A damp start to the day with overnight drizzle just starting to lift on our arrival at Draycote Water with 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls in the post roost which is not as big as it has been now that the nights are getting shorter and the long staying male Smew off farborough bank as we waited for it to stop from the shelter of the visitor centre awning. Once cleared we walked to the inlet with 2 female Pintail by the outlet, 24 Tree Sparrows on the feeders, Kingfisher by the inlet and the geese flock seen distantly towards toft bay, 50 Yellowhammers behind the inlet and 4 Little Egrets between inlet and valve tower. Best sighting was of a female Merlin perched between the inlet and Draycote village. Though distant good views were had in the scope. Not so many Goosander around. The Little Owl at Kites Hardwick was on show but no sign of yesterday’s second bird and all we could manage at Napton Reservoir was 4 Gadwall, male Pochard and a Snipe though over the last week it has had Teal and Wigeon.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Minus 4 when we arrived at the pond this morning. A second winter Caspian Gull was in the post roost while the male Smew was off farborough bank and 4 Little Egrets by the valve tower. Both the 2 White-fronted and single Pink-footed Goose were in toft bay with 100+ Greylags. Only other birds of note were 13 Gadwall and 10 Pochard. A Little Owl was seen just outside Kites Hardwick and Napton Reservoir was partially frozen with 2 Snipe, 5 Bullfinch, 6 Gadwall and 2 Raven noted. A drive round the grandborough valley produced 16 Tree Sparrow at Millholme Parc.
Monday, 19 January 2015
Two of the four Short-eared Owls we saw at 7am on the Nene Wash re-appeared at 11:30am amd performed well for 30 minutes in front of the car park at Eldernell in decent light. Also seen were 7 Barn Owl with one still out hunting at 8:30am, 5 Common Crane, Great White Egret over car park after leaving its roost, Marsh Harrier, 200 Golden Plover and 100s of wild swans.
Nearby March Farmers had more water than our last visit but it was frozen over but there were still 600 Black-tailed Godwit, 500 Golden Plover, 100 Redshank, 20 Ruff, 2 Common Crane, 3 Marsh Harrier, female Hen Harrier, 200 Pintail on offer plus more wild swans. No sign of any geese with the wild swans around Goosberry Farm. Despite the bitterly cold conditions it made a nice break from the normal fare on offer at Draycote Water.