Tuesday 21 December
I needed to get out and away form the computer so took a very short drive to Bursledon and the Hamble river before turning inland to find the small Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve. Already early afternoon and not too good a light as well as being cold, I found a delightful steep-sided valley with a trio of small fishing ponds at the bottom in addition to that at the entrance. Set in deciduous woodland this is potentially a very good site for future visits and is regarded as holding a few Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. About two miles of paths in total and plenty of resting points.
|The sleepy Heron Ardea cinerea hiding in the shade
However, on this occasion very few birds to be seen; mainly Robins and Blackbirds with the ever present Carrion Crows and the occasional passing Wood Pigeon. The entrance lake held a resting Heron which was still present almost an hour later when I finished my walk covering most of the paths. Also on the water both a couple of Mallard and a Coot.
|"Christmas card" Robin Erithacus rubecula
Circumnavigating Bens and Toms Lakes I found more Mallards, Moorhen and a second Heron. Then, at the top of the hill, I was in time to see the disappearing Green Woodpecker but no chance of getting the camera out to take a photograph. It was in this area that I found the obliging Grey Squirrel and once back at the car park, Heron still present, I was able to observe the feeding Blue and Great Tits. Overhead a passing Black-headed Gull and a couple of Magpies to finish the stay.
|The relaxed Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Mallard, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magipe, Carrion Crow