Thursday, 7 January 2010

January 7th 2010

A cracking day started with a garden record of -8.7c which was nothing compared to the bone chilling -13c when Bob and I arrived at the Draycote Water. Unfortunately the reservoir was closed because of the weather and I have no idea when it will open again so we entered from cycle route 41 and enjoyed a very tiring but productive 5 hours. Plenty of snow and at the start of our walk nearly two thirds of the reservoir were frozen but a combination of blue sky’s and a north westerly wind broken some of the ice up by early afternoon.
Great-northern Diver: 2 still with one off draycote bank and the other more central
Red-crested Pochard: male near valve tower
Common Scoter: female out in centre
Smew: male off farborough bank

Whooper Swan: 2 spent most of our visit trying to avoid being digi scoped by Bob

Pintail: a very obliging male on the inlet
Goosander: at least 24 present off inlet
Pochard: 124
Gadwall: 24
Teal: 145
Wigeon: 356
Goldeneye: 38
Raven; one over biggen bay
Peregrine: a stunning male low over outlet giving crippling views
Sparrowhawk: a male flew close then perched on the rocks of draycote bank
Great-spotted Woodpecker: one
Long-tailed Tit: 5
Goldfinch: 30
Buzzard: 3
Mute Swan: 3 – first of the year

All photos by Bob Hazell

Back home I had time for a brew then it was back out again to show Peter the Corn Buntings on Lawford Heath where we managed 10 the highest count I have had for over 15 years. Still no Brambling yet among the Chaffinch flock but we did have 2 Tree Sparrow and nearby 5 Skylark, 30 Fieldfare, 50 Golden Plover and before we moved off to see the Great White Egret at long Lawford a female Merlin flew west. The Great White Egret was in the usual field by the junction of A426 and Lawford Heath Lane.

I am supposed to have one of my walks at the pond on Saturday but suggest you get hold of Severn Trent to see if it’s going ahead as I have no idea what’s going on as they haven’t contacting me yet. I intend going as this cold weather has more goodies to bring in.

Mark Phillips walking his dog this morning along Epsom Rd, Rugby found a Common Sandpiper on the Sow Brook, a very good record from a residential area.


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