24 October 2005


Sunday dawned dry and bright so Lynda and I decided we would join the Derby Local RSPB Group for their guided walk at Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire. Two days running that I'd been out birding, things must be looking up! After a little over half an hour drive we met up with the rest of the group, 22 people in total.

The first thing that struck me, apart from the two low flying hot-air balloons, was the lack of water in the reservoir! The past few months must have been a lot drier than I'd thought - we really do need a lot of rain if our water supplies are to recover. Thankfully we didn't get any on Sunday!

The first part of the walk took us through a section of very old deciduous woodland that was somewhat lacking in bird life. I did hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker but that was about all. What it did hold was some interesting fungi, unfortunately many were damaged by people walking the paths or had been eaten by birds or animals, but I did get one or two decent photos.

At the end of the woodland we came out on to the banks of the reservoir. Here we saw Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Goldeneye, Teal, Mute Swan and 2 male Pintail. There were also around 100 Black-headed Gull roosting on the water's edge and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. A steady walk along the reservoir edge also gave views of Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Grey Heron. In the surrounding fields and hedgerows we also saw Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch and Robin.

The best find of the day for me was the huge fungi that were growing in long grass by the path. There was a group of four of the things - sorry don't know what they were called! - all over 12 inches across and standing almost as tall! I passed a good few minutes taking pictures of them!

We continued to the far end of the reservoir and another wooded area. Here there was a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. New birds for the day here included Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Linnet. Views over the water gave us a single female Goosander, 9 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 2 male Pochard and a further 3 male and 1 female Pintail. Nine Golden Plover flew overhead with around 200 Lapwing. By now it was just after 12:00pm and time to head back to the car. By the end of the walk we had seen a total of 40 species of birds. Not a bad count for a Sunday morning stroll.

On the way out, from the car park to the road, we stopped twice so I could take more photos of fungi!

No comments:

Post a Comment