Bob and I had to cut our trip to the pond short this morning so in the limited time we had we did a quick walk to toft bay managing at least 76 Goosander, 46 Gadwall, 60 Pochard, 200+ Wigeon, long distant views of the male Smew, 30+ Goldeneye, Dunlin and adult and 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull.
No doubt Red-legged Partridges are common as muck in your neck of the woods but around here we are lucky if we get a couple of singles in a year so to find a group of 36 and another of 9 viewing from toft bank was amazing.
Back home I had time to watch the female Brambling in the garden before spending the afternoon wandering along the Grand Union Canal between Birdingbury Bridge and the junction with the Oxford Canal including Napton Reservoir.
Highlights were 2 Waxwing on the eastern hedge of reservoir which flew off towards Calcutt Marina, female Merlin near the Ventor Marina and a Red Kite seen heading towards Shuckburgh being mobbed by 3 Ravens. Also seen were Jay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Brambling, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Snipe and hundreds of winter thrushes plus Little Owl and 2 Barn Owls at dusk.
Bit of a steam fest for me this weekend with two Steam Specials in my area on Saturday plus a goody out of Kings Lynn if we can get there and of course if this weather allows them to run.
THE FIRST MOOR STREET EXPRESS
hauled by 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe from Birmingham Moor St to London Paddington via Solihull, Dorridge, Warwick Parkway – no times published yet.
THE CATHEDRALS EXPRESS hauled by 60163 Tornado from London Euston to Chester – arriving at Rugby 10:01 departing 10:08 and returning 19:00 but only stopping for a minute.
THE CHRSTMAS FENMAN
Kings Lynn-London Kings Cross hauled by 60007 due to leave 09:54 but times not confirmed