Seventeen members met in the Visitors Centre at Hanningfield Reservoir. The weather was once again very kind to us; the sun was shining and it was a lovely morning to be out.
We enjoyed a cup of coffee in the Visitors Centre which looks out over the Reservoir. On the Reservoir we could see a large number of Tufted Ducks, Mallard and Canada Geese. On and around the feeders we spotted Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wood Pigeon and a Grey Squirrel
From the first hide we could see a large number of Tufted Ducks and Canada Geese and among them we spotted Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Greylag, Egyptian Geese and a number of Cormorant on a raft at the far side of the Reservoir. We were also delighted to see two male and one female Goosander, and one of our members was told by staff in the Visitors Centre that this was the first time in 30 years that Goosanders had been seen on Hanningfield Reservoir.
Walking to the next hide we spotted a lone bird sitting on a branch of a tree and had some difficulty identifying it. After a lot of discussion, and ruling other species out, we agreed it must be a Fieldfare although some of the markings were not typical of a Fieldfare. Also Fieldfares are usually seen in large flocks and it is very rare to see just one.
Also spotted in the woodland were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin and Blackbird.
On our way back to the Visitors Centre we were delighted to see Goldcrests flying from tree to tree. Goldcrests are Britain’s smallest bird and Hanningfield Reservoir is one of the places we go to where you are almost certain to see them.
After leaving the Centre four members stopped on the Causeway and were very fortunate to see two Bean Geese; also a solitary Goldeneye, five male and one female Goosander and a large number of Lapwing and Teal. Also in a field near the Reservoir two members saw Pink-footed Geese.
Altogether a very productive and enjoyable morning.
Birds: Blackbird, Robin, Goldcrest, Fieldfare, Blue, Great & Long Tailed Tits, Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goosander, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Pink-footed, Egyptian, Canada, Greylag & Bean Geese, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Redshank, Lapwing, Cormorant, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Other: Grey Squirrel
Next Meeting: 9 January 2019 – Maldon and Christmas lunch – details to follow