Friday, March 04, 2011

Nice Day Out!

Many Goosander today!
As another week draws to a close I was glad I decided to pick today for a hike around Draycote Water. Finally the sun broke through the persistent low cloud which has dogged us all week and the sun shone on what has been a glorious day.

Trolling around my local patch and Brandon Marsh hasn't thrown up anything new over the last several days on the birding front. The Conservation Team managed to prepare the Islands at Brandon for the forthcoming breeding season in break neck speed on Thursday, we'd cleared off by midday causing only minimal disruption. We also managed to complete works on the Sand Martin structure, this has been slightly altered with a surround to prevent predation from Mink and other species such as Stoat and Weasel.

Reifel Migratory Santuary, Vancouver
On a personal note I received some great news today and it's now definate that my next trip to Canada begins in a weeks time! Five weeks out there and I'm really excited that it's come together so quickly. I'm hoping as part of my visit to work alongside some of the volunteers at the George C Reifel Migratory Sanctuary in Delta, Vancouver.

The Sanctuary is a popular bird watching locale with hiking trails, bird blinds, lookouts and is a wide ranging habitat for hundreds of species of permanent and migratory birds. Species such as Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles and various Owls nest and raise their young on the marshlands and dikes, while birds such as Lesser Snow Geese, Chickadees, Western Sandpipers and Long-billed Dowitchers can be spotted during their migratory journeys!

Back to Draycote today, accompanied by Jim Rushforth and Alvin Burton and I'm glad to say that we managed to make contact with the male Smew and both male and female Scaup. Although the Scaup were not that obliging and managed to stay asleep the whole time they were in view. Three Grey Wagtails are also worth a mention, plus lots of Goosander and good numbers of Goldeneye. A little debate regarding a possible Yellow-legged Gull among the many hundreds did however remain unresolved. No signs today of the Finch flock containing the Brambling behind the Inlet, and we also drew a blank on the recent Rock Pipit which apparently only appeared for one day. Our thanks to Bob Hazell for his absolute knowledge of Draycote once again, I don't think I've ever visited and not seen him around!