Sunday, 8 October 2017

Pitsford Water :: 07 October 2017

Charlotte suggested that she would come along on this mornings walk but that she would go and take out some cash, pay for her Mum’s papers, and drop in to see her Mum first. After a shower I thought I’d quickly fill the feeders as I will be in Russia for the next two weeks - as I stepped out the back door I felt a slow drizzle, not what was forecast. With some time left to kill I then filled up the car as it was running on vapour. Got to Pitsford Water at 10.45am and started off clockwise, round the Wildlife Trust managed site, in sunshine. All the usual suspects plus a flock of tree sparrows and a single stonechat. StonechatWe moved along and could see a young lad watching something from his scope. He came back towards us as we walked the other way. We stopped to chat and he said that he’d been talking with someone in a hide further up the trail and that there two whooper swans reported. Sure enough, looking through his scope, there they were [161].

We stopped at the next hide and found the chap who had spotted them on his way in. By then we checked Twitter and could see the news was out. Great white egretHe had been in the hide for a little while and could point out dunlin, ringed plover, little ringed plover and he didn’t need to introduce the great white egret. As we looked through his scope we also added a single ruff. The sky started to cloud over but there wasn’t any threat of rain, indeed we had to take off our waterproofs as it was getting close.

Charlotte and I decided to continue on to do a full circuit and to see if we could get a better view of the ruff. Although it looked close, we had seriously underestimated the time it would take to get there round the path. Once at the opposite hide there was little improvement in distance and a proper photo was out of the question.

Now committed we pushed on encountering flocks of red legged partridge and pheasant, plus muntjac and roe deer. Taking a rest in a hide overlooking Walgrave Bay we watched a great white egret being mobbed by a small flock of black-headed gulls, Whooper swanlooking quite deranged at times as it warned them off.

From the bank we also had the chance to see the whooper swans, this time close enough for a photograph.

As we eventually got close to the fishing lodge car park we were treated with views of two jays, although in flight and heading away. When we got to the car park Charlotte opted for rest on the benches while I continued on to the road and across the causeway to collect the car. Martin Swannell (@alanthetortoise) asked if we had seen the Whoopers and had his camera trained on them - I’ll look for his photos later.

Sightings today (38) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, canada goose, carrion crow, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunlin, gadwall, goldfinch, great crested grebe, great white egret, jay, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little ringed plover, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, red-legged partridge, ringed plover, robin, rook, ruff, shoveler, starling, stonechat, teal, tree sparrow, tufted duck, whooper swan, wigeon and woodpigeon.

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