Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Draycote Today!

White Fronted!
After three attempts I finally caught up with a local Short-eared Owl this morning which a fellow boater had put me on to quartering a field off the Napton to Stockton road. It's great to have one on the local patch and I just hope it decides to hang around for a while longer.

The gloom had finally lifted overnight producing a slight frost and a crisp start to the day so I decided to head off to Draycote Water for a wander. I opted to park in the main car park today instead of my usual parking spot at Thurlaston, and on arrival I met up with the Draycote guru's Richard and Bob and decided to let them accompany me around 'The Pond' :)

I have to say that although the birding wasn't that prolific I really enjoyed the time spend with the guys, which included lots of banter, most of which was at my expense! I won't mention the missing White-fronted Geese, oops!!

It was quite a surprise for me to see how the reservoir had decreased even further in water mass since my last visit several weeks ago, something that must surely be of great concern for Severn Trent Water.

A walk along Farborough Bank up to the Spit produced of note ♂ and ♀ Goosander, a lone Yellow-legged Gull out on one of the islands, shortly after followed by a single ♀Common Scoter, which remained distant. Lapwing were in excellent numbers and a huge flock seen across towards Draycote Bank had 7 Dunlin within.

Fly Agaric @ Brandon!
A decision to backtrack for a look at Rainbow corner turned up around 45 Golden Plover over, an extremely agile Peregrine, which attempted but failed to take a Wood Pigeon mid flight, and a few remaining Skylark heading south.

Having failed to locate the recent White-fronted Geese a decision to return to Farborough spit proved successful with 10 birds located in the field below the bank.

Time spent scrutinising the surrounding field proved fruitful with Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Richard managed a lone Grey Partridge, which was accompanied by 5 Red-legged, of interest too were around 15 Guinea-fowl which were fun to see.

After departing Draycote and lunch at Brandon Marsh I managed once again to miss the Bittern by minutes on East Marsh Pool. In the hour or so I spent at East Marsh I managed the 2♂ and 2♀ Goldeneye, which are still on site, and finished with: 132 Golden Plover, 6 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall, 22 Pochard, 9 Snipe, 26 Common Gull, 9 Lesser black-backed Gull, plus excellent numbers of Teal and Shoveler. The walk back to the nature centre yielded: 5 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Siskin, 2♀ Bullfinch, and small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare.