This morning I lead a walk with the aim of finding fifty species of birds and hopefully having them seen by my fellow walkers. We were out for just over two hours and found just over fifty species, although some were only heard. Anyway the birds were roughly as follows:
From the Tern hide: black-headed gull - several, little grebe - one very close to the hide and others further out, cormorant - 50+ on the islands, mute swan - 50+ on the lake, house martin - 100s high over the trees, swift - 1 seen only by me unfortunately, stock dove - 1 flew down the lake and missed by some, coot - 500+ on the lake, Egyptian goose - 2 on the lake, tufted duck, great crested grebe, jackdaw - a few flying over, dunlin - 2 distantly through the telescope, swallow - 1 over, sand martin - 100s over the lake, chiffchaff a few on the banks of the car park, blackbird and robin in the car park. 18 species so far.
On the walk to the Lapwing hide: goldcrest - a few heard and one or two seen, blue tit- several, treecreeper - one in a sycamore along the Dockens Water path, wren - singing along the path, not seen, nuthatch - 2 chasing each other in the trees, jay - several noisily calling and seen briefly, green woodpecker - calling, also seen later, long-tailed tit - several at the turn to the Goosander hide, great tit - in the same flock as the long-tails, grey heron - 2 flying over as we approached the Lapwing hide, buzzard - 1 flying as we go to the Goosander hide, moorhen - 2 on the pond just behind the Lapwing hide, little egret - 1 on the same pond as the moorhens. 13 more species makes 31 species so far.
From the Lapwing hide: mallard - a few on the bank, greylag goose - 3 on the grass south of the hide, lesser black-backed gull - 1 on the shore in front of the hide, pochard - 2 diving with coot, wigeon - 9 way off across the lake, herring gull - 3 young ones on the middle of the lake, carrion crow - 1 landed on the shore by the hide. Another 7 species make 38.
We then walked to the Ivy North hide and on the way saw: coal tit - in the small pines near the car park, woodpigeon - over the lichen heath and hobby - 1 low over our heads just by the hide. Making 41 species in all.
From the Ivy North hide: green sandpiper - 3 just below the hide on the mud, shoveler - 3 feeding in the lake, gadwall - a few pairs on the lake, teal - 1 on the gravel bank east of the hide, magpie - 2 on the shore, Cetti's warbler - 1 called right beside the hide, but we could not see it. Up to 47 species now.
Heading back to the Centre we found: song thrush - 1 calling, but not seen, chaffinch - several on the feeders, greenfinch - a few on the feeders and collared dove - 3 on the feeders. Making a grand total of 51 species.
There were several other species about today which we missed on the walk, these included: kingfisher - from Ivy South hide, pied wagtail - all over the place, I don't know how we missed them! ringed plover - 1 juvenile on Ibsley Water first thing, Arctic tern - 1 juvenile before and after the walk but not on it, lapwing - a few on Ibsley Water, kestrel - 1 male over Ibsley, great spotted woodpecker - several, actually we did hear them on the walk, tree pipit - 1 flew over calling, great black-backed gull - 1 adult on Ibsley Water, dunnock - a few around the Centre and Woodland hide, blackcap - 1 near the Ivy North hide.