Yesterday I had a very good day at Hanningfield reservoir.
Despite the sky being grey in the morning I decided to take a chance and go to the reservoir to see what I could find.
The first hide, Lyster was all but Bird less; only the ever present 'raft' cormorants and a few very distant black spots( Coots) were visible. But under the hide a small family of coots were visible including two near mature juveniles and it was nice to watch the families antics for a while.
RAWL hide was much better. There were 2 Red-crested Pochard viewable from the hide and this species was a lifer for the person in the hide with me. Apart from the Red Crests, there was a mixed flock of Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Mallard and a few coots. On the island A 3rd Summer Great Black-backed Gull was nice and a second appeared soon after. Some interesting behavior has seen next when the GBBG's flew off the island ans at least 3 Swift started to mob the Gulls some even making contact. After coming out of RAWL hide I herd reports of a Barn Owl hunting across the Grazing medow but I could not finf the Owl.
Point Hide was next and it wasnt much better than RAWL hide. But a good bird did appear in the form of an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Although distant on the island all the main identification features of the YLG were seen which makes the Gull the 4th Yellow-legged Gull I have seen at the reservoir. On the way back to the visitor centre the butterflies started to come out and many species let me come to with in touching distance of them. Species seen were Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Small and large Skipper and Red Admiral. An unusual raptor call was also herd which was most likely a Hobby and a female Bullfinch was also seen.
Too be continued...