The latest from Witches Oak Water

Colin Baxter talks us through the latest sightings at Witches Oak Water.

Quite a nip in the air this morning, with a temperature of 2 degrees and the remains of a ground frost as I set off round the reserve. With clear skies and a warming sun, though, the day developed into as nice an early February morning as one could hope for. Plenty of birds around today, including a large group of visiting geese – about 45 Greylags accompanied by 18 Canadas. Many Cormorants and Grey Herons as well and a huge roost of Black-headed Gulls; perhaps as many as 250. A pair of Great-crested Grebes were beginning their elaborate courtship ritual. No sign, though, of the Smew and Goldeneye recently present. Bird counts were Mallard 29, Tufted Duck 85, Teal 74, Gadwall 2, Wigeon 16, Pochard 2, Coot 5, GC Grebe 3, Goosander 3 (1M+2F), Grey Heron 9, Cormorant 30, Black-headed Gull ~250, Buzzard 1, Carrion Crow 5, Blackbird 4, Redwing 2, Lapwing ~45, Blue Tit 1, Great Tit 4, Long-tailed Tit 2, Bullfinch 2, Pheasant 1, 2 Cetti’s warbler heard.