Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve


Figure 1: View from the East Hide, Bodenham Lake (30/1/23)

On January 30th, we paid a visit to Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve. This former gravel pit is one of the largest stretches (50 acres) of open water in Herefordshire and an important overwintering and breeding area for wildfowl. 170 bird species have been logged at this site.

There are three hides (North, South, and East) overlooking different water habitats and plenty of scrubby woodlands for other birds; we saw goldfinch, sparrows, blackbirds, long-tailed tit, blue tit, and chaffinches.

After parking the van in the car park, we made our way to the nearby East Hide. Things were fairly quiet on the water (Swan, Mallards, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck) but, in the distance over the water, there were Grey Herons (3), Cormorants (4), and Little Egrets (7). You can just about spot the Little Egrets in Figure 1 if you line up the teasel heads in the foreground with the far shore. Using the full 18x zoom on our Lumix FZ38 camera it was possible to confirm the egrets and herons in the distance.

Figure 2: Little Egrets at Bodenham Lake (30/1/23)

Figure 3: Herons, Cormorants and Canada Geese at Bodenham Lake (30/1/23)

Someone had noted in the record book kept in the East Hide that they had seen six Little and one Great Egret. While this is possible, we think it is more likely two Little Egrets close together were incorrectly identified as a single Great Egret; making seven Little Egrets in total.

Figure 4: Zoomed-in Image of five (yes, five) Little Egrets (Bodenham Lake, 30/1/23)

Figure 5 shows the heavily zoomed-in image of the Grey Herons and Canada Geese on the far shore (just right of centre in Figure 1).

Figure 5: Zoomed-in Image of Herons and Canada Geese (Bodenham Lake, 30/1/23)

And, finally, a close-up of two of the Cormorants in the trees above the Herons is shown in Figure 6. It is not unusual to find Cormorants roosting in the trees surrounding Bodenham Lake. We've seen more than 30 in a communal roost here, especially during dusk.

Figure 6: Cormorants (Bodenham Lake, 30/1/23)

We were on our way to the South Hide before a couple of visitors (with binoculars) told us it was shut. It was sunny but with a cold wind so we decided to cut the visit short and head for home. 


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