Tuesday, 17 March 2009

March 17th 2009

Out before first light for another visit to Newton and did not have to wait to long for the Kumlien’s Gull to arrive at the pool near the Great Central Walk nature reserve accompanied by a first winter Iceland Gull and adult winter Med Gull. Identified as a second winter the undertail covets still retain some first winter feathers and took the opportunity to view the bird from some distance in case I had been misidentifying this bird for the second winter Iceland Gull that’s been at the pond recently, Definitely different birds and the second winter Iceland was seen again in the roost last night and the Kumlien’s Gull was in the roost on Saturday night thou the news has only just got out. Also in area were male Wheatear, 23 Redwing, 40 Fieldfare, Shelduck, 60+ Wigeon and 2 Gadwall.
As I suspected after yesterday the day was going to be good for bird of prey.
Arrived at Draycote Water mid morning and met Bob Hazell on toft bank and while we were watching two Buzzard soaring over toft bay we found a Peregrine circling and calling which was joined by the Saker/Gyr x Peregrine hybrid over toft bay before they drifted off north together. Bob had already seen the female Merlin so it wasn’t surprising it reappeared over the country park but what was stunning was yesterday’s female Marsh Harrier flying down the River Leam in to the grandborough valley followed by views of female Hen Harrier seen from the country park quartering fields along Southam Road even visiting the sewage farm before returning to perch in a tall hedgerow. I have not seen this bird for over a week and thought it had left the area.
The final bird of prey total for the visit was 11 Buzzard, female Merlin, female Peregrine, male Saker/Gyr x Peregrine hybrid, female Marsh Harrier, female Hen Harrier, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk and to top it all Bob Duckhouse had a Red Kite go over pond this afternoon and that also went down grandborough valley.

Red-necked Grebe - further away the more you can appreciate the plumage changes.
Also present were the Red-necked Grebe in toft bay, 3 Great-northern Divers off draycote bank, summer plumage Med Gull off the windsurfing area, 3 Sand Martin, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 male and one female Shoveler, 70 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 6 Goldeneye, 8 female and 2 male Goosander, 6 Gadwall, 2 Siskin and 200 + Common Gull but the day is never over till the fat lady chokes! I was near the hide in toft bay when a small bird flew over from Thurlaston village to land in the trees near the perimeter gate – male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker which explored the area for five minutes then flew back towards grays barn, magic – my first record since January 2006.
Also of interest were Brimstone butterfly in the country park and moths were represented by 2 Twin-spot Quaker, Hebrew Character and Chestnut on the walls of the café.

Hebrew Character and Twin-spot Quaker


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