26th of March 2013.

Swift Valley Nature Reserve (WWT).

Species seen 27.

Taking a lunch break today I dropped in on my local reserve for a brief hour to (a) see what was around and (b) take a break

from work! There is nothing better than taking time out when things get a little too busy workwise?

Upon parking there were a number of people walking their dogs along the disused canal, so as usual my course was the opposite direction, so I headed for the river swift bridge to explore the river bank area. I quickly made contact with a handsome Buzzard, which has been sitting in the same tree during most visits. Back towards the copse and feeders area were Blue, Great, Willow and Long Tailed Tits. A Nuthatch dropped in on the feeders for a short while, but didn't stay long enough for any shots! There were also Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin and Song Thrush all enjoying the food falling from the feeders. The canal’s wooded area had numerous Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Magpie.

Out in the open meadow were Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow plus a small flock of Starlings went over. A single Kestrel flew over and hovered a short while before heading off towards the hotel.

Taking a short walk along the fence overlooking the pool area, I sighted the following, Mute Swan, Teal, Widgeon, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Grey Heron, Gadwall, Moorhen, Coot and Canada Geese. The hedges had more Long Tailed Tit and a Wren was making quite a racket calling from within.

While walking along the hedgerow my eye caught sight of a small bird flitting in and out of the hedges, upon a closer look with my binoculars I ticked my first Chiffchaff for the reserve and a sure sign that it’s not long before more spring migrants will arrive?

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