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Bird Song Walk: Report and Photo Gallery - March 6th 2014

The weather was not particularly favourable for the Spring Bird Song Walk, nevertheless 10 hardy souls turned up. The rain delayed the start of play and everyone retreated to the pavilion to enjoy one of Christine’s nice hot drinks and a tasty biscuit as we waited for the rain to stop. Our leader for the walk was Martin Singleton who is a Friend of the Wick Country Park and a Committee Member of the Wickford Wildlife Society. He was ably assisted by Stuart Fleming who has many years of bird watching experience behind him.

Once the rain cleared we set off from the pavilion and as we arrived at the picnic area we could hear the lovely song of a Robin who was perched high up in a nearby tree. We proceeded to the board-walk over the reed-bed where we stopped for a while listening to the birdsong all around us, which was mainly from Chaffinches, Blue Tits and a Blackcap. The Blackcap proved to be elusive to see. There was a warbler busy collecting nesting material and a debate took place as to what this was, the problem was solved when the distinctive call of the Chiff Chaff was heard. As we carried along the path, a Skylark flew overhead and disappeared whilst singing. A Woodpigeon was seen, as well as many Magpies. As we moved into the open area, it was quite windy which kept the smaller birds away. However, we did see a Lesser Black Backed Gull, and some ducks were spotted flying overhead; they were identified as Mallards. Just before we arrived at the bridge, we heard another Robin, which was perched on a branch, it flew off and a Great Tit took its place and started its distinctive call of teacher,teacher. At this point, two large dogs came charging by, and decided to take a swim in the brook. On approaching the lake we could see a number of Black Headed Gulls a couple of Canada Geese - a flock of 10 geese flew over too. On the far bank there was a solitary Grey Heron skulking about looking for food. Two Coots and a Moorhen were also seen at the lake. When we reached the far end of the lake a Herring Gull flew over, and as we carried on walking along the path we saw two Collared Doves. There was a shower at this point which thankfully only lasted a couple of minutes. Three House Sparrows were spotted flitting around in the trees, quite a few Goldfinches were also seen, and a further Blackcap was heard. A Crow decided to land on the top of the Kestrel box and as we walk past yet another Blackcap was heard. Whilst we tried to spot the Blackcap, a Green Woodpecker was heard yaffling. Martin went back and spotted the Woodpecker on the post that held the Kestrel box but unfortunately no one else saw it. As we passed the pillbox a Linnet was perched on the branch of a tree and a few more were seen flying overhead. A Greenfinch was also calling. We spotted a few Blackbirds and Starlings at various locations around the Park and one friendly Blackbird hopped along the path and seemed to be leading us back to the pavilion.

The final bird of the day was a Dunnock which was seen on the path to the Car Park.

Despite the poor weather conditions it was an enjoyable morning with 27 species of bird being seen and heard.

Marie Singleton, March 2014

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