The strong winds forecast for Friday put a kibosh on the planned location, so we went to the trusty standby instead. On the walk down the lane we kept our heads down into the wind, but Caroline spotted a Yellow Wagtail. The first hide added a pair of Great Crested Grebe, and a couple of antagonistic Little Grebe. The Great Crested Grebe gave a flypast, which is not something we encounter very often. Other birds included: some Pochard, Tufted duck and a single Common Sandpiper. A flock of 5 Wigeon flew in, and other dropped in or flew past as single individuals.
Great Crested Grebe
Little Grebe Chick
On the circuit round the edge of the reserve Elizabeth found a Migrant Hawker resting on some vegetation out of the strong winds. We went on to locate several more - all identical apart from one greener individual - a female? There were also a selection of Common and Ruddy Darters and 2 Damselflies. There were very few birds in the hedgerow, but plenty of Coots, Mute Swans and a small family of Little Grebes.
Migrant Hawker [female]
The next pool had plenty of Gadwall and several of the usual suspects. The long hedgerow was almost devoid of birds but we did find a Goldfinch flock, plus one other bird seen briefly. There has been a Redstart in the area which is a possibility, but in size a Willow Warbler would seem to be a better fit. 3 rather out of place birds were seen on a 'T' bar.
3 Brown Jobs on a 'T' bar
Weird, they are Snipe!
The final hide seemed less interesting at first, although by this time the light was a lot better. 3 Geese flew past and one of them turned out to be a Barnacle Goose. It landed near some Greylags where it commenced to have a good preen. Everyone got onto it eventually - the first we have seen for quite some time, although I'm sure it's wild credentials are suspect, to say the least. We couldn't find the Barnacle in the afternoon. However, there were lots of dragonflies in the sheltered section. The Migrant Hawkers were quite impressive, and then a Brown Hawker appeared - a massive dragonfly & very unusual during our classes. Luckily, it eventually posed long enough for everyone to get decent views.