Wednesday, October 25, 2017

📖 Diary #65 ~ Patch Gold!

🍂 ⛅19C Wednesday 25th October 2017 ~ Razorbill, Shag, Grey Phalarope, Hawfinch!!! Now, where in the UK am I? Well, I'm in Warwickshire of course but I bet you'd never have guessed it with a list like that! An unprecedented day birding on the local patch produced these four excellent species.

Razorbill ~ A first for Warwickshire
My day began when I was just about to start the laborious task of cleaning my chimney when a call from Richard Mays sent me scurrying off to Draycote Water. Richard and Dave Cox had dropped onto a Razorbill, which turns out to be a county first and Richards 250th bird at Draycote, so congratulations to him and thanks for the heads up.

Shag ~ On site several days now but almost overlooked today!
I arrived to find the Razorbill sticking pretty close to the pontoons and dipping in and out of the moored fishing boats. No surprise really as these birds can often be found around harbours and are not easily spooked by fishing boats moving around. More people began to arrive for the star attraction, most oblivious to a Shag just a little further along the waters edge.

Grey Phalarope ~ An unexpected bonus!
At this point I got chatting to Francoise (I think that's her name) who after a minute or two produced a photograph on her camera. She told me that she'd took the photo a little earlier further along the bank and was certain it was too small for a gull! You can imagine my astonishment to identify the bird as a Grey Phalarope. Without further ado we were all off, thankfully coming across the bird close to Farborough Spit a short time later. An amazing morning at Draycote, which also included a single Ringed Plover and 20+ Golden Plover to the south.

After picking up some lunch at the Napton Post Office (highly recommended if your in the area) I met up with Richard, Dave, Paul Cashmore, Terry Southgate and his friend Mo at Napton church. A good search of the lane and nearby fields produced the odd Goldcrest in among the tit flocks, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Nuthatch, and Peregrine but the icing on the cake were a couple of Hawfinch, which circled over our heads as we passed near Church Leys Farm, my second sighting of these gorgeous finches at Napton recently!