Naturelog:14 January

Today’s location was the RSPB reserve at Radipole Lake. This area of reed-bed and open water is just upriver of the mouth of the River Wey. It starts in the town and follows the river north from there.

My first location is the main channel, where a Ring-Necked Duck has been wintering. This American bird is one of a handful that have made their way across the Atlantic to the UK this winter. I was fortunate to see one only last month in Kent. After some searching I find the bird with a group of Tufted Duck (a close relative) and although I get an excellent view sadly it is by looking through a bank of reeds and so impossible to get any photographs.

Ring-necked Duck.
Photo by Alexandra Mackenzie (

Having seen the star bird on the reserve, I make my way to the reserve centre to see what other birds are around and to get a hot drink as it seems rather cold this morning. From the window of the centre, a Water Rail is seen flying from one reed-bed to another. A single Mediterranean Gull is amongst the commoner gulls roosting on the perches around the centre.

Great Cormorants

Walking through the reed-beds it seems very quite apart from the occasional song of the Cetti’s Warbler. On some open water there is a group of Great Cormorants along with Common Pochard, a pair of Gadwall and a large flock of Tufted Duck.

Tufted Duck

Continuing on to the North screen, there is a group of Eurasian Teal along with a single Little Egret. At least 3 Western Marsh Harriers are seen over the reed-bed.

Mute Swan
Northern Shovellor

Turning south again and retracing my steps towards the river mouth and harbour, I choose this time to walk down the western side of the river. A Grey Wagtail and 3 Little Grebes are welcome additions to the day’s list before seeking out another hot drink.

Little Grebe

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

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