Bird Meeting at Newtown Nature Reserve 4th March 2017

After overnight rain 22 members met at the National Trust visitor centre car park on a lovely, bright morning. Wellington boots were a must this morning as there were muddy, wet fields and paths to negotiate. Before we had even reached our first port of  call – the field overlooking Causeway Lake – we had noted  nine species of birds; Dunnock, Robin, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Buzzard, House Sparrow and Pied Wagtail. The tide was way out so there were very few birds to be seen at Causeway Lake but we did see Teal, Wigeon and Black-headed Gull and the field beyond had a vast flock of about 400 Brent Geese grazing. A lone Canada Goose showed itself on the brow of the hill. We then walked down the road to the flower meadow and on towards Newtown River and walked around the salterns to the boat house. Through the hedge a few of us got good views of four very smart male Pintail. It was unfortunate that the view was very restricted because when we got out into the open overlooking the river we could only see a couple of female Pintail swimming and they are dull in comparison. We could hear Mediterranean Gulls calling and found 82 sitting on the islands in the river – many with their breeding plumage. Later, at the hide, we were to see something like 30 more in the scrape. At both places Black-headed Gulls were also gathered. Three Red Breasted Merganser were seen, two Little Egret, two Turnstone, five Grey Plover and about 37 Golden Plover as well as 44 Black Tailed Godwit, three Mute Swan, many Shelduck and Oystercatcher. On the walk up from the hide six Fieldfare, a Redwing and a Mistle Thrush were spotted in the field. Altogether 43 species were noted during the course of the morning. Jackie Hart.

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