Tices Meadow 16 April 2023

The threat of rain did not deter a good attendance at this local walk though recent downpours made a change of route necessary. The fun began in the car park with the sight of a pair of Egyptian Geese accompanying several small goslings. Then as a persistent song thrush sang noisily there came just once the call of a Cuckoo, the first of Spring for everyone. After crossing a waterlogged Aldershot Park the group kept to the north side of the Blackwater. Wrens were in good voice and a Chiffchaff bounced around in a close tree giving fine views. Soon Blackcaps appeared, males chasing each other and no doubt laying claim to territories. A Cetti’s Warbler made its presence felt, the first of four heard but not seen. Other sightings on the approach to the site included a Long-tailed Tit, two Buzzards drifting by, wheezing Greenfinches, a Jay and several House Sparrows. From the Tices Mound the water could be seen to be very high while the numbers of birds present was unusually low. Two Common Terns were perched on posts and a few Sand Martins and a single Barn Swallow hawked over the water. Waterfowl included a few each of Shovelers, Gadwall, Teal and Mallards and rather more Tufted Ducks. A visit to the reedbeds delivered the song but not the sight of two Reed Warblers, a Reed Bunting and two more Cetti’s Warblers while a Little Egret prowled the edge of the stream. The group’s departure was delayed by the news of a newly arrived Wheatear necessitating a return to the Mound for distant but most acceptable telescope views. The walk ended with a tally of 51 species.