Thursday, 11 April 2013

Session 1 - Fieldtrip to Pennington Flash - 11th April 2013

The first of our summer term fieldtrips was to Pennington Flash on a wet and windy day. After meeting on the main car park we set off for Horrocks' Hide where the highlights were a Little Ringed Plover and at least five Snipe giving great views out in the open for a change.  Other birds here included Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, a single Heron, Teal, Redshank, Black-headed Gulls and quite a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls roosting at the end of the Spit.

After 20 minutes or so here, we made our way to the feeding station at Bunting Hide, which rarely fails to please.  Today was no exception, the best bird undoubtably being a stunning Redwing of which we had brief closeup views.

Redwing at Bunting Hide - (c) Alan Flavell

We also saw Willow Tits, Bullfinches, Reed Buntings, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Robins, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Stock Doves, Blackbirds, Magpies and Moorhens. The only 'usual' birds I don't remember seeing today were Long-tailed Tits.

From Bunting Hide we walked on to view the scrapes at Teal Hide where there were Goosander, Gadwall, Shovelers, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards, Mute Swans and of course, Teal.  There was also a tiny White Wagtail bobbing around the gravel in the distance,

After a short but interesting stop we made our way through the woods round the the back of the pools to Ramsdale's Hide.  Apart from a lovely Grey Wagtail on the stream along the edge of the Golf Course and some Woodpigeons, there were very few birds to see in the trees, although several species could be heard singing.  We paused briefly near the bridge over the canal to look for the resident Kestrel, but with no luck today.

At Ramsdale's there was no sign of the usual Little Grebes or Kingfisher, and in fact very little to see today and so we didn't stop long. The same was true at Tom Edmondson's Hide, with not even a Heron on view.  The only birds we could see were a few Canada Geese and some Teal. 

So finally we went back to Bunting Hide to hunt for the elusive male Brambling which has been frequenting the area this year.  Unfortunately today we were out of luck, but here's a photo Alan took at Bunting Hide earlier in the week:

Male Brambling at Bunting Hide - (c) Alan Flavell

On the way back to the cars, we stopped briefly for a view over the main Flash where we could see plenty of Sand Martins and the occasional Swallow swooping down over the water catching insects.

Our last port of call was the car park to look for the female Pintail that's been resident here for a while now.  As you can see from Alan's photo, it's a ringed bird and because its bee here so long and is tame coming for bread, most birders believe it to be an escapee from a collection.  Still, it's a very elegant bird and quite different to a female Mallard when you look closely.

Female Pintail near the Car Park - (c) Alan Flavell

Another successful fieldtrip with a total of 40 species seen in about three hours.


  1. glad to see you had a good trip. Susan

  2. Great report Martyn.


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