Leader: Steve Chapman
Reporter: Deborah Duckham
The weather forecast on the days leading up to Saturday, 29th October weren’t very inspiring.
In fact, it looked as if we’d be drowned out for most of the day, but happily we can report that apart from a little rain at the start of the day, we escaped pretty unscathed.
11 of us met in the Wells Beach Car Park, and if you haven’t been to the Wells Car Park, you’ll be delighted to find clean toilets and easy parking. We headed off towards the western end of the car park, stopping for a check on the pond at the edge of the woodland. A couple of grebes, a
Tufted Duck, some Mallard ....just enough to warrant peering through the scopes before we started our meander along the path towards the Dell.
It’s a popular dog-walking area, but we were soon able to get off the path and in amid the trees and shrubs which gave us views of tits, Blackbirds, Redwing, Linnets, and possibly the most elusive Great Spotted Woodpecker any of us has ever seen.
After a quick coffee and snack at the refurbished and well stocked Wells Beach Café, we ended up on the lifeboat station slipway where we enjoyed a regular series of birds – Red-breasted Merganser, Razorbill and Gannets were real stars here but even the diving Cormorants were entertaining.
The slipway wasn’t just great for the birds, most of us were fascinated by Wells RNLI’s new lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh maneuvering close to shore, with 15000 names of loved ones in its decals.
Next Steve led us to the Northpoint Scrapes where we ate our picnic lunch and looked over the pools which yielded a number of waders and water birds. A highlight for me here was the herd of over 30 Curlew in the field behind the pool and the opportunity to see Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit and Water Pipit all close enough to really see their highlighted differences. Those with scopes were incredibly generous to the rest of us.
Finally, we headed over to the salt marshes where we were blessed with the ghostly sight of a male Hen Harrier working the horizon trees.
It was a fabulous day – really well organized by Steve Chapman, who is a mine of information – especially for those of us still at the start of the learning curve. A well-paced day with varying habitats – it’s not every day I get to see 3 different pipits in all their glory on the same day as a Red-breasted Merganser!
Birds : 73 species
Bar-tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Gannet, Goldcrest , Goldfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Hen Harrier, Herring Gull, Jay, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pintail, Pink-footed Goose, Razorbill, Red Kite, Red-breasted Merganser, Redshank, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rock Pipit, Rook, Ruff, Sanderling, Shelduck, Siskin, Skylark, Spotted Redshank, Starling, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Water Pipit , Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren
Please feel free to read through our reports from our monthly outdoor meetings.