Finally back on line and here’s a brief update of my year so far.
Birding so far on my patch is dominated by the presence of an immature Long-tailed Duck, male Smew, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great-northern Diver at Draycote Water plus a good supporting cast with up to 6 Chiffchaff dotted around the reservoir, 3 Water Rail in toft shallows becoming more noticeable as the water level continues to rise, plenty of Siskin and the odd Lesser Redpoll, good numbers of Goosanders while in recent days Shoverler and Pintail have been on the move. After low numbers of Wigeon throughout the winter period then a flock of 100+ recently is not to be sneezed at, other sightings of note include 14 Tree Sparrow, 2 Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper and small counts of Meadow Pipits and winter thrushes while both Merlin and Peregrine have made the odd appearance. New Year’s day saw the arrival of 3 male Red-crested Pochard but they failed to stay.
Away from the pond then the grandborough valley has had Red Kite, Little Egret and Green Sandpiper plus up to 50 Tree Sparrow, still a few Ravens in the Napton on the Hill area with the occasional Chiffchaff seen there while 2 Little Egret continue to give everyone the run around as they wander around the Draycote village area.
Only one trip out of the county which added Black-throated Diver, Ring-necked Duck, Black-necked Grebe and Black Redstart to the year list with visits to Rutland Water and Eye-brook Reservoir in Leicestershire.
Away from birding then the albino Grey Squirrel frequenting the hide area at the pond has to take centre stage especially since its appearance last June being taken up by the National press and local TV channels.
Many thanks to Bob Hazell for kindly supply some of his images.