Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A New addition!

A New Addition Overnight!
Enjoying a coffee this morning at around 6am, after a rather bumpy night, the rain still battering down and the wind still hammering the boat, I was somewhat surprised around 45 minutes later when I stepped onto the pontoon in crystal clear skies and a relatively calm water!

I was further surprised when I noticed that a lone ♂Mandarin Duck had joined with the local Mallard population during the night. In fact my birding day had gotten off to an excellent start by the time I reached the car, when silhouetted against the clear brightening Eastern sky a Woodcock overflew the marina.

Brandon Marsh this morning had received a very welcome overnight dumping of rain and as I drove past the top reed bed a very early Buzzard was making it's way across. I made my way around my usual route and it was soon apparent that a feeding frenzy was taking place. Excellent numbers of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin were feeding high amongst the Alder, and the few remaining Hawthorn berries were being greedily devoured by Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbirds and Bullfinch. New Hare Covert produced 2 Goldcrest and a single Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Lots Of Fieldfare Locally!
Passing the golf course a ♀Muntjac Deer made a dart across for the relative cover of New Hare Covert and both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were heard calling. East Marsh Pool, which now has excellent water levels produced the usual suspects, the best of which were: Kingfisher, 2 pair of Goldeneye, 18 Golden Plover, 9 Snipe, 6 Wigeon and a very pristine looking Yellow-legged Gull amongst the Gull population. Also seen of note during my visit were: Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Willow Tit, Coal Tit and Nuthatch.

With time to spare before my car was due it's MOT I took the opportunity for a walk around a very blowy and somewhat biting Napton Reservoir. Here most of the waterfowl were sensibly taking cover at the top end of the water, with around 50 or so Tufted Duck, 75+ Wigeon, 8 Gadwall and probably the whole Counties allocation of Coot!

A walk to the top end of the reed bed produced at least 75 Fieldfare and the best of the visit, when I inadvertently flushed a Jack Snipe, which was also taking cover from the now buffeting winds. On my return to the marina our new resident Mandarin was still on site, offering good photographic opportunities and my final bird of a very enjoyable day out was a cronking Raven over!