Friday, January 20, 2017

Diary Update #3 ~ 2017

With a blocking high pressure system over the vast majority of the UK this past week the weather for the most part has remained pretty dank, with low cloud and drizzle the order of the day!

Monday 16th January... I was initially on my way to Brandon Marsh when I decided to divert to Draycote Water with the idea of picking up a few new species for the year list. I didn't complete a full circuit, instead a walk along Farborough Bank and back before heading on as far as the valve tower. I cut my visit short when the rain got too heavy, thankfully just as I'd finally dropped onto one of the several Scaup currently on site. Year-firsts: Meadow Pipit, (C30) Tree Sparrow and Scaup and also during my stay (9) Goosander and Little Egret were other notables.

Common Buzzard when the sun finally arrived Friday!
On to Brandon Marsh and by now the rain had become persistent. One benefit was having the East Marsh hide completely to myself and having just dropped onto a Caspian Gull, which I'd established had a green ring on it's right leg all hell broke loose! The culprit, not the hoped for marauding raptor but a pair of idiots, who were suddenly standing right next to the Sand Martin structure, completely off-piste and scattering all asunder! A few booming words across the pool from the hide flaps sent them scurrying away but the damage had already been done and I departed. However, not before trying to seek out these idiots for a few choice words! 😡

☁ Tuesday 17th January... A few hours at Brandon Marsh where the best of the visit included Water Rail, a year best count of (34) Gadwall plus single ⚦Goldeneye, Goosander and Wigeon.

☁ Thursday 19th January... Another session with the Brandon Marsh volunteers and again continuing my project of willow removal from the Farm Pool. No birding prior to starting work but during the session two Woodcock were inadvertently flushed from the conservation area.

Bearded Tit at Napton ~ Amazed this actually came out but that's the Canon SX50 for you!
Friday 20th January... A vast improvement to the weather with the cloud finally dissipating overnight to produce a crisp cold and slightly frosty morning, far too scarce this winter! I began at Napton Reservoir and almost immediately on arrival at the top end of the reedbed, (6) Bearded Tit! After enjoying the spectacle for a short while and even managing a record shot, despite all birds staying firmly to the rear of the reedbed, a phone call had me quickly scurrying away. It was Keith Foster with a heads-up on a Red-necked Grebe at Draycote Water.

Red-necked Grebe at glorious Draycote Water!
I made my way back to the car (3) Snipe overhead and within 45 minutes I was standing alongside Bob Hazell (the finder) and Keith Foster just around from Rainbow Corner at Draycote. The Red-necked Grebe was very accommodating and only 30 meters off the bank during my stay, an excellent local birding day!