Sunday, 13 December 2015

Draycote Water :: 12 December 2015

A windy day to be going round Draycote Water, and the constant threat of rain, but the chance of seeing the drake smew had pushed me on. Wind into my face round to the hide brought me only a sighting of one of the great northern divers, a reward in itself on any other day. LapwingGood numbers of ducks on the water and wildfowl around the edge. Some birds taking refuge in the rocks around the water's edge.

Passed the valve tower and still no sight of the smew. While scanning the water a kingfisher shot across the surface of the water and passed me, stopping at the valve tower outlet. Another great northern diver (becoming commonplace round here) and back to the visitors centre. No smew but plenty of birds, Great Northern Divermost starting to congregate for the roost around the pontoons and near water.

Species noted (38) included: blackbird, black-headed gull, blue tit, canada goose, carrion crow, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldeneye, goldfinch, goosander, great crested grebe, great northern diver, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, kestrel, kingfisher, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, pheasant, pied wagtail, robin, rook, starling, teal, tufted duck, wigeon, woodpigeon and wren.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Farmoor Reservoir :: 04 December 2015

After three long weeks, including a trip to China, it was time for a day off. Grey PhalaropeReports of a long staying (now pair of) grey phalaropes took me off to Farmoor Reservoir. Spots of rain as I arrived so waited just a few minutes for it to pass. Up onto the path and soon came across the pair of phalaropes feeding along the waters edge, seemingly un-phased by my presence. I was joined by a few others to watch as they progressed back and forward in front of us. Walked around F1 further and had the opportunity to talk with a volunteer from WkWT Brandon Marsh and spot the red-necked grebe.

Grey PhalaropeA most enjoyable visit, despite the arrival of rain again as I left to sort out my car down on the Cowley Road.

Today's sightings (21) included: blackbird, black-headed gull, carrion crow, coot, cormorant, fieldfare, great-crested grebe, grey phalarope, grey wagtail, lesser black-backed gull, little grebe, magpie, mallard, moorhen, pied wagtail, red kite, red-necked grebe, redshank, redwing, tufted duck and woodpigeon.