Field Trip Report – Langford Lakes – 23 September 2023

RSPB Bath Group visit in September 2023 to Langford Lakes nature reserve and RSPB Winterbourne Down.

By Dave Newman.

On a very bright and warm morning a group of 16 RSPB members met at the car park at Langford at 10.00. Some had already seen Red Legged Partridges in the fields and road leading to the reserve. We started out at the first lookout point of the lake and saw plenty of cormorants, a few Mallards, Coot, Teal, a Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail and a couple of Gadwall. A sudden flash of colour was seen and the majority of the group enjoyed watching a Kingfisher moving between various perches while fishing on the far bank of the lake. We moved further into the reserve visiting several hides whilst trying to locate and identify the smaller birds making their way through the trees and bushes.

Overhead were small flocks of migrating Swallows and House Martins as well as Common Buzzards and Red Kite. A Cetti’s warbler was seen and some of the party located a noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker. The group moved on to view East Clyffe Pond from the large hide at the end of the path. Here we found a good assortment of common water birds along with some Green Sandpipers, Snipe, Lapwing and a White Goose that was reported on some bird sites as being a possible Snow Goose.

There were several hundred Canada geese at this part of the reserve and plenty of Dragonflies but as we walked to go around the other side of the lake we found that the path had been closed as a new hide was being installed. We therefore took an early lunch with many using the cafe facilities at the reserve.

Fully refreshed we studied the direction map supplied by Dave and drove in convoy for thirty minutes to the Winterbourne Reserve at Newton Tony.

While the leader waited for the last car to arrive the rest of the group walked up the grassy path to the Stone Curlew viewing screens. Lucy and Tom were soon scanning the fields and located a couple of the Curlews. The whole group watched through the scopes and their binoculars while the curlews moved about half hidden by the long grass. There must have been 4 or 5 individuals and very good views were had. This was a new bird for a lot of the group so it was pleasing that we had found what we had come to the area for. Further up the hill the area flattened out and as the group walked along had good views of Kestrels, Ravens, Stock Doves along with small flocks of common birds in the bushes.

A good day out in fine weather with great company.

At Langford: Barn Swallow, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, House Martin, Jackdaw, Kingfisher, Lapwing,  Lesser Black Backed Gull, Little Grebe, Magpie, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red Legged Partridge, Robin, Rook, Shoveler, Snipe, Snow Goose ? Starling, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon.

Additional at Winterbourne: Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Long Tailed Tit, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Raven, Stock Dove and Stone Curlew.