Out and about on the patch today with a visit to Napton-on-the-Hill first on the list. Here I met up with Tim Marlow heading off and Richard Mays, Dave Cox & Paul Cashmore heading in!
|Red Deer at Napton!|
With rain threatening and a different wind direction today the Spotted Flycatchers could be found in a slightly different sheltered location. A reduction in numbers compared to previous counts with nine confirmed in total, including one very young recently fledged bird. Also of note during our stay: (3) Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Great spotted Woodpecker and (5) Swift, with sadly no evidence of Redstarts. A look across the old quarry from the windmill yielded little. However, just below us and nestled in a corner was the above Red Deer, probably there the whole time with all four of us oblivious until Dave connected!
With the rain now established Draycote Water was well worth a punt and here I split with the others, donned my wets and set off. When I'd reached Farborough Spit, where I managed (22) Yellow Wagtails and (5) juvenile Blackcaps on the fencing, I paused for a while to take in an unprecedented amount of Swifts. Circa 200 is a conservative estimate and pretty amazing for the time of year! From here I headed back to the centre and on to Hensborough Bank to check for waders. On arrival in heavy rain (3) Dunlin, (2) Little-ringed Plover and (3) Ringed Plover. Best I could manage on the water was (4) Yellow-legged Gull, with sadly no sign of any tern activity during my stay!