Saturday 4 March 2023

Swanwick Lakes Reserve and Immediate Area

Saturday 4 March

A late morning walk with Richard Osman around the wooded lakes of Swanwick Lakes Reserve close to the Hamble River at Bursledon.  Following our walk, we continued on to both the pools at Whiteley and then the "hidden" little nature spot in the grounds of the former Cold East Hospital, now developed as a private housing development.

Once footwear changed, we started by checking the feeding station and found no shortage of either Blue or Great Tits along with the occasional Coal Tit. Immediately behind us on the Centre Lake a lone Heron was taking a long rest whilst on the water itself a couple of Canada Geese, a quartet of Mallard and both a Coot and a Moorhen.

Heron Ardea cinerea

Making our way through the East Wood and New Hill to take a circular walk around Bens Lake we encountered both many Woodpigeons and Richard sighted the Carrion Crow flying over above us.  To our left we heard the first call of a Green Woodpecker and not so far further away the sharp, dull tapping of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  These lake trails produced many more Woodpigeons, Mallards and Canada Geese plus a further Coot and Moorhen. The first of a quartet of Robins was also noted.

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Our final trail took us up and around East Valley before dropping down behind the Visitors Centre.  Whilst on this final trail we found Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits plus more Woodpigeons and a pair of Carrion Crows. And once back at the feeding station the same tits were still feeding and the Heron continued its morning rest on a branch above the eastern end of the lake.

Departing the site we drove across to Whiteley for Richard to show me the beautifully crafted lakes surrounding the new business centre.  Here the resident pair of Mute Swans were already starting to prepare their nest site and many Mallards and Black-headed Gulls were also recorded.  No less then seven Magpies on the stretch that we walked along with a Pied Wagtail and Woodpigeons.

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrelli

The former Cold East Hospital has long since closed and the extensive grounds use to build some lovely private housing.  However, much of the wooded site still remains and hidden away at the back is a small lake and woodland trail. Just a couple of Mallards on the water but the nearby trail produced both Great and Blue Tits along wit Robins, Blackbirds and a Dunnock. And as we walked back to the car we were delighted to watch a Buzzard circling above us and giving good views of its underwing.

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Heron, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Rock Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow.

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