A sunny start to the day, and some excellent birds too.
The Crows and Magpies had a feast by the car park this morning; some bread, grapes and digestive biscuits. The sounds of Reed Warblers were coming from the reeds to the left, but they were pretty difficult to see.
On towards the north lake, and my first Garden Warbler of the year here, was calling from the bushes along from the footbridge.
Over by the pub, a Mallard had quite a few ducklings,
and close by a couple of Greylag were keeping a watchful eye on their goslings.
A few Common Terns were flying over the water, and a couple took a quick break.
On towards where the Cetti's Warbler hangs out, but he wasn't so co-operative today.
A shame, because some pictures in the sun would have been nice. Another time, maybe.
I did see a juvenile Robin, looking very grown up, as he flitted through the trees.
Quite a few Reed Warblers calling from the reeds, a few House Sparrows feeding, which was good to see, and some Reed Buntings around too.
Up towards the wall of the dam, and a few more ducklings swimming close to mum.
Towards the weir, I was hoping to see a Whitethroat; a favourite spot over the last couple of years.
No sign today, but as I got by the gully, I did hear, and see, a Sedge Warbler belting out his song.
A little while ago, there was a Mallard that had her ducklings stuck in the gully. They were swimming aimlessly up and down, as she frantically called out to them. This of course attracted the attention of one of the Grey Herons, that thought he'd have an easy lunch. She did an amazing job of seeing him off a couple of times while I was there.
When I returned a couple of days later, the Mallard family were gone from the gully. Had they managed to escape using the new ramp? I'd like to think so.
Well, today, a Mallard, with coincidentally five ducklings, was swimming happily in the lake, not far from the gully.
Further round the corner, something caught my eye, feeding along the shore line.
A Common Sandpiper.
To my knowledge, they have bred here before, and as I saw two this morning, then there's a good chance they may breed here again.
Past the pub, and on towards the south lake.
By now, a few boats were out on the lake, and a few more people walking and jogging too, enjoying the good weather.
As I passed under the road bridge, I could hear a familiar 'screaming' sound.
Up above, a group of Swifts were wheeling around overhead, and began to descend, skimming over the water. A great sight and sound. The first I've seen here this year; a bit later than past years, but only by a few days.
Down to the footbridge, and another chance to hopefully see a Whitethroat. A good spot, in the brambles and bushes by the footbridge. I was in luck. Difficult to see, but at least one Whitethroat there; possibly two. An equally hard to see was another singing Garden Warbler, a Wren in a tree, and a much easier Dunnock, that posed for a while.
Down to the far end, and something I noticed ............. the sparcity, compared to last year, of the Cuckoo flower, or Lady's Smock.
A few growing here, but nothing like past numbers. Last year the area was covered with them. Maybe the flooding has taken its toll on them?
Something else that was short on visible numbers, despite the sun, was butterflies.
I only saw the one.
After feeding the Robin, I made my way past the rowing club. A Song Thrush was having a last minute sing song, before settling down to forage for some food.
More Common Terns were swooping over the water, and at least a dozen Swifts too.
Past the houses, and as I neared the car park, a quick look at some mushrooms growing under some trees.
No idea what they are.
The Sedge Warblers were still calling from the reeds, as I got into the car.
Full list of today's sightings
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Total species 33