Greywell – 04/06/2023

Before setting off, a Greenfinch sang from a tree close to the gate to Greywell Moors. A Common Swift and a Red Kite were seen in flight, and Linnets and Goldfinches were added.

On the reserve, a male Common Whitethroat proved tricky to see but a male Reed Bunting was more obliging. Several minutes were spent watching this bird which was perched in a small bush in the first damp area. A Common Buzzard perched in a tree further away was watched for a while before it took flight. Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons then flew past before a Blackbird was seen feeding a recently fledged youngster.  

Bright yellow flowers of Meadow Buttercups brightened the fields. In damp areas, small groups of Southern Marsh orchid and Ragged Robin appeared. Clumps of Germander Speedwell were fairly common throughout.

A second male Reed Bunting was seen perched low whist calling and two Rooks and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew past. A couple of Barn Swallows appeared briefly before the path joined the bank of the River Whitewater. Two Coots and a pair of Mute Swans were on the river. A pair of Common Buzzards were in the air behind the strip of dead trees. Another singing Common Whitethroat flew down to the ground from a bank side tree. A Common Swift meanwhile flew low over the river taking a drink.

We did not manage to see any Reed Warblers, but they were heard along the river. Guelder Rose flowered beside the boardwalk and Beautiful Demoiselles caught the eye as they flew over crystal clear water.

The morning ended with a short walk along the Basingstoke Canal from the Greywell Tunnel. A Little Grebe sat on a nest close to the towpath, whilst another possibly its mate, fed a chick midstream. Another chick was being fed by an adult a little further downstream. Its mate was sitting on a nest at the edge of some reeds.

A Moorhen escorted a single chick close to the far bank and must have lost other hatchlings. Hard to believe this may have been due to pike though. The canal this end having silted badly with little depth of water left. A third Common Whitethroat was seen singing over the canal and a pair of Mute Swans also showed. Possibly these were the same ones we had seen along the river earlier?

A Blackcap sang boldly near the bridge over the river and several Mallard had grouped along the water under the trees.