The day started with Bob trying to help me identify one of the smallest moths I have seen which Dave had trapped yesterday – looked unassuming with the naked eye but under a magnifier it was orgasmic – still not identified though we think it might be Phyllonorycter messaniella.
With strong winds and rain overnight we wanted to get to the pond as soon as possible but a look at the Great Grey Shrike that is still gracing Napton on the Hill was a must so we met up with Pete W, Kevin G and Jonesboy who had seen it earlier. Though it was out of sight on our arrival we did not have to wait long and soon enjoyed stunning views as the bird performed in front of us. Still plenty of Skylark in the field the other side of the canal and a large flock of Redwing and Fieldfare showed as we left.
Great Grey Shrike by Dick Jones
Next stop a very windy Draycote Water which had a well marked Mottled Umber and 3 Feathered Thorn moths by the ranger’s office then it was back to earth with a bump as the pond was dire again which was very frustrating considering the weather.
Mottled Umber by Bob Hazell
We tried relocating yesterdays possibly juvenile female Scaup but all we managed in an hour were 400 Jackdaws, 3 Goldeneye and a small but well marked Sparrowhawk.
Unknown to us the rangers had found a Snow Bunting on draycote bank on their early morning round so a text from FF saying she had seen one approx 11am but had flown was enough for us to try and relocate this gem. After a long walk and over an hour of searching it magically reappeared in front of us early afternoon and performed well despite the disturbance it was getting from Joe Public. I added 2 Goldcrest, male Blackcap and 4 Buzzard to our very short pond list and Bob had the Common Sandpiper again.
Snow Bunting by Bob Hazell
Back home and yesterday’s tit flock charged through the garden and was made up of 17 Blue, 6 Great, 11 Long-tailed and 3 Coal Tit plus Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrest.
Can I just say a very big thank you to Dick, Kevin, Francoise and Bob for sharing there photos and will publish photos from Kevin and Francoise later.