Friday, January 08, 2016

Diary Entry #1 Catch Up!

Couple of entries to catch up with before I complete a quick write up on todays visits to Draycote Water and Brandon Marsh.

Turnstone RSPB Freiston Shore
Firstly a visit to RSPB Freiston Shore on January 2nd prior to returning home from our New Year break in Lincolnshire got the year list off to a good start. A nice selection of waders were recorded including: Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Knot, Redshank and Turnstone. A walk down to the shed which overlooks the shore held Sanderling, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and Little Egret. Most of the usual winter wildfowl were also registered including Pintail, Shelduck and both Wigeon and Brent Geese were well represented! The highlight of the day was undoubtedly a Merlin which terrorised for a short while before heading off empty handed.

On Monday last my first visit to Brandon Marsh was quite successful, when for the first time in ages the Bittern was actually in the channel at East Marsh Hide, unfortunately disappearing into the reeds before the camera was out! Lots of reed twitching for the next hour or so in anticipation ended with no further sign. Not a bad visit with 43 species during my stay, including a Marsh Tit at the 'wind pump', which was calling and showing quite well.

Great Northern Diver - One of two seen at Draycote Water
Today I managed a whole day in the field, starting off at Draycote Water, where on route circa (50) Golden Plover flew over the A426 at Kites Hardwick, (9) more were seen in flight while at Draycote itself. I was hopeful I could nail the long stayers pretty quickly but ended up starting at Rainbow Corner and 'The Inlet'. As it turns out the wrong side of the site completely, but I did manage (15) Goosander, single Little Egret and one of the Great Northern Divers. Tracking back to Farborough Bank I finally connected with the ♀Scaup, which was fast asleep in among the Tufted Duck and catching up with @bobhazell at Farborough Spit I finally laid eyes on the drake Smew, which was way over towards Toft!

Brandon Marsh was completely flooded when I arrived around midday but I managed to wade, wellies nearly flooding over, to the East Marsh Hide, where I met up with Bob Lee. Bob had the Bittern early on but the best I could manage during my time was: Cetti's Warbler, ♀Goosander, (70+) Wigeon, pair of Goldeneye, Great-crested Grebe, (2) Snipe, (2) Pochard and Little Egret.