Today I went for a walk, starting at Low Bradfield, round Agden Reservoir, past Damflask Reservoir, and back home through Loxley.
Agden Reservoir itself was a pleasant walk. Not too much to see on the water, bar a few Mallards, Canada Geese and Moorhens. The woods were full of the usual small species of birds, including a few tit flocks that included larger numbers of Coal Tits that usual. I also heard my first Curlews of the year. I was watching these for a while around the Agden Bog nature reserve, and became aware of a ludicrously tame Robin that decided to stand just behind me. I discovered why it was so unafraid of people – there was a recently topped up pile of bird food on a wall post, on which it posed so close that it could even be snapped by a compact digital camera.
Right at the end of the Reservoir, there was a Kestrel, sat hunched in a tree in plain sight.
Walking back through Low Bradfield, I then took the road down to Damflask Reservoir. The lack of interesting birds on Agden was made up for on Damflask straight away, as almost immediately there was a Great Crested Grebe resplendent in full summer plumage (photographed below, honest!), and a Cormorant drying its wings in characteristic fashion. In the adjoining woods, I also saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits, a Treecreeper and Goldcrests. I also caught sight of the Curlews I’d been hearing all morning, as a flock of circled above the water, crying out as they did so.
Walking back towards Loxley, I saw a flock of small, brown, streaky birds in a field that I’m not 100% sure enough to identify. They appeared to be bunting or finch-like, feeding on the ground, and panicking and flying back into a nearby tree every few minutes. My first thought was Linnets, though I didn’t see any that resembled summer males.
Down Loxley Road there was a large flock of Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Rooks, Magpies, Woodpigeons and Black-headed and Common Gulls feeding what appeared to be vegetables scattered around the fields for the sheep. There were also plenty of Mistle Thrushes around, and a few Song Thrushes too. I walked through Loxley and the adjoining footpaths, with a vain hope of spotting a Kingfisher or Dipper by the river, and then to Malin Bridge and hopped on a tram home.
I’ve not done this for a while, but here’s today’s full list…
Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Linnet(?), Long-tailed Tit, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Robin, Rook, Song Thrush, Starling, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wren