Thursday 23 December 2021

Swanwick Nature Reserve

 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

Birds seen:

Mallard, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magipe, Carrion Crow

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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