A crap start to the day.
I woke to find the estate crawling with media due to an arsonist attack over the weekend just a couple of hundred yards from my house killing an elderly couple. Very unfortunate but for some turnip to shove a microphone in my face at 6am was asking for trouble. Things got worse when my curtain rail came away from the wall bringing half the plaster down with it so I need to dig my DIY book out and then my computer decided to lose all my bookmarks – damn.
Anyway Bob came round to photograph my first March Moth of the Year so that put a smile on me face and the sun came out so we went to the pond hoping for something big.
Unfortunately when we got there visibility was down to less than 30 meters in places so we did a quick search for moths finding March Moth, 2 Winter Moth and Pale Brindled Beauty. We did not have to wait long for the mist to burn off and was surprised to find two thirds of the reservoir had frozen over. At least we had a bit of movement with two overnight arrivals in the shape of a male Smew strongly associating with a mobile flock of Goldeneye and 2 Shelduck in toft bay.
Both Great-northern Divers showed well in toft bay and were so close they could be heard giving a contact call to each other. I have certainly heard them plenty of times but never this soft single note call.
Great-northern Diver - Bob could not get them both together so separate shots showing different plumage.
Also seen were 50 Fieldfare, 6 Buzzard, male and female Goosander, 36 Wigeon, 26 Goldeneye, 30 Teal, 2 Pochard, 2 Gadwall while Tufted were less than a hundred.
With such a nice day we toured the valley but only had Mistle Thrush so ended up at Napton Reservoir where overnight 2 male Shoveler and a pair of Gadwall had joined the 16 Mute Swan, 2 Pochard and 3 Wigeon. A Cetties called and above us were 9 Buzzards and 9 Ravens.
Many thanks to Bob Hazell for his photos.