Kingfissher seen on Gatley Carrs

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March 2018 Bird Report

Saturday, 24 Mar 2018


March was yet again a month of severe weather at times. The constant heavy rainfall kept the Reserve very muddy, and slippery, in places so care had to be taken when walking. It is not good birding weather but there was still plenty to be seen.

At least 3 pairs of Canada Geese were making nest attemps and several Moorhen were claiming territories for likely nesting spots on the pond. I did not see any Little Grebe all month, but perhaps I was just unlucky, as they are more or less resident. Only 3 Mallard seen also.

A Buzzard was seen on several visits with a pair displaying on one day. On the stream at Gatley village, the Dipper was seen on several occasions. A pair of Grey Wagtail are resident here and a Kingfisher has been seen on several dates in the same place.

Around the Reserve a pair of Mistle Thrush were busy as they carried nest material and Woodpigeons and Jays were seen nest building too.

Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Wren and Song Thrush were all in full song on most visits obviously not put off by the bad weather.

A few Snowdrop were still visible, and a beautiful array of Daffodils and the Crocus apperaing on the Top Field. A small patch of Lesser Celandine was by the Litter bin on the Top Field and many trees and shrub are coming into leaf. Sping is not so far away.



Due to extreme weather conditions throughout this month, with hard frost, when the pond was frozen for several days, heavy snow and gale force winds, it was quite difficult to compile a good report this month, as in poor weather like this, birds are not so active as usual.

Although not seen on the Reserve, the bird of the month was a Dipper, seen by PO in Gatley village. Also here, 2 Grey Wagtail. A Grey Wagtail was seen by the stream on the Reserve also.

Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush were heard singing and also seen gathering nest material. Blackbird could be heard singing on the less windy days. Goldfinch were abundant, also Greenfinch and Chaffinch were seen on several visits.

Up to 6 Canada Geese were on the pond, also 4 Moorhen and several Mallard. No sign of Little Grebe on the days I visited. Only one sighting of the Grey Heron. On the Top field up to 8 Crows and 2 Jays could be seen doing their best to find food on the hard ground. A Sparrowhawk flew over and on most dates I saw Ring-necked Parakeets. They are obviously here to stay as they have found an easy food source in the surrounding gardens. At one point I saw 6 fly over but I was told by a friend, who visited the reserve, he had seen 13. It is doubtful all these birds will breed on the Carrs but still possible our resident pair could try again to raise a brood.



As the new year arrived so did the horrid weather, much like last month, with only a few decent days when it was possible to bird watch.

Luckily, the weather was overcast but fine for the RSPB Garden Birdwatch. A good total of 20 bird species were seen by five members. PO, JP, SP, AB, CN. The bird walk took place late afternoon so it was a good total for the Reserve. Although the day was spoilt by mindless vandals who had destroyed yet another Bird Table, it did not stop us enjoying a pleasant walk doing the bird count.

Best birds of the month were 3 Lesser Redpoll that visited PO's garden on several dates. Certainly worth a mention here of these pretty little birds, but, as they were not seen at the Carrs it is not possible to add them to the species list which at present is 54 species.

Several Jackdaws were seen this month, and strangely, January was the month last year when I first saw them at GC. Several Canada Geese were on the pond. Also here 5 Mallard, 3 Moorhen and a Little Grebe was seen at months end. A pair of Grey Wagtail were seen by the stream, Nuthatch, Stock Dove and Great spotted Woodpecker were also in this area.

Around the Reserve plenty of Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush were singing as well as Robin, Wren, Dunnock and Blackbird. A small flock of Long -tailed Tits were present and a charm of upto 12 Goldfinch.

Snowdrop bank was a delight and Lords and Ladies peeping through signs that Spring is on the way.

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