After visiting Napton Reservoir, I called in at Draycote Water in the hope of some good birds. My intention was to walk to Farborough Spit and back but as events unfolded, I ended up walking the perimeter. Three Mistle Thrushes were gracing the country park when I arrived. Walking along Farborough Bank, near the spit, I picked up a Rock Pipit and noticed the numbers of Goldeneye were increasing with at least seven males and five females. Goosander numbers have also increased with four males and seven females located off the spit and further out, a drake Shoveler was located.
It was while at the spit that a small Grebe was spotted at a distance and in the mist. The Grebe was very mobile, diving and taking to flight regularly. In the gloom, the most obvious parts were a black cap, pale face and darker neck. I could not be sure but some yellow / paleness was on the bill. The size was much larger than Dabchick but smaller than a nearby Great Crested Grebe. My first reaction was Red Necked Grebe. I phoned John Judge and Bob Hazell a a probable Red Necked Grebe but without better views, decided not to put it out on pager. The Grebe was disturbed by the fishertwats and seemed to head to the west shore area. This decided me to walk the perimeter and I met up with Pete Price, so had another set of eyes. Nothing was located in our search until we got back to Toft Shallows and I relocated the Grebe. Again it was mobile but allowed some distant views. We could not decide on Red Necked or Slavonian, but the bird again took flight towards where Bob Hazell was on Farborough Bank. A phone call failed to get him onto the Grebe and by the time we got to him, it could not be located. So please keep em peeled!
While walking the perimeter, five Lesser Redpoll were on the north shore. Toft Shallows provided one Dunlin, a Shelduck and three Pochard. On return to Farborough Bank, the female Common Scoter was located, but again was disturbed by fishertwats and the sailing club rescue boat, giving rides to sailingtwats.
It was not a day for photography, but having carried my camera all round, I felt I had to use it. What better than the amorous Alpacas at Toft. These frisky creatures enjoyed a "Menage a Trois" and I could not resist some voyeur images!
Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Fieldfare; Mistle Thrush; Black Headed Gull; Blue Tit; Mute Swan; Mallard; Coot; Tufted Duck; Meadow Pipit; Cormorant; Pied Wagtail; Linnet; Dabchick; Great Crested Grebe; Rock Pipit; Goosander; Goldeneye; Lapwing; Canada Goose; Teal; Magpie; Shoveler; Kestrel; Wren; Grey Heron; Robin; LBB Gull; Long Tailed Tit; Gadwall; Moorhen; Pheasant; Common Gull; Dunnock; Lesser Redpoll; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Shelduck; Great Tit; Dunlin; Pochard; Common Scoter.