Sunday, 3 September 2017

Napton Reservoir :: 02 September 2017

It has been a while since I went to Napton Reservoir and on arrival there was still a mist over the water. A few people were already on the banks fishing in the gloom. As I climbed the bank from the car I saw groups of coot, Common buzzardmallard and great crested grebe, and as I set off a couple of sedge warbler fed in the reeds in front of me; they stayed safe from being photographed in the lower reeds. Within the first 20 minutes the sun cleared most of the mist and it was obviously going to be a lovely day. I spooked a buzzard in a treetop as I turned a corner and it flew into the field ahead and landed on a hay bale. It didn't stay long and eventually landed in a distant tree.

As I walked along the footpath, moorhen fed on the bank, occasionally taking of and landing further back down the bank where I had come from. Two buzzards took to the air and began the slow job of catching thermals and rising into the sky above. Speckled wood butterflyAt the small weir, at the end of the path, I watched a couple of speckled wood butterflies enjoying the sun before heading back. I dropped down into the field beside and walked along the marked footpath. In the opposite hedge were numbers of yellowhammer, reed bunting, siskin and blue tits. This was just the sort of habitat that the restarts would love so I spent some time investigating. Nothing. As I looked I had views of a female kestrel, and on the second occasion it was being mobbed by some corvids. There were sporadic waves of mainly swallow but some house martins overhead and then out over the water.

I climbed back up on the reservoir and retraced my steps seeing a little grebe take off and land on the far reaches. I continued surveying the hedgerows and as I approached the last corner I saw a bird drop from the fence onto the field and back. On closer inspection I could see it was a female redstart. Watching this for some time I also caught sight of the male and a lesser whitethroat. Unfortunately they were some 65m from me and only record shots were possible.


I then circled the smaller pond and talked with the fisherman - one had caught tench and the other's mate had caught a carp. On the canal footpath I again spotted a speckled wood butterfly but no other bird species of note.

Reed buntingAs I got back to the car I could see a yellow wagtail high in a tree and then a garden warbler nearby.

An enjoyable visit which made me wonder why I don't come more often.

Sightings (34) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blackcap, blue tit, buzzard, carrion crow, chiffchaff, coot, dunnock, garden warbler, great crested grebe, grey heron, house martin, jackdaw, kestrel, lesser whitethroat, linnet, little grebe, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, redstart, reed bunting, robin, rook, sedge warbler, starling, swallow, tufted duck, woodpigeon, wren, yellow wagtail and yellowhammer.

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