Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April 7th 2009

The only good thing about todays visit to Draycote Water was that I never killed anyone. Self restraint at its best.

I arrived just after daybreak in time to see both the Ringed Plover and Golden Plover that had been brought down by last nights rain resting on the rocks of toft bank till they were kicked off by runners and one Oystercatcher circulating reservoir while both the Red-necked Grebe and 2 Great-northern Diver were off farborough spit.
By this time the first of many of the ‘where is It’ brigade had arrived so cleared off to the west side of the reservoir enjoying the peace and quiet and a large mixed flock of martins and swallows that included 60 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow and 10 House Martin with a Dunlin and my first Common Sandpiper of the year on saddle bank. Red-legged Partridge behind rainbow corner.
I decided as I approached the inlet that it was not worth carrying on to valve tower preferring to retrace me steps to hensborough bank so that I had the sun behind me. All very logical.
Big bloody mistake as Steve Batt informed me that he had just seen a Citrine Wagtail on draycote bank giving me a full description of a summer plumage male including all the key identification clinchers. After picking myself up off the floor I legged it round there and searched everywhere but alas with all the walkers and runners about it had cleared off. I was bloody devastated that I had missed it but well done Steve – a stunning record.
Also seen or heard were 2 Willow Warbler, 9 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackcap, 4 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 10 Gadwall, female Goldeneye and 18 Buzzards dotted around the reservoir though some were distant soaring birds.
Finally caught up with the Green-winged Teal after it had gone walk about when the rangers went in to toft shallows in a dingy to retrieve the tern raft which has been abandoned there for the last three years.
Gripe of the Day. Can you please consider the welfare of the bird if you need to go on the lower levels of toft and farborough banks so that the migrants have somewhere quiet to rest and feed up after there migration. It’s bad enough that the walkers, runners, and pram pushers are kicking everything about – no need for us to do it.


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