Sunday, 17 January 2016

Draycote Water :: 16 January 2016

Having failed seeing the drake smew at Draycote Water on two occasions, both in wet and windy weather, Draycote WaterI set off early to see if my luck would change. Below freezing as I set out with car windows needing scraped.

Quiet on the roads and arrived just before sun up. Two guys offered me their ticket as they were abandoning their cycle round the reservoir as a bad idea, given the temperature at that time. Watched the sun rise from the side of the reservoir then set off for a circuit. No sign of the smew but pleased to see the hide was open again after vandalism close it during the festive season. The birds seemed to be appreciating the cold but still and bright conditions with chiffchaff and goldcrest showing very close but in woods.

After a fruitful circuit I still had no smew on my list so I decided to make another journey down to the hide. Drake smewMet a couple surveying the bay with a scope and they picked up both the smew, a redhead and the scaup - it's good to talk! Walked round the bay to the other bank for better photos but still distant. While watching for the smew was lucky enough to be given a fly past by a kingfisher.

A most enjoyable morning.

Today's species (50) included: coot, little grebe, mallard, goldeneye, carrion crow, tufted duck, great crested grebe, greylag goose, cormorant, black headed gull, meadow pipit, great northern diver, lesser black backed gull, wren, woodpigeon, moorhen, teal, pied wagtail, robin, blue tit, blackbird, great tit, dunnock, chiffchaff, bullfinch, song thrush, goldcrest, great spotted woodpecker, long tailed tit, green woodpecker, starling, jackdaw, canada goose, pochard, fieldfare, redwing, common gull, rook, grey heron, goosander, chaffinch, reed bunting, tree sparrow, magpie, lapwing, gadwall, smew, feral pigeon, scaup and kingfisher.

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