne allowed 14 members of Team Tuesday to gather before the church bell rang at 10 o’clock. Rostherne Mere is one of Natural England’s National Nature Reserves supported by local volunteers and we were soon introduced to one of them, Steve, who was there to do some survey work on the reserve’s bird life.
Walking through the village, a buzzard flew low overhead and a robin stood on the outfield of the cricket pitch, while over the wall of the low lying church jackdaws and swallows looked for food. From the Observatory, mute swans lazily groomed themselves, two jays flew past, a great-crested grebe swam slowly back and forth and a cormorant or two took off from their nests. Reluctant to leave this peaceful scene, Team Tuesday were soon swept up in the views across the Mere and in the deep dense colour of the bluebells as the path led down through the woods to the field adjoining the reed beds but not before meeting up with Steve again who had seen a tawny owl nearby. With the help of Sheila another dedicated bird surveyor and despite concentrated searching it was thought the owl must have flown and attention turned to the reed and sedge warblers that provided a continual backdrop of sound to our walk.

Taking to the duckboard, birds were hard to spot but we were lucky to meet Malcolm a bird ringer who showed us a reed warbler just caught in the mist net, a bird that IMG_3058Malcolm had previously ringed and he told us that this tiny creature weighing less than 1/2 ounce had been to West Africa and back at least 4 times. Walking round to the woods the church tower was easily seen across the Mere so too was a greater-spotted woodpecker nearer to hand. The woods were full of wild flowers, ramson, early purple flowering orchids, wood anemone, pink campion, wood sorrel among them and a reed warbler finally showed itself above the reeds. Retracing our steps a chiffchaff and a blackcap sang while snatches of a whitethroat were heard.

What a satisfying morning it had been thanks to John and his Rostherne colleagues.(HP)
Bird List (MH)
  1. Mute swan
  2. Canada goose
  3. Mallard
  4. Tufted duck
  5. Pheasant
  6. Great-crested grebe
  7. Cormorant
  8. Grey heron
  9. Common buzzard
  10. Coot
  11. Black-headed gull
  12. Lesser black-backed gull
  13. Woodpigeon
  14. Great spotted woodpecker
  15. Swallow
  16. Wren
  17. Dunnock
  18. Robin
  19. Blackbird
  20. Mistle thrush
  21. Reed warbler
  22. Chiffchaff
  23. Long-tailed tit
  24. Blue tit
  25. Great tit
  26. Nuthatch
  27. Starling
  28. Jay
  29. Magpie
  30. Jackdaw
  31. Carrion crow
  32. House sparrow
  33. Goldfinch
  34. Reed bunting
  35. Blackcap – heard only
  36. Sedge warbler – heard only

Plus a few butterflies: large white, green veined white, orange tip, peacock, comma, speckled-wood; and a host of flowers including bluebells and an early purple orchid.

Photos CG & DC

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