This afternoon I went to Dinton Pastures near Reading. This reserve has lots of lakes, a variety of different habitats and was very common with birdwatchers, dogwalkers and cyclists alike.
One of my favourite moments from this afternoon was seeing a pair of Great Crested Grebes doing their dance with weed, I thought it was one of those things that you only see on tv until I saw it in front of my eyes, will do a whole blog post on this dance soon. As always there were mute swans floating around with lots of Canada geese on all the lakes with a few Egyptian geese around the edges of the lakes. There were lots of cormorants on the islands drying their wings and flying over. There was also a single bittern that could be seen on the Levell’s lake from the large hide. I only saw one little egret on my visit (Lavell’s Lake) however got to see it hunting some small fish which was a lovely sight, likewise there was a grey heron that caught some fish. Duck wise there were many Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck and Goldeneye (a first for me (Seen on Sandford)). I only saw one bird of prey on my visit, the red kite. There were numerous coots and moorhens as you would expect and some lovely lapwings, you cannot beat the pee-wit of a lapwing flying past and seeing their plumage in the full sun. There were no less than 7 snipes hiding in the reeds by the large hide on Levell’s Lake and feeding on the edge of the scrape. Gull wise herring gulls, common and black headed gulls were all seen. Pigeons and doves clattered around the undergrowth along with numerous robins, wrens, dunnocks, blue tits, great tits, goldfinches and blackbirds. A single male bullfinch was seen sat in a tree alongside Lavell’s. I saw two kingfishers in flight, calling as they went, one on Lavell’s lake and one on Sandford Lake.