Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Diary Update #55

Visits to Brandon Marsh Sunday and today, plus a stop off at Draycote Water on route home to catch up with Great Northern Diver.

Goldeneye ~ 2 Males and this female at Brandon on Sunday!
Sunday was the best of the two visits and yielded a good selection of wildfowl which included of note: Shelduck, (3) Goosander, (3) Goldeneye, (2) Pochard (160) Wigeon, (65) Teal and a good number of Shoveler, which went uncounted! Other notables included (2) Little Egret, Grey Wagtail and various counts of Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Caspian Gull ~ The perfect opportunity to improve your ID skills!
A large number of Gulls on site included (55) Lesser Blacked-backed Gull but the stars had to be Yellow-legged Gull and Caspian Gull. I'm not a gull man myself but when you have a verified Caspian Gull on site its a perfect opportunity to study a bird that I'm totally unfamiliar with! In fact most of the Brandon regulars, apart from one or two, would say the same and this is perhaps why I'm certain the species is under-recorded here.

Caspian Gull ~ Alternative view!
Todays visit to Brandon was pretty dire! With the torrential rain over the past few days the reserve is beginning to flood, although we got off lightly with Storm Angus and so I don't think we'll suffer too much disruption.

A Loon in gloom! ~ Great Northern Diver at Draycote today!
On route home today I stopped off at Draycote Water to see if I could catch up with at least one of the three reported Great Northern Divers. As it happens it wasn't to much of a stress as I spotted Mr Draycote, Bob Hazell on top of Farborough Bank when I arrived. Bob was photographing a couple of Dunlin and as we were catching up on the gossip one of the divers was showing nicely just off the bank.

Yellow-legged Gull ~ A chance to check out the wing structure!

Yellow-legged and Caspian Gull together!