Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Pitsford Reservoir & Harrington Airfield

To coin a phrase from Larry Grayson "What a gay (insert grey) day"! Did it ever get light? Pitsford Reservoir was my destination this morning, for no good reason other than I have just received my new permit and have not visited for over six months. My early morning drive gave me a hint of the probable light conditions with a mist overlying the fields. Parking on the causeway at Pitsford, I walked the perimeter to the Scaldwell hides (the full seven mile walk was never a possibility today!). From the hides, the only waders were solitary Dunlin and Green Sandpiper but the wildfowl scanning kept me busy. Good numbers of Wigeon, Pochard, Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Duck with at least ten Pintail and my first Goldeneye of the autumn. Several Little Egrets flew into the bay providing some photo opportunities, but with the need for high ISO in the still dull conditions, nothing special was to be expected.The hedgerows and bushes held mixed tit / finch flocks with numerous Goldcrest and a Willow Tit standing out. Tree Sparrow numbers seemed down - confirmed by a (warden) ringing near the main feeding station. Two Ravens honked overhead. From the Scaldwell hide, I had scope views of the Great White Egret near the fishing lodge. I lost sight, but later located it in the Holcot Arm before it flew towards Scaldwell Bay. I managed some VERY distant record shots as it flew over the far bank (about a mile away!). While standing on the causeway watching the Great White Egret, another birder pointed out a Caspian Gull consuming a rather large fish almost next to the Egret!

Little Egret

Wigeon (Not the best but I like it!)

Record Shots of the Great White Egret from the causeway looking towards Holcot Arm

Leaving Pitsford, I decided to stop off at the old airfield near Harrington. Best birds were at least 250 Golden Plover, 30+ Yellowhammers around the bunkers, 50+ Skylarks, small groups of Redwing, Buzzard and four Kestrel.

Golden Plovers

Todays Sightings:

Great Crested Grebe; Black Headed Gull; Wren; Coot; Wigeon; Carrion Crow; Wood Pigeon; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Moorhen; Mallard; Grey Heron; Kestrel; Red Legged Partridge; Robin; Goldfinch; Chaffinch; Blackbird; Dunnock; Blue Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Canada Goose; Pheasant; Jackdaw; Tufted Duck; Gadwall; Shoveler; Little Egret; Lapwing; Teal; Dunlin; Great White Egret; Common Gull; Pintail; Willow Tit; Goldeneye; Pied Wagtail; Green Sandpiper; Stock Dove; Goldcrest; Pochard; Green Woodpecker; Magpie; Rook; Greylag Goose; Tree Sparrow; Raven; Great Spotted Woodpecker; LBB Gull; Herring Gull; Skylark; Golden Plover; Redwing; Yellowhammer; Buzzard; Linnet; Caspian Gull.


Max Silverman said...

It is very grey these days Kevin.Noy good for getting decent shots but I'm jealous of the GW Egret shots never seen one!!!!!

Kevin Groocock said...

You will get a GWE Max - they are getting much commoner and easier to see! The one at Pitsford is viewable from the causeway but tends to be quite mobile! Occasionally two favour here.