SUTTON BINGHAM RESERVOIR
WEATHER: dull and overcast, very cold, light breeze. Temp 1-3C
This was a quick visit to Sutton Bingham reservoir to see if I could find Common Snipe, Peregrine Falcon and Little Owl, I got lucky with just one of the three.
I drove to the southern most part of the Reservoir which just stretches over the county border into Dorset and where the feeder stream flows in the main body of water. A public footpath from the road takes you across the feeder stream, through some riparian woodland to a place where you can view a small marshland where Common Snipe and sometimes Jack Snipe are found.
the riparian woodland at Cotton Bridge
In the woodland I heard and then located two Bullfinches, a pair, then I saw a few common woodland species such as Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Blue & Great Tits and Blackbird. I scanned the marshland without success, I couldn’t see any Snipe but I did find a few Mallards, five Mandarin Ducks and pair of Stonechats. Walking back through the woodland I found a pair of MARSH TITS, wow! That was nice, another new bird for my year list, they came pretty close to me but were too active for photographs.
the Ravens sitting where the Peregrine should have been
After spending a cold hour at Cotton Bridge I began to walk back up to the road, I heard Raven calling and I saw both Redwing and Fieldfare in the trees by the side of the road. I drove to the southern tip of the reservoir and parked by the entrance gate, for the next ½ hour I walked northward along the shoreline, I kept scanning the pylons for the Peregrine, it often perches there, but all I got was a pair of Ravens.
As I approached a cluster of mature oaks my target bird, the LITTLE OWL, flew from one tree to another, it perched in full view, I set the scope on it and reached for my phone, doh!!! Off went the owl, it flew over the road and away up the hill, I could not relocate it.
spring is in the air, this Black-headed Gull is changing into summer plumage
My last stop was on the causeway, I scoped the water near the distant dam, a flock of 50+ Wigeon sat on the water, I searched those for other species and found two Teal. On the grass behind them was a flock of Canada Geese, Other species seen from the causeway included: Grey Heron, Moorhen, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Black-headed & Herring Gull.
I was pleased with my little excursion which was followed by a 2-mile exercise walk through the village where I added Collared Dove, Starling, House Sparrow, whilst Nuthatch, Coal Tit & Great Spotted Woodpecker came to my garden feeders.