Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Draycote Water

Low Water Levels - Farborough Bank

Not having been to Draycote Water for several weeks, I was keen to visit at "gates open" this morning, before the crowds flocked in. The first thing that hit me this morning was the low water level - it can't be much longer before the islands are visible again (remember them?).

"We didn't see any NO DOGS signs!"

This couple with pooch were politely informed that dogs were not allowed around the perimeter road. They suggested that there were no signs saying no dogs, but decided not to continue with their walk and returned to the country park. (The dog was initially off the lead!).

My walk was rather pleasant, with some good birds and excellent weather. Farborough Bank held the waders - Redshank (1), Dunlin (2ad 1juv) and Little ringed Plover (1ad 2juv). Around thirty Yellow Wagtail's mainly juveniles, but with a few adults flitted on the water line and getting into conflict with the Pied Wagtails.

When I arrived at the Farborough Point, my attention was drawn to a large duck that I took to be the female Goosander. However, this bird did not look right! My first thoughts were Red Breasted Merganser (year tick) but I was unsure. A few images were reeled off, but the bird was quite distant. A glance at my field guide did not really help and I was puzzled until I got home and had a look at Collins. The bird looked like a drake eclipse Red Breasted Merganser but never having seen one in eclipse, I decided to gain the opinion of a few respected birders. I thnk it is indeed a drake eclipse Red Breasted Merganser but if anyone reading this wishes to comment, I shall be pleased to learn.

In Toft Shallows, five Dabchicks were my first at Draycote since before the cold spell in December 2010! A Raven honked overhead and three Common Terns headed towards the valve tower. The female Goosander loafed near the valve tower. The walk around the rest of the perimeter was uneventful save a very mobile Little Egret that flew from Rainbow Corner towards the golf course. Three female Shoveler were off the outlet.


Red Breasted Merganser


Little Egret

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Legged Gull

Todays Sightings:

Goldfinch; Wood Pigeon; Rook; Magpie; Carrion Crow; Robin; Black Headed Gull; Blackbird; Blackcap; Blue Tit; Great Tit; LBB Gull; House Martin; Pied Wagtail; Swallow; Mute Swan; Mallard; Coot; Wren; Canada Goose; Cormorant; Dunlin; Tufted Duck; Little Ringed Plover; Redshank; Yellow Wagtail; Jackdaw; Dabchick; Lapwing; Grey Heron; Pochard; Kestrel; Green Woodpecker; Greenfinch; Willow Warbler; Moorhen; Yellow Legged Gull; Stock Dove; Chaffinch; Raven;Common Tern; Dunnock; GBB Gull. Yellowhammer; Little Egret; Shoveler; Buzzard; Red Breasted Merganser.

6 comments: said...

Sounds like you had a fab time at the reserve, love the shots of the dunlin with reflections

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, Dave - it was a great morning. Always something unexpected. Don't usually go to Draycote on a Sunday as its so busy and lots of disturbance, but it was my day off!

Matt said...

Nice Dunlin, still not seen these yet!! I ended up dragging my parents to middleton lakes instead. Definately has potential and saw Marsh Tit :)

Kevin Groocock said...

Glad you got out, Matt. Not been to Middleton yet. Draycote is good for Dunlin at the moment - Farborough Bank to Toft seems to be performing well!

Max Silverman said...

Looks like Draycote might be picking up.Well done Kevin.

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers Max - I hope so!