The last 48 hours on planet Richard has been dull, damp and depressing so the first sign of a break in the cloud cover this morning had me out with Bob for a walk around Draycote Water joined by Kevin and Francoise. The combination of a brisk north easterly wind and near freezing conditions made the wind chill uncomfortable on ones delicate skin but it did not stop us from relocating the male Smew that arrived on Sunday near the valve tower and distant but more prolonged views of the mobile Great-northern Diver out in the centre. Also seen were the 2 long staying female Common Scoter, male Blackcap with 15 Bullfinch by the culvert, 4 female & 2 male Goosander near valve tower, 7 Graylag (feral), 152 Teal, 27 Pochard, 32 Wigeon, 25 Gadwall, Buzzard, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Muntjac near the sewage farm.
With no chance of anything hot at the visitors centre Bob, Kevin and I moved on to Long Lawford at 1pm letting the car heater thaw us out and after a short wait the Great White Egret flew in from the direction of the sewage farm but did not settle for long and disappeared the way it came. Kevin continued searching while Bob and I visited JJs for brew then joined Kevin after he had relocated the egret between sewage farm and the mill. The bird was in a ditch feeding and at times virtually impossible to see before it walked out in to the adjacent field to preen and rest while the mother of all snow storms descended briefly on us.
Great White Egret - the top 3 by Kevin Grewcock and the bottom one by Bob Hazell
If your thinking of visiting pond you better check - last year they closed the place because of snow and ice in car park and its going to get much colder for the weekend though its debatable how much snow we will get.