Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Friday, 11 January 2013

Close encounter with a "White Nun", in the fog at Draycote Water!

Lucky or what? Arriving at Draycote Water in the fog this morning, did not bode well for seeing very much at all. Meeting Bob H in the car park, we ventured onto Farborough Bank, hoping that the areas of brightness through the fog would allow views of the long staying drake Smew (also known as White Nun). My plan was to walk to Toft Shallows and back, but in the rare breaks of brightness, no sign was to be had of the Smew. Meeting Keith F at Farborough Spit, we walked to toft, wondering if the Smew had commuted over to Brandon Marsh again. A vision in turquoise in the form of Francoise F, appeared out of the gloom, armed with her newly acquired walking poles! A brief chat with this newly designated thoroughbred, Bob & Keith continued on around the water, while I was left to watch Francoise power on in front of me towards the visitor centre. Seeing Francoise "pull up" just before Farborough Spit, the drake Smew was spotted and the fog lifted for a while to allow a close encounter with this excellent bird (Smew not Francoise!). Francoise can now be awarded the title of "Smew Magnet" to go with that of "Scaup Magnet"! The fog returned and it was back towards the car. Dave H was walking along the bank with his mega lens before a very rare sight appeared on such a day at Draycote. It was the one and only Max S who had set out from home in bright sunshine, only to arrive at Draycote in the fog! Thats Draycote!

Well, if you've made it this far, hopefully you will enjoy some of my images of the drake Smew below.


holdingmoments said...

Excellent shots of a stunning bird Kevin.
Been a while since I've been to Draycote. Might have to remedy that soon.

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers Keith. I'm afraid that Draycote is not what it used to be with little to show for the effort! Very lucky with the Smew as the fog lifted briefly and the water turned blue (ish!).

Tim Fountain said...

Stunning photos of a great bird Kevin. I managed them as a year tick yesterday but they were too distant for photos. Envious.....


Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers Tim - I was lucky with the fog clearing briefly and the closeness.