Monday, 24 September 2018

Napton Reservoir :: 23 September 2018

I knew it would happen but it was still disappointing that a grey phalarope chose Friday to drop into Grimsbury Reservoir. As I feared, it had gone when people returned on Saturday morning. No chance then of seeing one on the patch. Grey phalaropeAfter arriving home at midnight on Saturday I opted for a long lie to try and recover from all my travels. Before heading for my shower, I had a look on BirdGuides to see if there were any birds around - the two most likely sites, close at hand, were Charlecote and Napton Reservoir.

It had been a long week, firstly visiting Davenport, Iowa USA, flying in overnight Friday and secondly moving my youngest daughter into University on the Saturday of my return. Just to cap it all, the M6 was shut in both directions for the journey home. Close was best and I know my way around Napton Reservoir.

Grey phalaropeWhen I arrived I couldn't immediately see anyone on the banks. Two fishermen had taken to the shore just before me and started unpacking their gear. As I surveyed the site I noticed a couple of people over the far corner (southern point). I assumed that if the birds were still here then that was most likely. I wandered around and found three guys in residence, two packing up camera equipment. There were, in fact, two grey phalarope [#142] feeding in the shallows. These are reported to be the first on the reservoir since 1967. The water level is quite low Grey phalaropeand perhaps the resulting muddy area and shallow edges have been more tempting.

I chatted to the remaining birder and discovered it was @draycotebirding. It is always good to put a face to the names you follow on Twitter. Hopefully, now we have met I can drop into Draycote to see some of the gull roosts with some guys that know their stuff. As he swung round his scope he picked out a water rail on the fringe of the opposite reeds.

As this was a bonus visit I didn't stay much longer after his departure, pointing out the location to a couple, and in the car park another party who reported they had missed the one at Charlecote - I made the right decision.

Sightings (16) included: black-headed gull, carrion crow, coot, great crested grebe, grey heron, grey phalarope, little grebe, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, rook, snipe, swallow, tufted duck, water rail and woodpigeon.

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