Sixteen members met a cool and overcast morning. It was initially quiet birdwise around the visitors centre and the zig zag path. The new feeding station provided some interest with Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Greenfinch and Nuthatch. In Fattengates Courtyard a Blackcap was seen along with Chiffchaffs calling while a small flock of Long-tailed Tits flew over.
Making our way around to West Mead Hide we disturbed a Redshank from one of the new ponds and it flew around making its distinctive alarm call. Two Green Woodpeckers were displaying to each other on a fence post, which was interesting to watch.
Once in West Mead hide we were entertained by a couple of Snipe out in the open and around six Winchats in all actively flying around foraging. A couple of Greenshank appeared and there were quite a few Teal and some Mallard on the water. A Marsh Harrier took to the air as did a couple of Grey Heron. Moving to Winpenny Hide we saw a Green Sandpiper and had some closer views of a Greenshank. A couple of Chiffchaffs and a Whitethroat showed well close by in some blackberry bushes and a distant Wheatear was seen.
We saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker and some Goldfinches as we walked further round the trail. Moving round to Little Hanger and Nettley’s Hides and the viewpoints, the group had good views of Black Tailed Godwits, Avocets, Lapwings, Teal, Mallard, and Greylag and Canada geese out on the Brooks. At times small numbers of Swallows and House Martins were in the air. Kestrel were seen hovering from time to time and three Buzzards were evident, two perched on fence posts and one circling around high up in the air. Treecreepers and Goldcrests were spotted in the woodland.
On the return two Stoats were seen on the path by some of the group. The sun had finally come out and there were more butterflies out on the wing. By the end of the walk a total of fifty species of birds had been counted.