On Wednesday we visited a site on the edge of a massive urban conurbation. After yesterday's glorious sunshine, it was a bit disappointing to find another overcast and cool day. However, it was a relief to have lost the strong northerly winds we had endured a fortnight ago. The heavily overcast conditions didn't help the wildlife photography. However, an early sighting was a buck Roe Deer, which had been sleeping in long grass below us, but broke cover and was seen by all. Again, there were a proliferation of Linnets, plus Whitethroats, Reed Buntings and the usual suspects. The Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, and 2 Lesser Whitethroats were better hidden, although two of the latter did show during the course of the afternoon.
Roe Deer [buck]
There had been an influx of crows since out last visit. A Magpie was looking for nests in a hawthorn bush, while 20 crows or so lined up along a hedgerow. We looked for the Kingfisher along the drain book, but the construction work at the lock gates had probably frightened it off, so we failed to see it. Apparently, when I was searching for the Kingfisher down by the water a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead, and was enjoyed by my class.
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Record Shot of Common Whitethroat
Garden Escape of Cornflower Family
In the morning we saw or heard 35 species, which was a little down on last year, as in addition to the lack of Kingfisher, we also failed to see a Cuckoo, or hear a Grasshopper Warbler. During the afternoon some of the small birds were harder to see, but we were able to add a Little Egret & Yellowhammer - the latter could only be heard singing in the distance. There was a large number of Swifts and House Martins sweeping through the reserve with just a single Swallow. Although the weather could have been a lot better everyone was thoroughly satisfied with the amount of birds they had encountered on what at first glance seemed like an urban wilderness.