Saturday, 11 February 2017

Draycote Water :: 04 February 2017

An early breakfast and off to Draycote Water for my first real birdwatch of the year. A cold start and needed to scrape the car before getting off the drive. There were already a good number of runners and cyclists in the carpark on arrival. As ever the tricky question was whether to do the circuit clockwise or anticlockwise. Not knowing where the target birds would be I decided on anticlockwise - Scaupseems wrong the other way anyway, and last time I saw a smew at Draycote it was in Toft Bay.

As I got onto the footpath and looked down towards the pontoon I was taken by the large number of little grebe, at least 12 diving. Joining them were some of the scaup that had been noted by others in recent weeks. No sign of the smew at Toft though.

Just before reaching Biggin Bay a blackbird was disturbed in the hedgerow to my right. It turned out to be the result of a weasel working it's way along the hedge - I followed for around 20 metres with some good views but a poor photo. Eventually it disappeared and I continued on my way.

Past the valve tower and at last came across the first target bird, a red-necked grebe. Redhead smewVisible with the ducks but too far offshore for a decent photo. Chatted briefly to another birder who had spent some time with the tree sparrows. Soon after I bumped into him again taking photos of scaup that I presume had moved round from the pontoon area. Fortunately he pointed out that I'd just walked past the redhead smew - must have been diving when I looked. By the time I got back she had decided enough was enough and had climbed onto the rocks at the side for a bit of shuteye.

Nothing extra from there so headed back home for lunch.

Today's sightings (42) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldeneye, goosander, great crested grebe, great tit, grey heron, grey wagtail, herring gull, jackdaw, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pied wagtail, red-necked grebe, reed bunting, robin, rook, scaup, smew, starling, teal, tree sparrow, tufted duck, woodpigeon and wren.

No comments:

Post a Comment