Sunday, 27 September 2020

Draycote Water :: 26 September 2020

I set off from the car park at 7.45am and followed the shoreline around from the Visitor's Centre to the Sailing Club. The only bird of note was a single common sandpiper and critically no ruff. The sun hadn't started warming the air and the temperature was shown as 5°C on the car display - there was also a wind chill too.

I continued the clockwise circuit and added my first autum goosander before seeing a meeting of nine grey heron in a field to the the left of the path - I haven't seen that for a while.

At the inlet I met Callum Pudge (@PudgeysPictures) who was watching little egrets fish and had earlier seen a couple of kingfishers. A pair of grey wagtails dropped in; calling frequently as they moved up and down the channel, and as they departed. We chatted for a while awaiting the kingfishers but they didn't return and I eventually left him to his vigil.

There continued to be large numbers of little egret around the reservoir (dozens) plus groups of eight to eleven of little grebe (plus lots of singles and pairs). As I climbed the slope at the valve tower, I had eight house martin feed over the trees and along the shore.

In the trees around Biggin Bay I had a pair of jay moving around the treetops - their calls catching my attention. Always mobile, they continued to call and fed for a couple of minutes. I rarely see jays here, never mind two, so it was great to see them.

A few gulls were feeding on a fish on the shore at Toft, with four little egret and two grey heron watching on, and then a flyover from seven meadow pipits wrapped up my visit.

Sightings (35) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, common sandpiper, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goosander, great back-backed gull, great crested grebe, great tit, grey heron, grey wagtail, greylag goose, house martin, jay, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, moorhen, mute swan, pied wagtail, robin, rook, shag, teal, tufted duck and woodpigeon.

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