Dave’s a queen!! He has two birthdays so we had limited time out birding this morning as we had another birthday meal to attend later.
There were clear skies last night so not surprisingly there was a ground frost this morning which reduced my moth catch to only two but it soon warmed up once we were out and about.
Joined by Dave’s friend Neil from Lincoln up for the meal we had 2 Red-legged Partridge on the Southam Road just before the entrance to Draycote Water while the reservoir itself was cooking on gas again.
The elusive Green-winged Teal was relocated in toft shallows showing under the willows opposite the hide by the Hall brothers, so pleased for Dave Hall after all the effort he put in yesterday. The Red-necked Grebe was off farborough spit drifting in to toft bay, 2 Great-northern Divers still present, a party of 8 Shelduck near the valve tower on arrival and later seen flying over toft shallows though some did return to reservoir, 4 Graylag, 4 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 14 Gadwall and female Goldeneye. There were 3 Yellow Wagtails in the field behind farborough bank feeding amongst the cattle and 15 Meadow Pipits on the banks but we failed to see the Hen Harrier and Rock Pipit seen by others while I also missed the Ruff and 13 Fieldfare seen by Dave, Neil and the Hall brothers because I went walk about much to there delight. Only other bird of note was a single Swallow.
Next stop was Lawford Heath and in an hour saw 20 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 5 Shoveler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Swallow, Sand Martin, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Tufted Duck and 200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
After an excellent meal I went back out in the evening to Draycote Water and had my first Common Tern of the year off rainbow corner with 2 Curlew in the fields behind and the roost held adult Yellow-legged Gull and adult summer plumage Med Gull.
Patch News: female Marsh Harrier went over Lawford Heath at 1:15pm and I’ve received a number of e-mails reporting an increase in the numbers of Swallow, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcaps in the valley today.
Finally many thanks to those who have commented on how much you enjoy this blog – think I must have met half of you at the pond this weekend and to those who have sent me photos – will try and use them as much as I can.
Green-winged Teal and Great-northern Diver by Dave Morgan an exiled pond and valley birder up yesterday adding the GWT and Hen Harrier to his Draycote list. Hopefully he is still a few behind me - I am now on 245 so if I stay off the healthly food and keep taking the dram I could make the big 250. Mind you the last 10 took me 10 years so dont hold your breath.