A Picture of a Moorhen seen on Gatley Carrs

News & Events

November/December 2021 Bird Report

Monday, 1 Nov 2021

Chris Nield's continued recording of our resident bird life helps to prove how vital the Carrs is to encouraging species diversity and how the varied habitat is working.

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

It is never an easy task to compile a bird report in the last two months of the winter. The cold wet weather is no friend to birds as they become less active to conserve energy. In early December we had two terrible winter storms that brought in stair rods rain, stormy winds and very heavy snow. Conditions not suitable for all wildlife in general as they try to find food and keep warm. Obviously, the weather conditions curtailed the number of visits I could get to the Carrs. The good thing was the Pond did not freeze at first so plenty of wildfowl were there.

Up to 30 Mallard would come readily to anyone who was bringing them food. At least 6 Moorhen and 2 Canada Geese were amongst the feeding birds. Sadly, the Domestic Ducks had reduced to 3 plus a Mallard hybrid.

Our long staying Muscovy Duck Gary disappeared as well as one of the Domestic Ducks. There are several theories why this could have happened. Several people think he was taken by a fox but that is doubtful. When a fox takes a large duck it will drag it away from the area always leaving a feather trail as the bird struggles. No feather trail was found anywhere. The same thing would happen if taken by a Mink. It is also possible of course Gary could fly so it is possible he has relocated to another Pond somewhere. Muskovy Ducks can often be seen at Abney Hall. I really hope that is the case and that Gary's disappearance was not due to human intervention. Lastly I did locate 2 Snipe but none sign on my next visit.

Rather quiet around the Reserve although several Robin were singing their doleful winter song quite different to their Spring song. Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits were seen close to the feeding stations, these prove so vital in winter to help keep many birds alive. Quite a few Blackbird were on the wetter areas searching for worms and other insects. No sign at all of any Song Thrush though. Plenty of Wood Pigeon seen and one pair were actually collecting twigs. A Great-spotted Woodpecker was in his favoured area close to the Dipping Pond, also here 4 very noisy Ring neck Parakeets. Strangely no winter Thrushes, Redwing and Fieldfare, were seen at all.

The only other birds of note were the ever-present Collared Dove, House Sparrow and Starling along Brookside Road.

Goodbye to 2021 let’s all hope the future brings all of us health and happiness.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT SEPT/OCT 2021

The weather in September was changeable as expected, but most days, it was still quite warm. At this time of the year birds are closing down from their breeding season so not as vocal as they were in previous months. Most of our summer migratory birds are now on their way to their wintering areas and it always feels a little sad knowing it will be April before they return to our shores. One species that quite often winters here is the Chiffchaff. A single Chiffchaff juvenile was seen several times during September but was gone by months end. I have never known them to winter at Gatley Carrs, but, they have done so several times at my other Reserve.

On the Pond the maximum number of Mallard was 36. This included several young birds from previous broods. Proof indeed of their success rate at GC. Plenty of Moorhen with regular sightings of 6 Adult and 8 juvenile yet another sucess. Still just 5 Domestic ducks.

Around the rest of the Reserve, Goldfinch were abundant, often seen in quite large flocks. Fewer Greenfinch and Chaffinch. Roving flocks of Long -tail Tit, Blue and Great Tit searched together looking for food. Robin, Blackbird and Dunnock seen also.

October was unseasonably warm but often very wet. A very exciting month for me. The trees were begining to lose more and more of their colour and the strong winds blew more leaves down with quite a few trees devoid off leaves. A lovely carpet of leaves lined the glades and it was so nice to walk through them. On the Pond Mallard numbers had reduced to a max 28 seen. Moorhen total same trend as max total was 8. On several dates I visited, no ducks were visible at all, possibly due to some kind of disturbance. A single Canada Goose appeared on 2 dates and also a Grey Heron. Aound the Reserve plenty of Robin, Dunnock, and Blackbird. Up to 4 Ringed neck Parakeets as they noisily flew over.

Although it was pretty quiet around the Reserve it turned out to be a very special day for me. I know we must have a particular bird at GC but I have never seen one here. Well one day I did. I heard a very familiar sound and slowly approached the tree. Not very easy to see as it was hidden amongst the Ivy. A male Tawny Owl staring back at me !!! At last after 7 years of doing these reports I found this iconic bird. Diligence pays off I never give up. Of course I have not given the location as I do not want it to be disturbed. Tawny Owls are usually faithful to one tree and hopefully I shall monitor him during the Winter.

Tawny Owl

Image courtest of Dr. Paul Brewster Focal Point

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT JULY/AUGUST 2021

As an avid birdwatcher my favourite month of the year has got to be March. This is the month that all birdwatchers are full of anticipation and excitement as we await the arrival of the first migrants to arrive. The first to arrive is the Chiffchaff usually arriving in the last week of the month. Next is the Blackcap and Willow Warbler followed by Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and many others. The Whitethroat occurs in late April too, also Swallows and Martins. No matter where you walk in the countryside it is alive with birdsong. Not just the summer migrants but also the resident birds with us all year round. The Robin often sings as early as January, followed by Blackbird and the Song Thrush with his repetitive song. They are excellent mimics too. I have heard them mimicking Buzzard, Curlew and even Green Woodpeckers.

Blackcap

And then July arrives. It is noticeably much quieter as the migrants stop singing to get ready for their long journey to their wintering grounds. At Gatley Carrs only one Chiffchaff was singing and by month’s end there were none. The same for the Blackcap, although there was still plenty of juveniles around. Good numbers of juvenile Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits too. I would estimate 25+ different birds have bred at Gatley Carrs this year. Very successful as it proves the management of this Reserve is excellent.

Around the Reserve in July and August the main interest was on the Pond. At least 3 pairs of Moorhen produced broods and it was not unusual to count as many of 13 of these confiding water birds.

Moorhen

At least 4 pairs of Mallard bred boosting the numbers up to 32 at times. 5 Domestic Ducks too, including our star performer Gary the Muscovy Duck. A Grey Heron was a frequent visitor, often seen with a juvenile too.

No sign of any migrants at all in August but a few Swift could be seen overhead. The Reserve was noticeably much quieter. On the really hot days it was really quiet as birds conserved their energy. 2 young Jays were seen squabbling as their raucous calls filled the air. 3 Lesser black-backed Gulls flew over and there were several sightings of Buzzard. 2 Nuthatch were seen and a tiny a Coal Tit was visible around the steps.

The breeding season is well and truly over now and that is why August is quite a sad month.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT JUNE 2021

Nobody could have predicted just how severe the weather would be for the most of the month of May. Constant heavy rain with strong winds and near freezing temperatures kept most of us indoors. Definitely not good for bird watching. Towards the end of the month it finally became sunny and we welcomed a quite warm period and it was great to be able to spend more time at the Reserve.

Plenty of action on the Pond all month. A Male Mandarin, affectionately christened “Pip”, had originally been seen 30th April. Obviously he was used to people and came over daily for food throughout the month. It was thought he had relocated from Abney Hall. On the 25th a Female Mandarin joined him but did not stay long. A second Male arrived 30th May. A brood of 5 Canada goose young was seen 15th May and a second brood of 8 on 20th May.

The first brood of 4 Moorhen chicks appeared 30th May. The Grey Heron was often seen, usually in the channel opposite the bird screen. The maximum number of Domestic Ducks seen was 5 including the long term resident Muscovy known of as Gary.

My final visit of the month was 31st. Although it was a bank holiday and also glorious weather I expected it to be busy when I arrived at 9-15 but it wasn’t at all with just a few dog walkers about. The Reserve was alive with birds singing and it was a real joy to be there. I heard 4, possibly 5, Blackcap, not so showy now as they were in deep cover. Just 2 Chiffchaff still in song, it is often said that this species sometimes stops singing when they are paired up. So it is possible we have 2 Males who have not yet found a Female. A pair of Bullfinch were by the Pond collecting food so obviously they have got young nearby. Plenty of Goldfinch in their usual place. It is hard not to see them once you hear their tinkling song. Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch and Greenfinch singing too.

It was a sheer delight to spend 3 hours on a beautiful day. Such a treat to see all the birds, glorious flowers and plenty of Butterflies.

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT APRIL 2021

April was a good month weatherwise, quite warm with many dry days. Plenty of migrant birds around the Reserve. A Blackcap was actually seen and heard on 30th March but quickly rose to a maximum of 4. One of the males was very showy, usually singing from the same tree along the Main path. At least 4 Chiffchaff still singing but not often easy to see as they remained in cover in their preferred territories. At least 3 pairs of Wood Pigeon nesting in various places around the Reserve. Plenty of Male Blackbird seen searching for food whilst the females were tightly sitting on their nest. Male Blackbirds often seen carrying beaks full of food to the nest area too.

Blackcap

Blackcap photo courtesy of Anthony Brathwaite

Plenty of activity at the nest boxes as Blue and Great Tits were also taking insects in to their broods. A pair of Ring-neck Parrakeet were often seen together by the pond and I would guess they also have a nest somewhere.

The Pond was reasonably quiet but at least 4 Canada Geese were nesting. Just 5 Domestic and one Muscovy Duck, 4 male Mallards and 2 Moorhen seen. The Grey Heron was seen most days and a Kingfisher was around in the first few days of the month. The best views of both these birds were from the Dipping Pond platform.

Around the Reserve Goldfinch and Chaffinch were seen, also as a pair of Bullfinch in the area where the bug hotel is. The male would often sit in full view in the same tree as he sang. Certainly a handsome bird when seen with the sunshine on him. Plenty of other small birds in song with Dunnock, Robin and Song Thrush heard also. This is the best time of year to see the shy, secretive Wren. He can often be seen out of dense cover perched higher up singing. Such a loud song for a tiny bird but a pleasure to see. I wonder how many of our members remember the coin in circulation with a Wren image? I bet I am not the only one to have one of these coins tucked away somewhere.

song thrush

Song Thrush photo courtesy of Josie Leibrick

Such a great time to be at the Reserve as plenty of Butterfly species can be found. Flowers in full bloom too and trees looking splendid. So much to enjoy at our Reserve and I for one feel so grateful that we all have the Reserve to visit and enjoy.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT MARCH 2021

Plenty of good weather conditions on several days this month. I was able to get to the Carrs at least twice a week, except for a period mid-month when the weather was really poor.

The birds were certainly getting ready for the breeding season. The Long-tailed Tits were often seen searching for feathers to build their nests with. A total of 10 nests were around the Reserve.

Not all of these will be used as young birds often build "practice" nests which are then left empty. Blue and Great Tits were taking up residence in plenty of the nest boxes around the Reserve. Once again, this month we had a few more species visit us. On 6/3 Josie and Tony spotted a glorious Male Reed Bunting. I have only seen this species once before on the Reserve. Their song is quite recognizable but in my many visits I have never heard one singing. To be honest, I do not think they actually do breed here as our reedbed is not substantial enough for them. The second bird was a glorious Siskin. It was seen and photographed by Karl Green March 19/3 but was not seen again by any other observers. A Grey Wagtail was seen by myself and several other observers. I saw two Jays in courtship display by the Railway a lovely sight too.

A Kingfisher was seen on quite a few days by several people. Often, it could be seen from the Dipping Pond but could also be seen from the Bird Hide.

Our first migrant of the year was a Chiffchaff seen by Josie and Tony 24th March. I saw one the following day. Amazingly, on the last day of the month, I heard 8 singing around the Reserve. It is doubtful that all of these birds will stay to breed at the Carrs though.

Once again the Buzzard were seen, on several days, over the Reserve. A Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were seen by several of us on one particular day. A Blackcap was heard last day of the month . Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Bullfinch seen and heard too. Fairly quiet on the Pond with maximum Domestic Ducks 6, then down to 5, 6 Canada Geese, 4 Mallard and 2 Moorhen. I am sure there are more birds nesting on the Pond too. a Grey Heron was seen on several days too. Other birds seen around the Reserve, were Nuthatch and Ring-necked Parakeet.

I certainly believe it is going to be an excellent birding summer as, once again, all the signs indicate great breeding season for the birds of Gatly Carrs.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT JANUARY 2021

Well the New Year has arrived and what dreadful weather we have had in January. Heavy snow and rain, strong gale force winds and below zero temperatures.

The Pond was often frozen and then we had the floods. Damage did occur around the Reserve, the worse was a fallen tree that blocked the stream path close to the steps. The stream burst the banks flooding the stream path quite badly. Access to the Dipping Pond was not good as the Pond had flooded to, covering the viewing platform.

On my first visit I noticed several feeders had been put up to provide extra feeding areas to the existing feeding stations around the Reserve. It was lovely to see a family party of 10 Long-tailed Tits on one of these feeders so vital in this terrible weather. Other birds seen on the Pond were 2 Moorhen, 12 Mallard and 8 Domestic Ducks including the now famous Muskovy Gary! A Grey Heron was here also.

Around the Reserve were Blue and Great Tit, I also saw a pair of Coal Tit close to the steps. Several Magpie pairs were seen tidying last year’s nest, these birds like most of the other Corvid family, pair for life, often returning to the same nest every year. One Magpie was seen carrying a twig into a nest. Other birds seen were Goldfinch, a lot fewer than normal which is something of a concern and which I shall monitor throughout the year. Also seen Robin, Dunnock, Greenfinch. House Sparrow and Blackbird.

One of our regular visitors, Josie Leibrick, captured a lovely shot of a Treecreeper.

Peter Owen also spotted Grey Wagtail on the stream and a busy couple of Wrens.

I noticed the Snowdrops just peeping through. Even in such horrible weather we should all be grateful we have our local Reserve to come and exercise and enjoy.

Chris Neild

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT SEPT 1ST-OCTOBER 31ST

So much evidence that Autumn is beginning as the leaves change colours and leaves begin to fall. Still a few pleasant warm days when it was a pleasure to be at Gatley Carrs. The month began with the arrival of 2 Mute Swans reported by AB. It was a brief visit as there was no sign the following day. On the Pond on my first visit only 6 Domestic Ducks, 6 Mallard and 1 Moorhen were showing.

A Chiffchaff was still calling also 2 Juveniles seen. Around the Reserve plenty of small birds including 5 Robin, 2 Coal Tit, several Great and Blue Tits also. A few Blackbird and Song Thrush too. Nice to see several juvenile Chaffinch which once again proves a good breeding success here. Several butterfly and Dragonfly were seen also.

By months end there was a distinct change in the weather as it was much cooler. On the 26th September 3 Chiffchaff were calling. It is doubtful these were "our" birds as they were more likely to be birds that had stopped off to feed for a few days before carrying on their journey.

October was such a different month. Heavy rain and gale force winds brought a huge fall of leaves. On the better days it was good to get out and a real treat walking through the glades on a carpet of leaves. Around the Reserve a charm of Goldfinch could be heard in their usual area. Blackbird and Carrion Crows were feeding on the soaked wet Top Field although they were spooked when 3 Lesser black-back Gulls joined them in a search for food. Several Nuthatch were seen and also a Goldcrest by the steps.

On the Pond the ducks had increased. 14 Mallard, 4 Moorhen and 7 Domestic Duck. Also here 2 Ring -neck Parakeet, 1 Grey Heron and 2 Jays. Also 2 Snipe and a Kingfisher seen from the Dipping Pond.

Winter is on the way now and as the trees become bare it is so much harder for birds to find food. Feeding them is so important as it gives them a good chance of surviving the Winter weather to come.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT AUGUST 2020

Once again plenty of good weather around in June. Ideal conditions for plenty of bird watching. Around the Reserve plenty of evidence of a good breeding season with House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird and Wren all seen with beaks full of food ready to feed their young. At least 3 pairs of Blue Tit seen with newly fledged young. 2 pairs of Great Tit had young also. I am sure there must be a lot more around the Reserve though.

16 Magpies were at the pond edge as they busily collected the leftover corn to take to their young too. Blackcap still singing 3 heard, also 2 Chiffchaff singing. The Grey Heron was seen on several occasions usually in the Dipping Pond channel. A second bird put in an appearance and this one was definitely a Juvenile bird. On the Pond the maximum number of birds seen was Mallard 17, Moorhen 3, Domestic Ducks 3 although I know we have more of these birds I never saw more than this on the visits I made.

Another nice sighting was of 2 Buzzard seen soaring high over the Top Field. On approaching the gate, first of all, I heard the very distinctive "screaming" sound of 5 Swifts high above the car park. Although I have seen these birds many times during my visits here, I realised I have never put them on my species list which makes my total so far 59 species.

July was a very different month. It was often impossible to do any bird watching due to the constant heavy rain and hazardous muddy areas. At least we did have some decent weather though when I made the most of it. It was noticeably quieter around the Reserve as the breeding season is slowly coming to an end. Several Blackbird, Robin and Song Thrush were still vocal as were a noisy party of Goldfinch. Only one Chiffchaff still singing. At the Pond a Male Blackcap was seen with 2 young and another Blackcap was along the brook path also with 2 young. Also along the brook path a pair of Coal Tit were seen with 3 tiny young. A noisy Wren was very busy feeding his brood of 6. They were all in a line along a branch certainly a nice sight to see. A surprise brood of Mallard ducklings on 7th and the maximum count of Adult Mallard this month was up to 28. The Domestic Duck total of 9 and just one Muskovy Duck. I would certainly say it has been a very successful breeding season at GC this year.

Plenty of Butterflies on the last day of the month. Peacock, Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell all seen. Plenty of Brown Hawkers seen too.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT JUNE 1ST-JULY 31ST 2020

Once again plenty of good weather around in June. Ideal conditions for plenty of bird watching. Around the Reserve plenty of evidence of a good breeding season with House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird and Wren all seen with beaks full of food ready to feed their young. At least 3 pairs of Blue Tit seen with newly fledged young. 2 pairs of Great Tit had young also. I am sure there must be a lot more around the Reserve though.

16 Magpies were at the pond edge as they busily collected the leftover corn to take to their young too. Blackcap still singing 3 heard also 2 Chiffchaff singing. The Grey Heron was seen on several occasions usually in the Dipping Pond channel. A second bird put in an appearance and this one was definitely a Juvenile bird. On the Pond the maximum number of birds seen was Mallard 17, Moorhen 3, Domestic Ducks 3 although I know we have more of these birds I never saw more than this on the visits I made.

Another nice sighting was of 2 Buzzard seen soaring high over the Top Field. On approaching the gate, first of all, I heard the very distinctive "screaming" sound of 5 Swifts high above the Car Park. Although I have seen these birds many times during my visits here but I realised I have never put them on my species list which makes my total so far 59 species.

July was a very different month. It was often impossible to do any bird watching due to the constant heavy rain and hazardous muddy areas. At least we did have some decent weather though when I made the most of it. It was noticeably quieter around the Reserve as the breeding season is slowly coming to an end. Several Blackbird, Robin and Song Thrush were still vocal as were a noisy party of Goldfinch. Only one Chiffchaff still singing. At the Pond a Male Blackcap was seen with 2 young and another Blackcap was along the brook path also with 2 young.


Image Blackcap

Also along the brook path a pair of Coal Tit were seen with 3 tiny young. A noisy Wren was very busy feeding his brood of 6. They were all in a line along a branch certainly a nice sight to see. A surprise brood of Mallard ducklings on 7th and the maximum count of Adult Mallard this month was up to 28. The Domestic Duck total of 9 and just one Muskovy Duck. I would certainly say it has been a very successful breeding season at GC this year. Plenty of Butterflies on the last day of the month. Peacock, Gatekeeper, Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell all seen plus plenty of Brown Hawkers.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT MAY 2020

Another month of fine, pleasantly warm, weather ideal for spending time outdoors at Gatley Carrs. Ideal weather for birdwatching too. Quite a busy time for birds as so many have nests full of young birds to care for. Fortunately plenty of insects about for them to feed on, but the ground is so hard it is difficult for birds like Blackbird and Song Thrush to feed on.

At the start of the month 3 Chiffchaff were singing and reduced to 2 at months end. 3 Blackcap were singing. A pair have held a territory near the raised drain for the third year running. Another bird is often singing close to the gate. 2 female Blackcap were seen too and this count of 3 male and 2 female remained for the rest of the month. On the pond the maximum number of birds seen were 8 Mallard, 3 Moorhen and 6 Domestic ducks. On 17th I was at the pond and surprised to see 2 Tufted Ducks, male and female, hiding in the reeds. Eventually they appeared in full view. This is a new species for me at the Carrs and a possible new species for the Reserve. I contacted Peter Owen and he came down and saw them too. Peter's photo included. They happily fed amongst the other birds and stayed till the 24th of May. I was saddened when on 3 visits no birds were seen on the pond at all. Unfortunately, each time I had seen dogs coming away from, or still in the pond. I can appreciate that dogs need to drink in this hot weather but the birds panic and stay hidden for long periods of time. Most of our ducks are unable to fly. I know we have notices up around the Reserve about dogs entering the pond but to no avail. This must happen so many times during the day so it not surprising the birds are wary.

Other sightings around the reserve, several Wood Pigeon sitting on nests and discarded eggshells were found in several places proof of successful breeding. Plenty of Blue Tit and Great Tit activity around the nest boxes and it should not be long before we will be seeing plenty of fledgling birds. House Sparrows still busy carrying food to weedy areas where they are feeding young. Plenty of Song Thrush with a maximum of 6 seen around the reserve. Plenty of Blackbird too.

Just one sighting of Ring- necked Parakeet all month.

Excellent birding this month especially finding the Tufted Ducks.

 

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT APRIL 2020

April was an excellent month of good weather. Plenty of sunny, dry warm days all through the Month. The Corona virus lockdown was very difficult for all of us but we were allowed to leave our homes for exercise. I made weekly visits throughout the month to the Carrs which was a joy in these uncertain times.

A new wave of migrating birds arrived early month with several species at GC. I was pleased to see a Willow Warbler by the Dipping Pond. I have found this species at GC for several years in succession. They never seem to stay throughout the breeding season but just stay a short while to rest and feed before they continue to their chosen nest site which they return too each year. I am sure this is very close to the Reserve. On arrival to the Car Park one morning, I heard the sound of a singing Blackcap. He was just by the entrance gate. I found another 3 birds, one female and 2 males around the Reserve. 4 Chiffchaff were singing too with one in his usual place at the Pond. On the pond 2 Black - headed Gulls were taking a drink and bathing in the shallows. 2 Moorhen were seen also 2 Mallard. The Domestic Ducks were still around, so were the Muskovy Ducks who were seen in courtship display. At least 10 Canada Geese seen and 3 obviously nesting. One pair were in full view, only a few yards away, at the Dipping Pond. A Grey Heron was often seen from here.

Around the rest of the Reserve 12 Magpie and 2 Carrion Crow were seen feeding on the WF Meadow that had recently been cut. A count of 6 Blackbird all seen on the woodland paths with 2 Song Thrush here too. A Nuthatch was calling and a second bird was seen carrying food to a tree near the Railway fence. Plenty of activity for the small birds with several Blue and Great Tit defending nest boxes. Wren, Robin and Dunnock were seen in courtship display also.

The gorgeous weather brought the Butterflies out too. I saw Orangetip, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

Certainly a lovely place to be this month.

Stay safe everyone.

GATLEY CARRS BIRD REPORT JANUARY 2020

My first visit of the year was on the 10th January a bright and breezy day. I had been alerted by Peter that 2 Mute Swans were on the pond. The birds were obviously used to being fed with little fear of people. I spotted a Blue Darvic ring on the leg of one of the Swans. With help from Peter I got the ring number. I was able to trace the history of the Swan. It was born on Sale Water Park and ringed as a female cygnet in November 2017. It left soon after and was next spotted at Salford Quays early 2018. It remained here till December 2019, when at some point it left, and then seen at GC January 9th 2020. This explains why it was so used to being fed. The last date they were seen was 25th of January. One Swan did arrive back 30th but only stayed a short length of time. I had seen 3 Swans before at GC but these birds were the first time they had ever been seen here on the pond so excellent news indeed. Also on the Pond, 19 Ducks, 10 Domestic Ducks and 9 Mallard.

I carried on from the Pond and found a flock of 32 Redwing and 3 Fieldfare. They were constantly scolded by several Mistle Thrushes who would not let them settle. Eventually, they did settle in trees close to the Snowdrop bank which were already in bloom.

A noisy family of Long-tailed-Tits were seen close to a feeding station, 2 Bullfinch were seen here also.

My next visit this month turned out to be another exciting visit. The Redwing flock had reduced to 17 and were seen close to the pond. No Fieldfare with them though. Blackbird, were abundant also Song Thrush as they fed on the wet muddy areas around the Reserve. Several Stock Dove flew over and 4 Ring-necked Parakeets were close to the Car Park.

I heard a very familiar "cronk, cronk" sound in the distance and was thrilled, sure enough I saw a Raven, the largest member of the Crow family, slowing flying above! (see image above). Although I see these birds very regularly at my Shell Pool Reserve this was the first time I had seen one here at Gatley Carrs. Another new bird for my list and possibly the Reserve's also.

Also seen this month by other observers, Kingfisher, Treecreeper and the Raven.

My Bird Species list now stands at 59. I will do my utmost best to make it 60 this year.

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