I had high hopes this evening as a Black-Necked Grebe and a Mandarin Duck had been reported. Sadly, I didn't see either of them.
Despite this, and despite the fact that I foolishly tried to handhold my 600mm lens. I still saw a nice selection of birds and got a few patch ticks too, which was nice.
First up was the large number of Swifts that were flying around. They were absolutely everywhere and often joined by Martins and Swallows. As Martin pointed out in his post, it's spectacular to see them whizzing past your head at insane speeds and it's amazing that they don't fly into you, so close do they get.
I spied plenty of goslings around the lakes, although ducklings weren't very plentiful. I couldn't see any Great-Crested Grebe young either, which was a little disappointing as they carry them around on their backs.
I did see a pair of Reed Buntings gathering food however, and while the shots were a little soft, I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.
An uncropped shot of the Reed Bunting
As I walked up the narrow causeway I could hear a Cuckoo calling in the distance. It's apparently okay to include if you can successfully identify it by call, so it's being added to the list :) There were a few little brown jobs flying about in the reeds and I was hoping they were Sedge Warblers, but it was Reed Warblers, a bird I've already ticked off this year.
Walking along the back of the lake I strained my eyes for the Grebe and the Duck but saw neither. I did spot a Jay fly across the small back pond and into the trees though, which is a first for me. That means with the exception of Raven and Hooded Crow, I've seen every corvid on the patch now.
I diligently scoured the reeds for Water Rails, but came up with nothing and the rest of my walk was rather uneventful. Still, I'm now up to 61 birds, so I'm quite pleased with myself :)