Sunday, 1 October 2017

Draycote Water :: 30 September 2017

Just back from a business trip to the USA and a bit miffed that I missed the red phalarope at Farmoor Reservoir earlier in the week.

I noted last night that two little stint and a ruff were at Draycote Water and so I went up for a look. From previous experience the likelihood it that clockwise is likely to result in earlier finds, particularly the stretches before the valve tower - nothing doing though and by the time I got to the tower I decided the only thing for it was a full circuit.

Passing the golf course there was a lot of commotion as a mixed flock of rooks and jackdaw were forced into the sky by four circling buzzards - the buzzards calling frequently.

I met a chap from Wolverhampton (@Dean_A_1975)who was visiting site for the first time - Kestrelhe’d come to see the wheatear, and hadn’t been disappointed. He had a talked with a few of the other birders, as I did later, and no one had seen my target species. There were reports of a black tern but again none of us had seen it - @Cymbelinelister reported it and I presume he was there before the flotilla turned up.

At this point I managed to step on the edge of the tarmac and twist my ankle.. only two miles to go ...

When I got to the hide I found an old chap in there with a picnic chair, flask, lunch and a few musical instruments - a saxophone and a clarinet I think. He didn’t play while I was there by others suggested he might be playing Wheatear‘Stranger on the shore’ when alone.

Continued to see large numbers of little grebe and a large flock of greylag geese. Little egret in the end totalled 8.

The final treat of the day was a single wheatear flitting from the lower slopes to the Reservoir perimeter wall. A final chat with a chap carrying binoculars - really into photography and much to say about some of the new Olympus cameras. Interesting.

Time for home.

Sightings (33) included: black-headed gull, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, coot, cormorant, dunnock, goldfinch, great crested grebe, great tit, grey heron, grey wagtail, greylag goose, kestrel, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, moorhen, mute swan, pied wagtail, robin, rook, starling, teal, tufted duck, wheatear, woodpigeon, wren and yellowhammer.

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