Wetland Wanderings

7 March 2021

If you asked me what my favourite type of reserve to explore is, I'd find it rather difficult to give one answer. I love walking around a variety of different types of reserves, each and every one of them are very different to each other and offer so much wildlife to see. Wetland reserves are a favourite of mine to visit, purely for the sounds of wetland birds out at water and on land. I must admit, my wetland bird ID skills aren't as great as my garden bird ID skills, but whenever I'm out visiting a wetland reserve I'll take notice of the information boards and try and spot the birds that are listed. 

I walked around a favourite wetland reserve of mine a couple of weeks ago. Most of the wetland birds were too far away to get photos, but I was glad I bought my binoculars with me so that I could get a good enough view across the wetland. I normally see a kingfisher each time I visit and this time I spotted a flash of blue, zoom across one of the flooded gravel pits. A gaggle of geese were heard in the distance, over on the grassland beside the waters edge and suddenly a group of four herons took off from the ground and flew off across the water. I had never seen so many herons before!

I took a wander down towards the end of the trail, to watch the birds visit the feeders. Long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, reed buntings, robins, blackbirds and dunnocks were all out at the feeders. I absolutely love watching the long-tailed tits at the fatball feeders, as so many of them visit this one particular feeder. Sometimes I can get so close and stand almost underneath the feeder, quietly watching them with my camera at the ready and they never seem bothered by my presence. 

On my way back, I took the longer route back to the car so that I can wander along the edges of the smaller flooded gravel pits. I heard a distinctive sound in the distance, a song thrush singing loudly with its repeated phrases that it sings. A robin greeted me, who was perched on a buddleia branch and a dunnock was also heard singing nearby. There's just something so refreshing about walking around a wetland, for me, I think it's being by water and listening to the sounds of gulls, geese and many other birds that visit the wetlands. I recommend searching for your local wetland reserve and take a wander along its paths, you just never know what you might come across.