On a fine sunny morning our first bird was a male Reed Bunting showing well and singing next to the café. Common Terns were flying gracefully over the water. We stopped to watch for Reed Warblers and with some patience managed to get reasonable if fleeting views. Swallows flew overhead from time to time. We could hear Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler singing but were not able to see them.
Emerging onto the heath a male Chaffinch was looking splendid in the sunshine from his vantage point. We then began to see Woodlarks and Stonechats as we walked through the heather towards Kings Ridge. A small party of Goldfinch and Linnet flew over and then perched for extended views. Most of the group saw a Dartford Warbler at this point as well. Up on the ridge things were fairly quiet but we paused to admire the views over towards the Great Pond as it was such a lovely day. A distant Buzzard circling high in the sky was a bonus bird.
We descended from the ridge back towards the pond and stopped to admire a beautiful male Dartford Warbler singing from a prominent perch and posing in the sunshine. As we did, we were also treated to a flypast from the Red Arrows – possibly a unique sighting for one of our walks.
Reaching the beach we were entertained by a Great Crested Grebe fishing in the shallow water close in and successfully catching one or two. A group of House Martins skimmed over the surface of the pond. Sadly we did not see any of the Redstarts or Spotted Flycatchers that used to be seen around the Warden’s house but with a total of 28 species seen and 6 heard it had been a very pleasant walk.