Thornham Lane and Great Deep - 21 March 2022

Leader David Hart

  Twenty eager members and prospective members met David at the Thornham Lane car park anticipating a splendid morning’s walk. The sun was shining though there was still a cool breeze.  We were not disappointed. Before we set off, we were regaled by the very loud song of a Wren and then a Cetti’s warbler exploded into song.

  As we crossed the road a Buzzard and Kestrel were spotted and as we walked along the track a Greenfinch was heard singing.  One was spotted a little later as it was calling but it was rather hidden in a bush so not everyone had a good view.  Blackbird, Dunnock, Chaffinch and Robin were added and then a Chiffchaff burst into song and gave great views as it perched on a bare branch.  Spring was surely here!  

  We then passed a Grey heron perched at the back of a mini heronry and as we looked back from the top of the wall we could see a pair of Herons with one sitting tight on its nest.  Looking over the mud several waders could be seen including Redshank, Greenshank, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Curlew.  Various gulls were present including some noisy Mediterranean gulls and a Coot was swimming between the moorings.

  Overlooking Little Deep a Dabchick (Little grebe) was spotted and another was heard whinnying from the reeds.  A Mallard nest was also seen, near the track, with sitting duck and drake in attendance.  Tufted duck were swimming further out.

  Great Deep yielded a large number of species including two beautiful Great crested grebes in their breeding finery, several more Dabchicks, an elegant pair of Pintail, a pair of Gadwall, several Shelduck and a group of Wigeon feeding on the grass.  Further out 7 Cattle egrets were spotted with a Peewit (Lapwing) nearby and also some noisy Canada geese.

  On reaching the reed beds again one lucky member was able to spot 3 Bearded tits (Reedlings) as they flew across his field of view as he was looking at something else!  Sadly, nobody else saw any or even heard them.

  We looked for butterflies but did not see any until we were almost back at the car park when a Peacock put in an appearance and 2 others were seen but in silhouette and not identified.  We thought the wind had been too cold until midday when it had definitely warmed up.

  Alexanders was flowering along the route and in the car park.  Cherry plum blossom was almost over and was giving way to Blackthorn which was beginning to decorate the hedgerows.  Gorse was flowering everywhere giving a wonderful bright yellow colour to the landscape.  Several bumblebees were seen, mostly Queen Buff-tailed.

  Our thanks to David for a really lovely walk which produced 47 species of bird as follows: 
Cetti’s warbler                                               Wren   
Buzzard                                                          Kestrel
Magpie                                                           Blackbird
Dunnock                                                         Chaffinch
Greenfinch                                                      Carrion crow
Collared dove                                                  Grey heron
Herring gull                                                     Black-headed gull
Common gull                                                   Mediterranean gull
Chiffchaff                                                         Robin
Dark-bellied brent goose                                  Little egret
Oystercatcher                                                 Redshank
Greenshank                                                    Turnstone
Curlew                                                            Little grebe
Great-crested grebe                                        Moorhen

Coot                                                               Mute swan
Tufted duck                                                     Mallard
Teal                                                                Pintail
Gadwall                                                          Wigeon
Cormorant                                                      Lapwing
Bearded reedling                                             Skylark
Shelduck                                                         Canada goose
Cattle egret                                                     Red-legged partridge
Meadow pipit                                                 Pheasant    
Greylag goose        

Philippa Arnott

Thornham Lane March 2022
Little Egret and its reflection

Thornham Lane March 2022
Great Crested Grebe

Heron. Thornham Lane March 2022

group. Thornham Lane March 2022
Watching ....


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