Bob, April and I were approaching the gate from the country park to the reservoir this morning when 2 Egyptian Geese flew over the visitor centre heading east at 9:15am but lost to view behind the trees of the sailing club car park.
With blue sky’s and little wind the surface was a mirror and you could easily pick out the first summer male Scaup once you new where to look plus 4 Goosander, 20 Goldeneye, 30 Wigeon and 6 Gadwall but no sign of any Med Gulls amongst the many Black-headed and Common Gulls present.
I decided I would stay on farborough spit looking for flyovers while Bob and April did their circuit and spent the next 3 hours fighting off the flies. First I picked up a first of the year Swallow heading north with another 2 forty minutes later over the tree tops of Thurlaston village then on one of my many 360 degree sweeps counting Buzzards I saw a Woodcock in flight presumably having been disturbed before it dived in to distant cover.
With a scope and local knowledge of thermals I eventually located a record count for me of 41 Buzzards at this location plus 2 Sparrowhawk and 2 Peregrine so at least the birds of prey were taking advantage of the rays although two thirds would have been missed if I only relied on bins and didn’t use sunglasses to cut out the glare. At least 100 Fieldfare and a lone Redwing were in the field next to the sewage farm and 2 Brambling showed well at the end of the “bridal” path below farborough bank feeding on the many fly’s present along with 9 Reed Bunting. Of interest I have been informed the set-a-side strip behind the inlet has been ploughed up.
Other sightings included 4 Barnacle Geese, 10 Graylag Geese and 8 Guinea Fowl while on the butterfly front I managed 4 Comma, 5 Brimstone, Small White, Peacock and 4 Small Tortoiseshell and a Noctule Bat that was out for 45 minutes flying straight then diving steeply for prey.
I did not have things all my own way as I missed Willow Tit (Pete), Sand Martin Oystercatcher (Bob and April) and what sounded like a passing Goshawk (Pete) from the description given.
Bob took pictures of Early Grey, Hebrew Character and Twin-spotted Quaker from another excellent catch