Witches Oak Water sightings by Vic Bevan

Low water levels and a great white egret seen at Witches Oak.

My first full survey of the birds on the reserve for 2019 (having been out of the country during January). Conditions were good, sunny and still, with water levels relatively low (for winter). Waterbird numbers remained low, is this as a result of.a relatively mild winter so far? A Great White Egret was on Lake 12, a location it seems to favour, and 2 male Smew were together with a redhead on Lake 8. A reserve record of 26 Snipe were counted along the reed fringes of Lake 11. 7 Goosander was also a good count. A fox and 2 Grey Squirrels were the only non-avian species seen. Full counts were 2 Little Grebe, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 15 Cormorant, 1 Great White Egret, 7 Grey Heron, 2 Greylag and 40 Canada Goose, 2 Shelduck, 75 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall, 42 Teal, 45 Mallard, 8 Shoveler, 6 Pochard, 161 Tufted Duck, 17 Goldeneye, 3 Smew, 7 Goosander, 1 Water Rail, 2 Moorhen, 41 Coot, 60 Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper, 26 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 120 Black-headed Gull, 6 Common and 3 Herring Gulls. 21 Bullfinch and 5 Cetti’s Warblers were good counts. 51 species in total.