We used to be regular visitors to Middleton, but had decided to give it a miss since our only visit this year back in February, as it wasn't possible to do the Wetlands Walk and there was too much construction activity going on. But we thought as it was lovely day Sunday we would give it a shot and see how it's progressing.
Firstly the bad news we timed our visit with a Craft Fayre at the Hall, so it seems that everyone was adding a walk (with dogs!) to the reserve and even around it. So with dogs yapping and noisy people nothing stayed in the hedgerows, although we did hear plenty! Even the feeders were empty!
So what about the reserve, well the water levels were quite high, so no waders at all! In fact unless you were looking for Black Headed Gulls, Tufted Duck or Mute Swans, you were pretty much out of luck!
So we went as far as we could along the river to a picnic bench overlooking the river and sat and had a coffee and a chill, hoping that the people would disperse a bit. We had our first bit of luck as we spotted a Kingfisher zooming along the river, took us completely by surprise as we were too busy watching the dragonflies, took a photo of a dragonfly just for the record, almost the same colour as the Kingfisher:
Sorry not being a dragonfly person, don't know what sort it is!
So coffee drunk (for now!) we headed back to continue the circular walk in peace and quiet and were rewarded with a Sedge Warbler in song:
Having said all that we did enjoy the walk, even though the grass is so high in places you can't see a thing across the lakes.
The works are still in progress (thankfully Sunday was a day off, so we could do the full circular walk) there are a couple of new Screens, although I'm not sure how you are supposed to get to the one there doesn't seem to be a path to it. The new hide is nowhere near completion, hopefully it will be finished for the winter as it looks to be in a good spot for over wintering waterfowl.
So whilst we still enjoyed it, a rather dismal afternoon on the birding front, 29 species in 3 hours! (Including corvids and pigeons and finally some Finches on the feeders as we left)
So we will leave Middleton again until at least November we think.