Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Napton's A Hit!

An hour at Napton Reservoir early doors before meeting up with a few of the guys at Draycote Water and you could have knocked me over with a feather only 20 minutes into my birding day.

Avocets - Two Over Napton Reservoir Early Morning!
At first I thought I was hearing things, then I thought I was seeing things, then I was stunned to find not one but two Avocets circling overhead! For at least two minutes the birds continued to circle, at one stage coming low to the water and I was positive they were coming in, only to have my hopes dashed by a Lesser Black-backed Gull, which sent them off in the direction of Napton Hill.

Yellow Wagtail - One of 8 Seen Today!
I was due to meet up with Derek and Trevor in the Draycote car park at 8am, no sign of the tardy Trevor at this point so Derek and I had a quick look around the immediate area. A couple of Yellow Wagtails were on the bank near the Scrape Field but the star was a nice looking Whinchat on the fence, which Trevor naturally missed!

A walk to Farborough Spit had a half dozen Pied Wagtail, a Common Sandpiper and a single Wheatear on the wall, a Lesser Whitethroat was also singing at the Sewage Works. Just prior to reaching the hide at least (6) Swift were overhead, my first for 2013. With the weather deteriorating a little we decided to walk back towards the visitor centre, meeting up with Bob Hazell on the way. A White Wagtail was on the waters edge on route back and thanks to Bob we finally put Trevor onto the Whinchat!

Wheatear - One Of Two Seen Today
After a coffee in the lower car park with Bob and Richard Mays, Derek, Trevor and I took a walk around the perimeter to the 'Inlet'. Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest in the Hawthorn, plus a second Wheatear, (2) Raven over, Skylark and Yellowhammer near the feeder. A stunning Sparrowhawk sat perched on the wall at one stage begging to be photographed before an oblivious jogger spooked it before we had a chance.

The only other Wader of the visit was at first a mystery before a second chance to have a good look and thankfully hear the bird identified it as a Knot, which flew over the 'Inlet' area a couple of times before making off north. Other birds of note included : House Martin, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Grey Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck and Buzzard.

A late lunch at Brandon Marsh and an hour in the hides produced (2) Ringed Plover and (2) Raven over in addition to my Tuesday report.