Tuesday 28 March 2023

Langford Lakes, Wiltshire

Male Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus

Monday 27 March

Travelling to Weston-Super-Mare from Southampton entailed a long stretch on the A36 towards and after Salisbury and, as the road travelled alongside the Langford Lakes just beyond Wilton, it would have seemed very remiss not to spend almost an hour checking out the bird life. So, arriving around 11 o'clock in the car park having just seen a Buzzard resting on top of a wooden post, it was on along the paths to check the various hides and lakes.

Immediately in front of the car was a small rookery in the bare trees and at least six individuals were at home whereas on the opposite side of the main track in the grassy meadow  couple of Magpies were foraging in the grass.  The bushes and track in front of me held a couple of Robin and a Blackbird was seen on the opposite side of the path. On the first lake a couple of Canada Geese and every following stretch of water was to produce more with eighteen on the final water.

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Moving along the first hide on the right produced, other than more Canada Geese, a pair of Mallard and eight Gadwall. Nothing different from the opposite hide other than a pair of passing Carrion Crows and a few distant Rooks. All around me singing Chiffchaffs and a very dominant Song Thrush.  Then, as I moved off, a couple of Chaffinch and nearby Cetti's Warbler, the latter both seen and heard.  In the trees ahead a Great Spotted Woodpecker was busy with its drumming.

Even breeding Canada Goose Branta canadensis

The next lake held a number of Tufted Duck plus a couple of Coot and a single Mute Swan, whereas the opposite lake on my left, in addition to more Canada Geese, produced a pair of Pintail.  Just about to move on and a single Cormorant appeared for a few seconds before moving on.

Pintail Anas acuta

So on to the last lake before the extensive meadow.  Approaching the last section of a track a stop to admire the male Reed Bunting posing atop the neighbouring small tree and then, once inside the last hide, very many Canada Geese plus at least three Snipe.

Three resting/sleeping Snipe Gallinago gallinago

The walk back produced both a Greenfinch and male Siskin and once aside the final filed before the car a resting Mistle Thrush.  Moving towards the exit to continue our journey westwards first a Woodpigeon moving above the trees then a cock Pheasant below same.  Over the adjacent river and a sight of three Jackdaws above the local houses.  Maybe just a fifty minute stop for the 24 species but lovely to see the Mistle Thrush and Snipe, never mind both Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Distant record shot of the Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Cormorant, Buzzard, Coot, Snipe, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin,  Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Siskin, Reed Bunting.

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