The sight of the Duke thundering north past Cathiron this morning bellowing steam and smoke against a dull leaden sky was memorable for me and Dave even if she was 30 minutes late.
Near to our viewing position there were 50 Linnet, 30 Yellowhammer and 6 Reed Bunting feeding on a pheasant feeder and set-a-side strip with Buzzard and Lapwing also noted while the canal feeding station further up the road had 3 Nuthatch.
On the way home a count of the Mute Swan flock between Bretford and Church Lawford revealed 75 birds with 50 Wigeon coming off the River Avon while on Lawford Heath we saw 3 Tree Sparrow, 40 Yellowhammer, 2 Buzzard, 3 Corn Bunting, 100 Fieldfare and a Raven.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated in the afternoon so did not bother going out birding or seeing the Duke return as it thundered past the Bumbling Bears garden in Long Lawford just before dark – 10 minutes down and the crew glowing.
The Duke of Gloucester blows off steam leaving Rugby - those watching by the parked cars must have been dissapointed - John & Alfie Judge
Duke of Gloucester getting up to speed as she passes under the "wooden bridge", Rugby - John & Alfie Judge
The atmosphric "Duke" passes Long Lawford at dusk heading home - Pete Hall
Many thanks to JJ, Alfie and Pete for pictures