Ashdown Forest and Weir Wood Reservoir

Yesterday I went on a 2 and a half hour walk around Ashdown Forest.

Although it was raining when we arrived we were lucky because as we started walking it stopped! I was looking for a Great Grey Shrike which had been reported to be there, but unfortunately we never saw it.
Ashdown Forest
Walking out onto Ashdown Forest the joyful sound of Chiffchaffs continuously calling was what I heard through out my time there with the occasional burst of song from a Blackbird or Wren. As we walked through some conifers out into a clearing I could see a bird bobbing along in the grass. Looking through my binoculars I could see it was a brown streaked bird, it was a Tree Pipit...

Record shot- Tree Pipit
We then headed down onto the main path. I could hear many birds singing in among the bright yellow gorse and Ashdown Forests renowned habitat, heathland. This is the best place to see Stonechats as they normally fly and then land on the top of grass. This is what I saw, a male and female Stonechat.

Record shot- Female Stonechat

Record shot- Male Stonechat
As we sat on a bench for lunch there were a couple of Willow Warblers flying from tree to tree. We then headed back to the car. After we had walked up the main path we walked towards the conifer trees again. I saw a Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Goldcrest.

Today we made a quick visit to Weirwood Reservoir, we didn't stay long as there wasn't a proper walk around the lake but I did manage to see a few birds.

Where we parked you could see the majority of the reservoir as well as some of the feeders they had put up. There were around 12 Grey Heron nests on the trees on the far side.

Grey Heron on nest
I also saw 4 Mandarin, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 5 Cormorant. On the feeders there were Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Marsh Tit and Nuthatch.

Mandarin





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