Willen Lake North walk – 22 August report – Martine Harvey

Photo of moon © Peter Barnes

Willen Lake North was the focus for this MKNHS walk and we started at the Willen Pavilion car park. Walking anti-clockwise, in the direction of the Peace Pagoda, we stayed close to the lake to look out for Dragonflies and Water Rail. A Common Gull was spotted on the water as we approached. We were then lucky to spot a juvenile and adult Common Tern perched on the poles by the water’s edge, along with some Black Headed Gulls. A young frog was spotted further on, in the grass.

Black-headed Gull and Common Tern (Photo © Martine Harvey)

Walking towards the bird hide, we heard the call of a Water Rail as a Jay flew above into a tree. From the bird hide, several Migrant Hawkers were seen, and a roost of Cormorants were up high in trees across on the island. We then spent some time by the small bridge looking for Dragonflies but unfortunately did not see any. As the sun dropped low in the sky, we saw a Great Crested Grebe in silhouette and further in the distance a family of Tufted Duck.

Near the weir, an unidentified Dragonfly was seen and noted in case it could have been a Lesser Emperor, but unfortunately no ID was made. House Martins and Swallows were seen in the distance, up high as the light levels dropped. On returning to the car park a Noctule Bat was seen and heard with a bat detector.

Many plants were noted on the walk including grassy tall phragmites which grows profusely at the water’s edge. There were good flower heads on the tall stalks; they are large, ranging from near black to a glorious deep purple-red at this time of year, and becoming beige to a creamy bleached white by the spring.

Many people enjoyed the walk, and the evening sun was especially beautiful as the crescent Moon started to appear.

A Plant list is being prepared, and will be added in due course.

Martine Harvey
August 2023