Visit to Burton Wetlands today

Started off by spotting the Male Hen Harrier within minutes of arrival at 9.40am from the main reception building :) What a truly majestic bird. Next up we had Spotted Redshank which once you know it's 'Jizz' is quite easy to spot as it was swimming on the surface and spinning around as it busily searched for food. No Water Rail as yet, but there was plenty of time. Plenty of Black Tailed Godwit and Redshank and a fly by of a couple of Mute Swans. Further out in the fields, were Greylag  Geese with a solitary White Goose which may be due to albinism or may be a Snow Goose (escapee) ?

I decided to have a walk out to see if I could see the Little Owl on a fencepost in the back fields, not this time, but I did see a Buzzard in the field and further out about 15-20 Curlew. Walking to Marsh Covet Hide I passed Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch all attacking the feeders. Further on I saw about a dozen more Siskins like little acrobats high up in the Alders and on the path up to the hide some lovely Stonechats on the tops of the bullrushes, the black head and orange chest make this a lovely bird. From the hide I saw Wigeon, Shoveler, just the one Pintail and a Little Grebe who seemed to disappear beneath the surface for ages!! Hundreds of Lapwings were flying over towards Inner Marsh Farm no doubt accompanied by the odd Golden Plover although it was hard to tell. From the back of the hide I saw Whinchat on top of the reeds. This lovely little bird landed and gave a couple of wing flicks and a flick of the tail before it flew up and went down low again. 

The light was going now as the afternoon wore on so I decided to trek back to the reception building to see if I could get a glimpse of my nemesis the Water Rail. Patience is a virtue I am told and after sitting by the window on the right (as you go in) for about 35 minutes, eureka, I gave a triumphant cry of Water Rail ! I watched as he gave a good showing for 5 minutes or so before skulking back off into the rushes, that's my first ever so brings my life list up to 191 (modest) I know but I don't get out as often as I should.

A truly gorgeous almost Spring like day with over 45 species spotted added to my birding diary spreadsheet, a great day out and as always enhanced by the helpful RSPB staff and volunteers. I look forward to going again soon. 

Mike Buckley