Primrose7 Goldcrests were seen and heard – with most birds being counted along Laurel Walk – 5 Nuthatch can now be heard singing, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, 3 Jay were noted, 2 Pheasants were heard calling, 2 Green Woodpeckers were spotted, 4 Stock Doves were noted – including 1 displaying male – a Treecreeper was singing by the footbridge over the River Len, and a male Sparrowhawk gave superb views at the top of the steps to the old gardens as, after soaring for a minute or two, he folded his wings back “peregrine-style” and plummeted at high speed down into the trees below, silencing the wood except for the high pitched calls from the ever feisty Blue and Great Tits. Spring migrants came in the form of 6 singing Blackcaps and 5 Chiff Chaffs.
A Grey Heron was seen along the River Len, 2 Kingfishers were noted – 1 by the old carriage bridge over the Len and the other was seen briefly as it zipped along the eastern edge of the Lake – and 2 Cormorants were perched on the island next to the Weir.
Birds of particular note on the Lake were 8 Great Crested Grebes – with 1 pair seen constructing a nest – 16 Canada Geese, 3 male Tufted Ducks by the old boating ramps, and 2 Mute Swans by the marsh area. The gull flock contained at least 65 Black-headed Gulls, 13 Common Gulls, 4 adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gulls, and 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Lesser Celandines, Wood Anemones and Violets are now flowering in profusion, the first few flowering Cuckoo Flower, or Lady’s Smock, can be seen by the Weir and marsh area, and the Marsh Marigolds are beginning to bloom. 2 Commas were spotted and both White-tailed and Buff-tailed Bumblebees were seen.