Birding is still at a premium for me at present with a few personal projects on the go, not least the 'Brandon Marsh 2013 Report', which I'm helping edit along with Alban and Jim. However, a leisurely walk around Draycote Water with Bob and Richard on Monday morning was a treat, this during a nice break in the persistent westerly gales, plus a dismally wet and windy visit to Brandon Marsh this morning.
Yellowhammer - One of several at Draycote Water
With the risk of becoming a little complacent, the usual long staying birds were to be found at Draycote: Great Northern Diver, feeding much further out on this visit, plus drake Smew, Long-tailed Duck and Red-breasted Merganser, which we eventually found as we approached the 'overflow'.
Also of note during my walk were at least a dozen or so Yellowhammer to the back of the 'Inlet', several Tree Sparrow on the feeder, lone Chiffchaff and a couple of very bold Water Rail, of which I managed a short burst of video on the Canon SX50. I even managed to wow Bob with a little plane spotting (aviation my second hobby) when I took this image of a Russian made Anotov AN-124 as it passed overhead!
Anotov An-124 worlds second heaviest operating cargo aircraft!
Brandon remains a quagmire and although the sluices are now open on east marsh pool, goodness knows when the levels will return to anything near normality. Some decent reports though over the last week or so of Caspian Gull, Red-crested Pochard andMealy Redpoll, so I need to get back into the swing again pretty soon!
Another Little Owl residence up for lease!
Locally, I finally managed to place a Little Owl nesting box after finally getting permission from Lord Shuckburgh, thanks should also go to James from the Crossroads Garage at Napton who helped me put the thing up.