Sunday, 4 November 2018

Pitsford Water :: 03 November 2018

A flock of c30 goldfinches, viewed from the upstairs "office", enticed me out today. Charlotte was off to play tennis in the afternoon so we grabbed an early lunch an parted, me to Pitsford Water in Northants, Charlotte to Charlbury in Oxfordshire.

The car park at the far end of the causeway displayed a notice indicating that the gates would be shut at 4.30pm and so I opted to park on the verge up the hill. I dropped down to the causeway and onto the northern circuit. Lots of wildfowl on the water with wigeon and numbers of teal, gadwall and pochard; there seemed to be quite a large count of pochard compared to my usual expectation. From here I also added a single yellow-legged gull.

I started round and as I went I picked up what I think are my first goldeneye of the winter. Across the water were four great white egrets. Large numbers of cormorant rested on the opposite bank. I scanned the swans, only to find the few dozen I could see from this point were all mute.

As I passed the first hide I had a small flock of tree sparrow [#146] in the bushes on the waters edge, opposite the gated road where the feeders are usually situated. I couldn't see any sign of feeders in place but a small flock of c10 collared dove landed in the big tree beyond the gate; a couple made there way onto the lane. Soon after I had great spotted woodpecker over.

I reached the next hide and from here could see the whooper swans [#147] up at the most northerly point.

Whooper swanOn to the next hide and I was able to get a better view of 11 whooper swans, two first winter, feeding in Scaldwell Bay. A great white egret had relocated and was stalking the water to my right. The numbers of coot had increased from only a handful further back, to dozens here. Two moorhen worked their way passed from south to north.

Time to head back and only a lone yellowhammer to add until I reached the road. A short walk over the causeway added little egret and c50 golden plover over the water.

Didn't manage to pick out the pintail ducks reported the previous day. Annoying as they are probably still around.

Sightings (36) included: black-headed gull, blue tit, Canada goose, carrion crow, collared dove, coot, cormorant, gadwall, golden plover, goldeneye, great crested grebe, great spotted woodpecker, great white egret, grey heron, greylag goose, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pochard, rook, shoveler, starling, teal, tree sparrow, tufted duck, whooper swan, wigeon, woodpigeon, yellow-legged gull and yellowhammer.

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