A week in South Lincolnshire starts in Norfolk as we visit Welney Wetlands reserve on our way north from London.
After a refreshing drink in the great cafe here, we make our way over to the main hide. One of the attractions of this reserve is the chance to see Whooper Swans all year around. This species was once only a winter visitor but a small population have now become resident and breed here. The strange thing is that their offspring join with a large number of Whoopers who still arrive here in winter and depart with the migration back to the traditional breeding grounds the following spring.
The reserve, a hive of activity in winter with the visiting ducks, swans and geese, is relatively quiet during the summer. A few Avocets and Lapwings were present on the washes along with a single Eurasian Teal and Common Pochard.
One unusual sighting was a Ringed Teal, a South American species which has no doubt escaped from someone’s exotic bird collection but which seems to be making a new life for itself amongst the wild duck on the reserve.
Other birds of note were a distant Great White Egret, my first Barn Swallows and Common Swifts of the year, the resident Tree Sparrows and some smart male Common Reed Buntings on the feeding station.
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)