11 members of the bird group enjoyed a day at the Lower Ure Conservation Trust site at Nosterfield.  From the first hide we saw the ducks, waders,geese and gulls we expected and one we hadn’t : a Great White Egret standing tall in the ponds. Also present was a Little Egret and we were able to compare the different sizes. On the walk to the viewing screen we spotted and heard many smaller birds and as we listened to Curlew and Skylark we also heard and saw our first summer migrant : a Chiffchaff, one of several we heard later.  To add to the feeling of Spring we saw several butterflies, in particular, the vibrant yellow of Brimstones.  The sun was pleasantly warm so that some of us were able to picnic outside when we went to the Tarmac quarry.  There Chris spotted an Otter ducking and diving in one of the lakes.  Further on we saw a group of Whooper Swans, presumably soon to move North.  Another delight was a group of 3 Tree Sparrows posing in a row on a branch.

Our total bird species count was 52, plus 3 species of butterfly, honey bees on the Blackthorn blossom, otter, hares, rabbits and 2 small toads.  A most rewarding and enjoyable day at this interesting and almost local reserve.

Win Clements