Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Goodies

Tuesday evening I managed to get across the canal to Napton Reservoir in search of the reported Black-necked Grebe which Richard Mayes had kindly informed me about earlier in the day.

I was joined by Kevin Groocock and luckily enough the bird was still on site but remained quite elusive, darting in and out of the reeds, but a local tick nevertheless!

The weather overnight was clear and the wind had dropped to a gentle breeze when I left the boat this morning just before 6am. As I walked up the west path to my car I was alerted to no less than 3 juvenile Kestrel, which were making enough noise to wake most of the slumbering boating population.

Southern Hawker Click to enlarge
With Brandon Marsh desperately quiet of late I decided to revisit Draycote Water after Monday's excellent days birding and arrived just as the sun was breaking over the horizon. At first glance as I entered from Thurlaston church the place seemed pretty quiet but thankfully this didn't last long!

As I rounded the corner towards Toft Bank an adult Merlin flew silently over my head, disappearing into the trees over towards Grays Barn, a great start. On the shore Monday's Shag was having a breather on Toft Bank and several Dunlin were also on view.

I decided to have coffee at Farborough Spit and had an exceptional half hour recording Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, Redshank, 1 Common and 3 Arctic Tern, plus Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear and Raven.

After moving further down Farborough Bank towards the Sailing Club I met up with the Draycote duo Richard and Bob who delivered a little bit of sad news. Apparently Monday's Gannet had been reported dead over towards Lin Croft Point. It wasn't long before a short scan across in the general direction confirmed the news. A little baffling as the bird seemed to be in great condition and showed no signs of fatigue or injury on Monday!

A stunning Southern Hawker Dragonfly (I look forward to your pictures Bob) another 2 late Swifts and a total of 5 Greenshank before my back decided I was pushing it a little and I departed to Brandon for lunch.

Brandon still remains quiet and the best of the visit was 2 Wigeon on East Marsh Pool, 3 Green Sandpiper on Teal Pool and 2 Willow Tit near the Central Marsh Path. Over lunch in the Badgers Tea Room I was treated to some good views of Spotted Flycatcher. Birding luxury, Brie and Bacon Pinini, Coffee and Flycatcher, what more could you want!

Finally worth reporting that upon my return to the marina two huge flocks were recorded around the dog walking pound. At least 50 Goldfinch and C150 Linnet, a great end to the birding day!