On Wednesday we took advantage of the beautiful evening sunshine with a walk around the RSPB nature reserve at Middleton Lakes.
We often visit the nature reserve to see the heronry, the active bird feeders, the lapwing conservation area, the friendly robins and the rest of the beautiful woodland and walks. It’s so fantastic that we have such a great reserve just ten minutes from our house.
On this occasion, we were lucky to add two new birds to our life list…
Firstly, a bird that we heard before we saw… the cuckoo. As we were walking along the woodland path, I heard it’s distinctive call. When we arrived at the viewing area over the silt lake, I could tell what direction the call was coming from, and sure enough I saw it at the top of a tree through the binoculars. It reminded me of a cross between a pigeon and a bird of prey, like a sparrowhawk.
The second bird was in the reeds beside the lake. It was a bird that I didn’t recognise and was very distinctive with it’s black head, white collar and brown body. A quick check on the RSPB bird identifier told us it was a reed bunting. I often struggle with identifying warblers and buntings, but now that I know what the reed bunting looks like, I don’t think it’s one i’ll forget.
Another highlight of the walk (and a common feature of our trips to Middleton), was the super-friendly robin. Despite being fiercely territorial birds, there are a lot of them at Middleton, and they know where to find the feed from the visitors. We took along some meal worms to tempt them a little closer… and it worked.
When we returned home from our walk, we discovered from Springwatch Unsprung that the robin had won the vote as Britain’s National Bird. Fitting given our earlier encounter.