Friday, 29 December 2017

Draycote Water :: 28 December 2017

Yesterday in Banbury it snowed and, in the main, mostly melted. We arose to find a heavy frost but decided to continue with our plan to visit Draycote Water and see if we could see the hawfinch there. As we headed north there was a noticeable increase in snow on the fields and roadside. Between Southam and Dunchurch the road became quite treacherous and cars were slowing down to deal with the icy conditions - you could feel the car twitch on cornering. The Country Park had been closed early yesterday due to show and fallen trees.

@DraycoteBirding had pointed where the likely spots would be and so on arriving we quickly had hawfinch feeding on the ground in the small copse behind the park zip wire. HawfinchThe light from this position wasn't ideal and another birder was on the far side of the copse and was waving - later we found out he had the other hawfinch on his side.

After a short while the hawfinch moved right, further into the gloom and into a dip. While it's head was briefly visible there were no photos possible. We decided to circle the copse (bad idea) and see if we could get any views with the sun at our backs. Between our movement and some cyclists coming down the path the birds scattered and it took a good 15 minutes before the finches were back in any number, however without the hawfinch. We opted for a visit to the café for coffee and hot chocolate.

When we returned to the park the hawfinch had returned to the spot we had first seen it but quickly hopped right into a darker spot, the sun now directly behind the copse. No chance to improve the photos I had without perhaps spooking the birds again.

Today sighting (copse only) were: blackbird, bullfinch, chaffinch, dunnock, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greenfinch, hawfinch, robin, song thrush, woodpigeon and wren.

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