Moor Green Lakes 4 December 2021

Seven members met on a bright but cold morning. The car park feeders held blue and great tits and goldfinches. Two red kites soared over us looking resplendent in the sunlight while a few redwings flew past. The paddock though was unusually quiet. We headed down the side of Colebrook Lake but the low sun prevented proper scanning until we reached the first viewpoint. Then we quickly identified several waterfowl species including wigeon, shovelers, tufted ducks and gadwall in good numbers as well as a few mallard and pochards. Coots were ubiquitous while with the exception of a pied wagtail the sole occupants of the main island were a dozen loafing cormorants. Particularly noticeable was the absence of any waders especially the lapwings that are normally a fixture on the site. The water on the pools to the west of the path was exceptionally high and we were able to see only black-headed gulls there. After a brief but unproductive reconnaissance west along the river we retraced our steps and headed east. As the view of Grove Lake opened out we spotted some goosanders, five drakes and a single female, showing their finery in the excellent light; at points they took to the air offering fresh opportunities for photographs. Meanwhile a speeding kingfisher streaked past. Across the lake a buzzard briefly appeared and a couple of grey herons maintained their stately stance. On our return we detoured over the bridge to the lake south of the river. There was a limited number of birds on the water but a treecreeper and a nuthatch offered a glimpse for some of us. Back at the car park we added a song thrush and a jackdaw together with a probable great spotted woodpecker to our sightings. Overall we had the impression that the site was much less populated than normal but the final list species still totalled 38.

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