With clear sky’s and little wind overnight Grandborough valley was down to -3c with a heavy ground frost and I froze me bits off waiting for any owls to appear in the fields between Bunkers Hill and Southam Road eventually rewarded with 2 Barn Owl and a Short-eared Owl while both Little and Tawny Owl were heard. Two Ravens were seen and heard as they flew towards the pond.
Before visiting the pond I worked the Hill and Flecknoe Road loop with 12 Golden Plover and a large tit flock at Gymswood consisting of at least 12 Great, 23 Blue 22 Long-tailed Tit and 2 Goldcrest along the Hill Rd, 5 Mistle Thrush in Grandborough Village and 2 Buzzard, Corn Bunting, Little Owl and Grey Partridge along the Flecknoe Road plus well over 500 Redwing and Fieldfare in the area.
Arriving at Draycote Water we have had two new arrivals with a Red-breasted Merganser female between lin croft point and farborough spit and a female Common Scoter off the inlet. The Great-northern Diver was still present and despite the very calm waters it still remains mobile and elusive while the Green-winged Teal was commuting between grays barn and toft bay. Plenty of other birds around topped by a male Merlin hunting Fieldfare and Redwing in the fields behind farborough spit and a female Brambling with the Chaffinch flock in toft shallows. Also seen were 16 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, 2 female Goosander, 50+ Teal, 39 Pochard, 22 Goldeneye, 400 Redwing, 100 Fieldfare, 200+ Lapwing, 7 Siskin, 2 Snipe, Kingfisher, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Grey Wagtail.
A Severn Trent notice in the visitors centre states the reservoir is at 69% capacity due to limited amount of water it can draw due to low rainfall this autumn. If we have a dry winter it could mean more habitat for waders and even the islands (last seen in the early 90s) may appear in the spring but on the down side some birds seem further away than ever looking for deeper water.
This afternoon the cold spell brought in Mistle Thrush and Nuthatch to may garden which are both uncommon visitors for me.