Completely coincidentally, our visit to the reservoir happened to be on a survey date for the Wetland Bird Survey, so we met up with Bob Johnson and other volunteers of the Friends of Weir Wood who had been counting birds there all day.
Pleasingly, there was a Snipe visible (through a telescope) pretty much as soon as we arrived, and we then set about looking at the Great-crested Grebes, for which this site was originally given its SSSI designation, and the large number of Cormorants roosting in the trees.
A group of about 40 Lapwing were about as well, and it was nice to see them take flight ove the reservoir. John Kirk picked out a Stock Dove on one of the roosts, which enabled us to get a good view to compare it with its more common relatives, and then focussed in on a trio of Gadwall. A Buzzard also landed on one of the roosts, and I certainly hadn’t appreciated how scarce they were until recently.
Getting rather cold, even after finishing the contents of our flasks, we walked over to the reed beds at Whillet’s, noting a few bryophytes on the way. As the light was starting to go, Reed Buntings started to come in to roost in the reeds, often singly, occasionally in twos or threes, and then Tom pointed out the squealing piglet-like call of the Water Rail, and heard a Chiffchaff and Goldcrest before we headed home. Another nice afternoon.
Download the species list.