Sunday, 20 November 2011

Wilstone Reservoir (19th November)

Only got out past 13:00pm so decided to make the trip to Wilstone Reservoir by train rather than cycle, to see the long staying Bewick's Swan family.


Fortunately on arriving I was glad to see that all 4 Bewick's Swans were still present in the western cut of pool.  They were feeding continuously and behaved very much like a family group by congregating closely together.  Other birds of note before the light dwindled were dozens of Mute Swans, the resident feral pair of Whooper Swans as well as the usual wide array of Wildfowl including 70 Greylag Geese, Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, 1Goldeneye, Mallard and Wigeon.  In addition only 1 Grey Heron was seen as were 6 Dunlin on the southern cut off pool accompanying only c.40 Golden Plover (a dramatic decrease since the 400+ early last week).  The Lapwing numbers have also experienced a decrease in numbers and now only 70+ Lapwing remain.  Unfortunately no bird of prey was seen, except for an earlier record of a Peregrine at early afternoon.  More Pheasants are now beginning to frequent the mud infront of the hide with 19+ Pheasants now present and feeding including (9, 10).  As the light faded towards 16:00pm Steve Rodwell, Graham and David Bilcock scanned the pre-roost Gull flocks that were passing through the reservoir, in the direction of College Lake form a westerly direction.  Unfortunately I missed the Mediterranean Gull that passed through that rested on the mud for 5 mins but I remained unaware as I was in the hide scanning the waders whilst Steve Rodwell and David Bilcock scanned from the car park area.  However I did note 4 Common Gulls amongst the 300+ Black-headed Gulls that passed through throughout the early evening.  The sight of 100+ Coot walking over the rocky bund at the center of the reservoir was an amusing sight, almost like a Coot invasion, with jostling and a little bit of pecking occurring as they flooded over into the southern pool.

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