Saturday, 22 March 2014

BOS Alkerton/Balscote Quarry :: 22 March 2014

Dropped in to see if anything had changed on the site. Nothing different on the water with wigeon and shoveler still present. Cold in the wind. Missed a photo of the kestrel playing with a buzzard. Shame - it would have been nice to have them both in the same shot.

Sightings (22) included: kestrel, blackbird, great tit, pheasant, blue tit, greenfinch, goldfinch, woodpigeon, chaffinch, coot, mallard, dunnock, stock dove, moorhen, shoveler, wigeon, snipe, buzzard, robin, carrion crow, lapwing and black headed gull.

Saw green woodpecker flying across the field as I turned to North Newington from Wroxton. I wonder if it one of the pair we often see around the quarry?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Draycote Water :: 15 March 2014

All of humanity seemed to have turned out to Draycote Water today. Car Park full. WheatearIt didn't bode well for catching a glimpse of the long-staying great northern diver. Having made the mistake of heading clockwise to the 'Valve Tower' last time, when sightings were off Farnborough Spit, anti-clockwise it was. Straight-away a group of meadow pipits and two wheatear caught my attention on the bank below the footpath. They didn't seem too bothered by the cars, cyclists, runners and walkers passing by.
If I was going to make a full circuit this time then I'd need to get a shift on. Too many people on the water around to the hide and so not much chance of catching up with the diver here. More than 20 great crested grebes had taken shelter in the shallows around the hide. The favourite fishing spots seemed to be mainly on the north side and again not much to be noted here either. This wasn't looking good.
Back to 'Valve Tower' and just the march home. But no, there it was ... Great Northern Diverin amongst a few coot and great crested grebes. Must have been pushed to shore by the leisure boats and fisherman. Easy viewing, other than the long distances travelled underwater and appearing somewhere completely different. At last.
Sightings for the day (35) included: coot, mallard, canada goose, tufted duck, rook, meadow pipit, wheatear, great crested grebe, black-headed gull, common gull, lesser black backed gull, carrion crow, pied wagtail, teal, moorhen, reed bunting, great tit, blue tit, dunnock, woodpigeon, magpie, robin, wigeon, gadwall, wren, chaffinch, little grebe, blackbird, jackdaw, long tailed tit, mute swan, cormorant, great northern diver, goldeneye and redwing.