Friday, August 09, 2013

Draycote Stroll

I'm not sure as to why I don't visit Draycote Water more often than I do as it's almost on my doorstep, but each time I do I thoroughly enjoy my time there. During today's visit I met up with Keith Foster and Bob Hazel for a morning and early afternoon stroll around the perimeter.

The overnight rain and remaining showers had just about cleared when we set off along Farborough Bank, bumping into the dynamic duo of Richard and Dave. A good breeze and cloud cover to start had low flying Swift and Swallow. It wasn't long before Bob picked up the first of two Yellow-legged Gulls during our visit, with one perched atop one of the buoy's. A couple of Common Tern were busy fishing and a juvenile was also seen during our walk.

Small Copper
Plenty of Pied Wagtail to be found and it wasn't until we'd passed Farborough Spit that the first wader of day was sighted, with a lone Dunlin feeding along the waters edge. The tree lined area just after the hide held Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Treecreeper and as we progressed along towards Grays Barn the sunshine had broken through with: Large White, Small White, Green-vein White, Common Blue, Small Copper and Peacock butterfly on the wing.

As we approached Biggin Bay the first raptor of the day was a Hobby, when one came in from the north, a second Hobby, possibly the same bird was seen much higher up as we passed Dunns Bay a little later. Just prior to the turn at the Valve Tower a small cluster of waders ended up providing (5) Common Sandpiper and (1) Green Sandpiper.

Grebe Family 
As we progressed along Draycote Bank some lovely views of a family of Great-crested Grebe, with one of the three young being carried in typical grebe fashion on the mothers back. The Inlet was literally awash with Trout basking on the raised sections, unfortunately far too big for a Kingfisher, which dropped in briefly.

Brown Argus - Not in the most pristine condition!
Pausing for a while along Hensborough Bank, while Bob made numerous attempts to digiscope a Brown Argus butterfly, under the able supervision of Keith#2, a distant Osprey flew low over the inlet, unfortunately dropping down before I managed to get Bob and Keith onto it. Yes I know, that old chestnut, but sadly we were unable to re-locate the bird after a good while waiting for it to re-emerge. During our vigil at least (3) Common Buzzard, lots of House Martins which had a lone Sand Martin among them, a very enjoyable day.