Moor Green Lakes 14 October 2023

Thirteen of us met in the car park on  what turned out to be the first chilly morning of the autumn.  The bird feeders had been removed from the car park and so it was very quiet waiting to start the walk.  The paddock was similarly empty of any birdlife.  As soon as we were underway however, we began to see mixed flocks of Blue Tit, great Tit and Long Tailed Tit busily feeding in the trees.  Approaching the lakes there was a mixture of Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Teal, numerous Coot and a single Moorhen out on the water and the islands.  Two Mute swans with six fully grown cygnets could be seen.

Turning onto the path beside the Blackwater river to the new workings the recently constructed pathways could be observed, which will eventually be a real addition to the reserve.  The various pools along this path contained a Common Sandpiper and a mixture of Black headed Gulls, Canada Geese, Egyptian Geese and Lapwing.  There were four Little Grebe here all diving continuously.  Eventually we managed to pick out a Snipe and a group of Pochard as well. 

More small birds were observed moving through the trees by the path and amongst the Blue Tits were a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest.  A Nuthatch could be heard but frustrated us by keeping out of view.  Moving further along to Finch Pond and Finch Field the group of Barnacle Geese were grazing in the grass.  A single Stonechat was observed and there was a Kestrel perched in a dead tree.  As we were watching it a Red Kite appeared and landed in the same tree affording splendid views and creating some panic amongst the nearby Woodpigeons. 
Retracing our steps the Kestrel could be seen being mobbed by some Carrion Crows.  A group of Skylark could be heard and were seen flying over.  A grey Wagtail was then spotted showing off it’s yellow colouration in a puddle by the path. After a quick coffee break the walk towards Grove Lake was very quiet and did not add any new bird species to our list.  Having found the right tree that the Tawny Owls have been seen roosting in, we quickly established that they were not at home on this occasion. By the time we returned to the car park the sunshine was providing welcome warmth.  We were very content with a total of 40 species seen and 3 heard for the morning.


Moor Green Lakes 3 December 2022

A group of nine set off in cold and overcast weather but were soon watching a green woodpecker flying from a silver birch into a field to feed and back to the tree. The first lake we visited was full of ducks, including pochard, wigeon, gadwall, and goosander. A flyover glossy ibis was seen by two of the group. Little egret, great egret, and grey heron were all flying around the lake.

We then headed out in the direction where the glossy ibis had frequently been seen in recent weeks but without luck. At the far end of the walk, we found a green sandpiper. feeding actively along the muddy edge of a lake. 

On our way back at another lake, we saw a group of four male and four female goosanders. Walking back to the field near the car park. We were treated to the amazing sight of five species of thrush, song, mistle, redwing, fieldfare, and blackbird. One of the group optimistically hoped for a ring ouzel! 

Back at the car park we had seen a total of 48 species, but quickly picked up nuthatch, treecreeper, and great spotted woodpecker to take our total over 50 species on a most enjoyable morning walk.

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.

Moor Green Lakes

In chilly weather compensated by excellent light that enhanced the lovely scenery of the site six members embarked on the first Covid-era walk since the last one in March, also at Moor Green Lakes. The car park feeders were full of great and blue tits with the odd chaffinch barely having a look-in. Nuthatches were calling and a couple of wrens sang. Two Egyptian geese were the sole occupants of the paddocks. As we approached the lake a goldcrest flitted across the path while scanning of the water produced sightings of tufted ducks, coots and the first of the 150+ wigeons that we were to see. A handful of lapwings on the island were joined by another thirty as we watched. Distant gadwall, shovelers and a single pochard were spotted and then we were able to admire a female goldeneye quite close as she dived. From the viewpoint six wintering goosanders including two drakes came into view while a red kite sailed above us and soon seemed omnipresent throughout the morning. At the junction we first headed east along the river and quickly picked up some great crested grebes, mute swans, grey herons and a little egret by the water while four fieldfares flew over us. A few siskins appeared briefly in willows and we finally spotted some goldfinches.

Heading back on the west path we heard some long-tailed tits well before we could spot them. Then we found a large feeding flock of lesser redpolls on alders with a single redwing overflying them. A stonechat was a surprise sighting while a little grebe seemed asleep in the reeds. It was a splendid morning of birding that produced a final sightings count of a satisfying fifty species topped off by a roe deer.