November 6th, 2011, 05:48 PM
Marston Vale CP
Just up the road from me, ...ish, in Bedfordshire is Marston Vale Country Park. Any local twitchers may know about the 8th record of a Azorean Yellow Legged Gull in the Uk that was there about 6 weeks ago. It is made up of 3 lakes, all filled up brickwork holes with Stewartby being the most famous of them. It is regurly visited by Me!!!, Grebes, Divers but most notably Gulls. It is estimated over 3,000 Gulls of all types roost on Stewartby lake every night. The other lakes have sandy shores which attract Sandpipers, Plovers and other Waders. Egrets often visit the reserve too and last year Bitterns nested in the Reedbeds. But for me what makes that place special is the Wetland Reserve. I would highly recommend it too all birders of all experience. I've have only been in there once because of the maintainance charge but my list just from that reserve was enormous. From the top of my head I can recall:
Black Headed Gull
Obviously Not my whole list were seen on the water, others on the feeders scattered around the reserve and some flying by.
When I walked around Stewartby Lake afterwards I saw GC Grebe, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Long Tailed Tit, Cormorant, Mallard, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Mute Swan and Little Grebe.
I would also like to mention that Purple Heron and Spoonbill were both seen at the reserve too, just flying over though.
Last edited by Old World Warbler; December 20th, 2011 at 02:39 PM.
November 14th, 2011, 05:07 PM
Popped up there yestarday for an hour and had a great time. Saw a lone Raven (Finally!) perched on a tree and with my binoculars picked out LBB Gulls?, GBB Gulls, Herring Gulls and a few Common Gulls along with the hundreds of Black-Headed Gulls on the lake. Great Crested Grebes, Mallards, Coots, Mute Swans and Little Grebes were present on Stewartby Lake as well. A few Long-Tailed Tits hurried by along with numerous flocks of Starling. I managed to spot a Hobby or Kestrel in the sky too. Unfortunately, there were no signs of any recently reported Red Kites or Cetti's Warblers but I did note down a Green Sandpipers on the Pillinage.
A good trip out.
Last edited by Old World Warbler; November 26th, 2011 at 04:10 PM.
November 26th, 2011, 04:02 PM
My raven wasn't a raven after all!
Last edited by Old World Warbler; December 3rd, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
December 3rd, 2011, 07:15 PM
Went up to the wetland reserve again today. Haven't got time to write about the whole trip but there were:
-Teal, Mallards, Moorhens, Coots, Little Grebes and over 100 Lapwings were viewable from hide 1, along with a single Grey Heron. Magpies were mobbing the Lapwing flocks before flying off towards the visitor centre. A Goosander was appearingly present on the water body too.
- Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and a male Reed Bunting were all active on the feeder viewable from hide 2. Unfortunately no Long-Tailed Tits, like last visit, however, 2 Coots and a Gadwall were also seen from the hide.
- 12 Cormorants, 4 Mute Swans and countless numbers of Coots and Mallards were on the lake, a group of Tufted Ducks bobbed up and down infront of the gigantic Black-Headed and Common Gull roost.
- 3 Fieldfares, a Dunnock and a POSSIBLE (Identified on Surfbirds ID forum) flock of Linnets were seen on the way around, a Great-Spotted Woodpecker impressed. My Dad also photographed a Probable Pipit which he did NOT decide to tell me about so I missed it.
Still I wait for the day that I will see a Bearded Tit and Cetti's Warbler on the reserve!
Last edited by Old World Warbler; December 20th, 2011 at 02:51 PM.
December 7th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Goosander is a good record for this site. They are fairly regular on Stewartby Lake in cold weather but rarely stray to the Country Park lakes. There have been up to 5 Bearded Tits at Marston Vale recently, in the area of the two pools not far from the entrance track.
December 10th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Yeah, if I'm honest I wasn't expecting Goosander anywhere on the site. I've heard about the G-N Diver that was allegedly on Stewartby yestarday. Interested the Bearded Tits, I've always hoped to catch a glimpse of one on the reserve, or a Cetti's Warbler. When I visited the two pools near the entrance the other day, there was nothing there. I was surprised that not one Goose was present though, in October, there were hundreds of Greylags and Canadas.
Originally Posted by LeeEvans
Last edited by Old World Warbler; December 20th, 2011 at 02:44 PM.