Thanks to members of OOS a very successful open day was held at Rushy Common Nature Reserve on Sunday. They helped lots of new visitors to the hide to use scopes and identify species that, in some cases, they hadn't even heard of before. It was gratifying to find that some people were surprised to see birds that we now take for granted, for example the gadwall. We didn't spot any great rarities but helping someone to see new species or identify the differences between the ducks was satisfaction enough. 'I can't do ducks' was a challenge to the regulars which they willingly tackled. 'I can't do gulls' was maybe best left for another day. Thirty three species were recorded for the day which wasn't bad as I didn't start recording until near the end. We were far too busy talking bird stories, bird facts and bird identification tips, not to mention size of lenses and different types of binoculars and scopes.
Little grebe put on a good show, with seven visible at one time, and seemed to be about the most popular new spot for many people; one person commented that they didn't look like they could float as they look so fluffy. We were pleased to see them as on the valley birdwatch day in May there were no sightings of little grebe for anyone.
I am going to run another valley birdwatch on 2nd February. If you weren't involved in the first one and would like to join in please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.