Sunday, 2 February 2014

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust :: 1 February 2014

With 'her indoors' off playing in a tennis match (which they won), I decided to slope off and try out a couple of sites I hadn't visited before. The first was Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) Calvert Jubilee. Cold and windy, with a threat of a shower I soon found one of the two hides listed on the Trust's website. Quite a few coot on the water and cormorant on the floating rafts, but not much else. The pair of little grebes made the visit to the hide slightly more rewarding - great to watch them hard at work.

On the outside perimeter, a couple of red kite cruised over, presumably spreading out from the A41. Having read about woodcock being flushed from the ground around the hide, I ventured out around the squelchy ground to the scrub area between the lake and the road. A vocal green woodpecker was really the only species of note, although both redwing and fieldfare passed over. Time for a change.

Through Grendon Underwood to BBOWT Upper Ray Meadows. Access was slightly daunting due to the water filled pot-holes on the lane - perhaps a lowered car suspension wasn't the best option. Blue titThe wind seemed to have picked up and felt to have more of a bite. A mixed flock of fieldfare, redwing and starling in the field behind the car park had raised the interest of a peregrine falcon; beautiful in the late sunlight. The hides yielded little, just common garden birds. Worth returning later in the month when some of the visiting waders settle back in.

All in all it was a pleasant couple of hours and now I know the sites, I'll be back.

Sightings (22) included: coot, moorhen, cormorant, tufted duck, great crested grebe, little grebe, red kite, black headed gull, carrion crow, magpie, blackbird, rook, blue tit, great tit, fieldfare, green woodpecker, lesser black backed gull, woodpigeon, goldfinch, redwing, starling and peregrine falcon.

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