A fantastic winter’s morning birding – cold, good light and good visibility with plenty of birds everywhere we went.
The morning started just after 5am outside Rugby with our first Barn Owl of the day arriving at Eldernell, Cambridgeshire as a Tawny Owl drifted past. Even in darkness as soon as Dave and I were out the car were we greeted to the calls of distant Whooper and Bewick’s Swan on the wash then spent the next 90 minutes exploring the west end of Nene Wash before returning to the car for a quick coffee then a 2 hour walk out east to check on March Farmers. Once the wind chill started to numb our hands and feet we warmed up in the car visiting both Pitsford and Ravensthorpe Reservoir in Northamptonshire before arriving home 1pm.
Merlin: male hunting low over Nene Wash
Peregrine: 2 on March Farmers including one perched
Red Kite: 3 over the A605 near Oundle, Northamptonshire late morning
Marsh Harrier: one on Nene Wash and 3 on March Farmers
Barn Owl: 5 with one seen by the Lilborne turn, A5 near Rugby hunting roadside verge and 4 on the Nene Wash with one still out hunting at 8am
Tawny Owl: one flew across the car entrance to Nene Washes at Eldernell at 06:40am
Whooper Swan: at least 300 seen between the Nene Wash and March Farmers
Bewick’s Swan: 1200 between the Nene Wash and March Farmers
Smew: male at Pitsford Reservoir and male and female at Ravensthorpe Reservoir.
Pintail: minimum of 300 present between the Nene Wash and March Farmers
Wigeon: minimum of 3000 present between the Nene Wash and March Farmers
Great White Egret: one of the long staying birds at Pitsford Reservoir
Black-tailed Godwit: 150 on March Farmers
Curlew: one with Lapwing flock on March Farmers
Ruff: three with Lapwing flock on March Farmers
Golden Plover: 300 on March Farmers
Brambling: male in Lord Holts Wood, Nene Wash
Raven: one over Pitsford Reservoir
Stonechat: 4 on Nene Wash and 2 near March Farmers
Roe Deer: 6 grazing near Decoy Wood, Eldernell.
Also seen on our travels were 2 Snipe, 3 Shelduck, 9 Goosander (Pitsford Reservoir), 4 Buzzard, Redshank, Great-spotted Woodpecker and we did not walk far enough so missed 2 Crane, Brent Goose, Grey Plover and 3 Short-eared Owl plus the freezing conditions had cleared out the Tundra and Taiga Bean Geese that were present on Friday so a fantastic trip could have been orgasmic.