Monday, 27 March 2017

CWP Full day tour

Today saw us at the Cotswold Water Park for a full day tour.

Today started with all our common birds singing around every corner. Wrens, Robins, Dunnock, Blackdirds along with Song Thrush and Newly arrived Chiffchaffs.

At our first stop a fine male Goosander swan out from the bank given some very close views as is drifted across the lake.

Moving on down the footpath a Cetti's Warrbler belted out its short but unmistakable call, now is a good time to look for these birds before the undergrowth has to much green on them.

At our next stop both male and female Scaup were found mixed up with a few Tufted Duck also a few Red crested Pochards and Great Crested Grebe.

Moving on through a tree lined area both Green and Great spotted Wodpeckers were heard along with a brief view as they
 flew from the tree tops. Here we also heard our first Blackcap singing and found it at the top of a tall tree along with great views of a pair of Treecreppers chasing each other around.

At our next lake we found a group of 14 Goldeneye with several of the males displaying to the females by throwing their heads back and pointing to the sky with their bills.

Several cormorants could be seen roosting in the trees at our next lake with a few birds still fishing on the water, checking the sky a large group of Sand Martins drifted about hunting the many tiny insects out today. Also seen in the tree tops were a mixed group of Redwing and Fieldfare.

Heading for our lunch stop we added Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, Blue,Great and Long tailed Tits to our list.

Deciding to take our lunch at one of the parks hides we had one of those magical experiences that you do not get very often as two Otters played and chashed each other around in the water for a good 15 minutes giving some wonderful views, Wow what a lunch break.

After lunch we visited a different area of the park and checking the lakes found Pochard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Little Egret and a few Buzzards on the wing. We then found a small view point to check out a large quarry area and found an Oystercather sat on its nest along with a Green Sandpiper and 6 Curlew, Several Black headed Gull and Lesser Black backed Gulls were on the water also.

Other birds we found included Rook, Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow Goldfinch, Bullfinch and 4 Stock Dove flew by.

Another great day out in the countryside with undoubtably the highlight watching the Otters playing while having lunch. DT.


Hello Darren

It was a pleasure to meet you on Monday and thank you for showing me the best spots to watch birds and other wildlife in the Cotswold Water Park area. Your local knowledge was invaluable. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Red-crested Pochards (not a bird I see very often), but sitting eating our sandwiches whilst watching a pair of otters 'playing' in the lake in front of us was a real bonus. Clearly the area has so much to offer and Judy and I look forward to visiting it much more frequently in future.

Very best regards

Mike



Saturday, 11 March 2017

First signs of spring in the water park

Today saw us in the Water park for a morning visit.

Looking around some of the older lakes it was noticeable that a lot of the ducks had moved on with the temperature now on the rise.

Birds seen at our first stop include several Goldeneye along with Goosander, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard and a pair of Great Crested Grebes performing their elaborate courtship dance a joy to see at this time of year.

On our walk to our next stop we encountered several Song Thrush singing from the tree tops also lots of Robins, Wrens and Dunnock all looking at setting up thier territories ready for the breeding season.

Stopping near a small wooded area both Great spotted and Green Woodpecker where seen and heard with the Great spotted seen drumming on a dead tree.

Checking some of the Ivy covered trees we found a couple of tiny Goldcrest giving some close views as they flitted about catching tiny insects.

Our next lake seemed a bit quiet today with only a single Goosander showing close in, then a flash of blue shot passed us and flew across the lake one of two Kindfishers seen today.

Retracing our steps we found a single Redpoll along with several Reed Buntings and a couple of Bullfinches also several Chiffchaffs and a Cettis Warbler were heard calling.


Just before moving on from here we noticed a small brown animal moving on the track in front of us this turned out to be a Weasel and we watched it for a couple of minutes has it moved off down the path, Great to see these tiny mammals so close.

Scanning out over the largest lake we visited today we some found a fine male Scaup sitting in the sunshine on the far back, not that common in the water park and always a joy to see.

With a few bees out on the wing and a sighting of a Comma butterfly you can tell that spring is in the air.

Later in the day I checked a lake on my way home and found an Otter fishing out in the middle which I had some good views of as it dived down hunting for prey.

A great start to spring we are really looking forward to a wildlife packed time ahead. DT