On a bright but very cold day Paul led about a dozen hardy souls on a round trip to take in Grove Ferry and the various hides at Stodmarsh. As the sun warmed up, the paths of frozen mud and ice thawed and we were left traipsing through thick mud! Great fun, but exhausting!
But plenty of birds to see. Bob saw yellowhammers at the entrance to the reserve and a buzzard circled over the car park. On the way to the first hide Irene and Joan saw siskins and redpoll feeding in the alders. Clifford spotted an amazingly well camoflaged snipe in the woodland area. Much of the water around the hides was frozen but there was a good selection of ducks on the open water including pintail. And a shout from Ian alerted us all to a bittern flying over to land in the reed beds. Cetti’s were heard and little egrets and herons were around so perhaps the freezing winter has not been too hard on these species.
On the way to the mound Paul and Sam saw bearded reedling although others only heard them. From the mound there were large flocks of lapwings and Steve managed to spot greenwoodpecker along with stonechat in the surrounding fields.
Spring must be in the air as the Konic ponies were very frisky charging about, and a pair of marsh harriers displyed over the reeds.
But near the end of our visit we saw a delightful pair of little owls near the farm and to end the day a pair of bullfinches feeding in the bushes near the car park.
Overall we saw most of the birds you would expect to see, some 50 species in total.
Thanks Paul for a great day out!