two adult Mediterranean Gulls on the bank of the lake
The same area also had 1 Buzzard (perched in a dead tree over the neighbouring farmland), 1 Little Egret, 2 Red-legged Partridges and 4 Linnets.
♂ Hooded Merganser in the small gully to the left of the path soon after coming onto the reserve.
Of course the debate is open to whether it is escape or genuine. However, there is a strong possibility that it could be wild (presumably it was the same bird seen in Weymouth earlier in the year), the markings were almost perfect and to be honest, genuine or escape it is a fantastic duck. On the way back to the centre 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard and 2 Pheasants were also nearby. From the reserve entrance we made the small journey to the other end of the reserve by car and arrived by the Church Graveyard, this led onto wide expansive mudflats and this was evidently a magnet for the birds. The most obvious of all were the 40+Oysercatcher, 3Turnstone, 12+Ringed Plover and 2 Black-tailed Godwit (both in summer plumage). Other common Waders included 12s of Curlew, 15+ Dunlin (+12s more around the rest of the reserve). Other highlight were 53+ Turnstone and 2 flocks of 16 and 20 Dark-bellied Brent geese respectively, 2 more individuals were also feeding separately closer to the western spit.
2 more individuals were also seen seperatly feeding on the seaweed. 2 Little Egrets were also in the salt-marshes and 1 Chiffchaff was singing form within the churchyard. 2 Pheasants were also bordering the reserve (1♂,1♀), the rest of the walk up to the spit that was once the old sea wall included 1 Linnet, 2 Skylarks and 3 Wheatear, a good early spring find which had probably just made the exhausting journey from Africa (I didn't manage to tell which sex they were but most likely ♀).
beach at Church Norton
Numerous Cormorants were also perched along the entrance to the Distributary) and 1 Grey Heron flew over. Other ducks seen at the reserve included Teal and Wigeon. This relatively tame Pheasant and Reed Bunting were also feeding underneath the reserve feeders.
male Reed Bunting
Lastly on our second visit to the reserve centre I rushed of again to have a third encounter with the Hooded Merganser and I manage to take some better photos.
male Hooded Merganser
having a good old stretch
earlier in the day it made a short flight to the pool in front of the nature reserve
this was taken later in the evening when the light was fading and was becoming less active
After today's frantic birding a relaxing car journey back home was a luxury (not to mention the additional siting of 1 Kestrel and 1 Red-legged Partridge (just outside the reserve).