Saturday, 30 April 2011

RSPB trip to Fen Drayton Lakes

Just returned from an amazing trip the Hemel RSPB local bird group from Fen Drayton Lakes.  We arrived at the reserve well after 9 but still managed to pick up on a wide variety of birds.  The definite highlights were the number and variety of warblers and migrant birds.  Soon after arriving on the reserve 4 Reed Buntings were seen chasing each other through the field followed by 2 Shelduck, 1 Greylag Goose, 1 House Martin and Kestrel in hunting mode.  From the reserve car park we saw a pair of Marsh Harriers, dozens of Common Tern and Grey Herons.  We went on a long round walk from the car Park towards Drayton Lagoon were I saw 2 Green Woodpeckers, several individual Swallows, Blackcaps, Whitethroats and I glimpsed my first Hobby of the year.  The walk improved even more as we made our way towards Elney Lake 1 Cetti's Warbler exploded into a short burst of song before waiting another few minutes before repeating itself.  Along the bank the was continuous song from Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps interspersed with occasional bursts of song from a Wren.  My highlight of the day was along the ridge between Elney Lake and Springhill Lagoon were our guide(Neil) pointed out a singing Garden Warbler, which I soon got a brief stunning view of before it flew into cover cowering from the large audience of about 20+ birders.  Along the same hedgerow Neil picked out a singing Nightingale deep in the hedgerow, its gloopy song of warbles and thrush like repertoires was definitely another top birding moment of the day.  Willow Warblers were also singing along the same hedgerow, from were we also received amazing views of low fly over 2 Hobbies.


Moore Lake provided a few waders including several Lapwing and Ephraim found a Common Sandpiper.  The reserve is bisected into roughly two separate parts by a newly built bus road (which cost in excess of £180 million!), from here I saw 1 Buzzard circling high over the reserve closely tailing a Kestrel.  After a good break at the car park some of the group moved on to the River Great Ouse were I added Song Thrush to today's list.  We then back tracked a short distance to Ferry Pond, Ferry Mere and Ferry Lagoon were I received my first spectacularly close view of a singing Grasshopper Warbler in a small hawthorn scrub.  In the Ferry Mere Lagoon I pointed out 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 drake Pintail (which has remained in the area for three years due to a injured wing).  2 Teal were also found on the same lake 1 Cuckoo was calling behind the spit at ferry Lagoon and 1 Ringed Plover was also present at the border with the two lagoons.  2 Sedge Warblers were also in full song along the bank from which we were observing the lagoons.  1 Oystercatcher also turned up and as we left the reserve a Skylark flew out of the field near the entrance.  In all, and as always it was a great day birding with the group and I'm pleased to have reached 61 species throught the cause of the day.

My Day List (in order of sightings)
  • Chaffinch
  • Kestrel
  • Greylag Goose
  • Reed Bunting
  • Marsh Harrier (1 pair)
  • Mute Swan
  • Common Tern
  • Blackbird
  • Carrion Crow
  • Rook
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Grey Heron
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Cormorant
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • House Martin
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Swallow
  • Coot
  • Blackcap
  • Whitethroat
  • Hobby (4 seen together at car park)
  • Wren (heard)
  • Blue Tit
  • Cetti's Warbler (heard)
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Tufted Duck
  • Chiffchaff (heard)
  • Goldfinch
  • Jackdaw
  • Garden Warbler (2 seen, 2 heard)
  • Great Tit
  • Jay
  • Nightingale (heard)
  • Willow Warbler
  • Feral Pigeon
  • Woodpigeon
  • Canada Goose
  • Reed Bunting
  • Pheasant
  • Magpie
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Lapwing
  • Cuckoo (heard)
  • Redshank
  • Moorhen
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Buzzard
  • Shellduck
  • Starling
  • Song Thrush
  • Grasshopper Warbler
  • Ringed Plover
  • Black-tailed Godwit 3
  • Pintail
  • Teal
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Oystercatcher
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Skylark

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