Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Independence Day????

The morning dawned bright and sunny, so, with the desire to increase my 2011 year ticks, I headed off to Harrington Airfield in the hope of Brambling, other finches and possibly Hen Harrier. Last time I went, it was rather foggy! I arrived at the gates in glorious sunshine and scanned the finches taking advantage of the seeded area. I was not to be disappointed, with at least twenty Bramblings, fifteen Yellowhammers, two Tree Sparrows and numerous Reed Buntings. Unfortunately, the flock was very nervous and disappeared as soon as you got within camera range. I continued along the bridlepath, seeing large numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares but little else. Arriving at the Hen Harriers favourite area, the field with the transmitter in, I only saw corvids and Wood Pigeons. A lady walking her dogs informed that she had seen the Harrier earlier, so my first "dip" of the day!

It was at this point that I noticed the sunshine disappearing, being replaced by a mass of gloom and darkness, slowly progressing across the sky - just like the alien invasion in the film "Independence Day"!

Fieldfare - the only image from Harrington!

Things did not improve either, as I headed down to Pitsford Reservoir. The cold wind gale made it difficult to stand on the causeway, and the water was still frozen, with only a small area of open water. This was to give me my second "dip" of the day as there was no sign of the Great White Egret. However, four drake Smew and two redhead Smew made the most of a small area of open water either side of the causeway. This they shared with most of the other wildfowl - Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard,Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and Mallard. A Peregrine sent up a large flock of Wigeon from Scaldwell Arm and a distant Buzzard atracted the attention of the corvids.

Driving rain soon had me back in the car and I decided to head for home as it was definitely not a day for photography!

Drake Smew

Drake Smew

Drake & Redhead Smew

Redhead Smew




Mr & Mrs Gadwall

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

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