On a sunny, bright morning 9 members met in the Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre.
We enjoyed a cup of coffee in the Centre and watched Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Chaffinch on the feeders, and a Stock Dove, Robin, Coot, Moorhen and Magpie were also spotted.
We decided to go to the further hide first, which was a very good decision, as on the way we saw a very large number of ducks grazing in a field. With the aid of binoculars we identified them as Wigeons, and on closer examination we agreed that there must be at least 600. We stood watching them for some time until they took off, flew over our heads, and landed on the Reservoir. We all agreed that we had never seen so many at one time and this was one of the highlights of our day.
The water level was very low (the lowest we had ever seen it) and not having a telescope identification was not easy. From one of the further hides we only saw one wader (a Godwit), 2 Mute Swans, Greylags, Mallard, Little Egret, Teal and Gadwall, and from the other, in addition to the above, Golden Eye, Tufted Duck, Great Black-backed Gull and a Grey Heron. Also a Muntjac Deer was seen.
In the woodlands several Squirrels were seen, also Robin, Blackbird, Jay, and a few unidentified birds which we thought could be Brambling and Goldcrest.
From the next hide we could see the very large flock of Wigeons seen earlier, along with a lone Shelduck, Cormorants, and Little Grebe.
We all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable morning – the weather couldn’t have been better, sunny, no wind, warm for the time of year and it was a real pleasure strolling through the woodlands.
3 members went home and the remaining 6 of us went back to the Visitors Centre to eat our lunch, while once again watching the birds on the feeders.
Birds seen: Sparrow, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Mallard, Crow, Canada Goose, Robin, Stock Dove, Blackbird, Magpie, Teal, Gadwall, Mute Swan, Godwit, Greylag, Little Egret, Golden Eye, Tufted Duck, Gt. Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Cormorant, Little Grebe, Jay.
Other: Muntjac Deer, Squirrel
Next Meeting: 11 January 2017 – Blue House Farm – meet in Car Park at 10 a.m.
Lunch in the Ferry Boat Inn at 12.30.
(please let Diane or myself know if you will be coming to the lunch as we will need to book early in January)