I had made a decision NOT to chase Waxwing's this year, but when you come across them in your home town, it would have been rude not to pay them the respect they deserve. So, with a report of them returning to Newbold Rd in Rugby (near the Peacock Pub), I visited on my way to work.
Apparently, I am being informed that I can no longer upload images to my blog without buying additional space - this may mean THE END.
Well, I needed some time to myself after my Mothers death this week, so decided on a woodland wander in the hope of some close ups of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin. I started off at Whitacre Heath which resembled a massive swamp with many fallen trees blocking the way. Getting to the feeding station hide was an adventure in its own right! Eventually, I gave up and headed to Ladywalk Reserve and spent a pleasant hour in the Sainsbury Hide. As you will see from the following images, I failed in my quest! However, I enjoyed my morning and hope you will enjoy the following images.
This page is dedicated to my dear mother Sylvia Groocock 11th June 1935 - 1st December 2012 having lost her brave fight against cancer.
A late start to allow the cloud and drizzle to clear, saw me arrive at Shustoke Reservoir in cold but sunny conditions. I'd heard that two Great Northern Divers were present but would I locate them? I decided to walk the perimeter, scanning every so often, noticing a few birders walking but none specifically onto anything. My first interesting bird was a female Common Scoter out in the centre. While it is nice to see the sun at this time of year, I walked the far shore quickly as I couldn't see anything, looking into the sun. Several birders were spotted on the dam, so I scanned and bingo - Great Northern Diver! It was unfortunately distant, but I scoped the bird, my first in Warwickshire for two years. It was also nice to see a Grey Wagtail on the bank. Moving on, I noticed the Diver closing in towards the bank, so I stopped and then realised there were two birds present. The opportunity was so lucky and I filled my boots!
I needed to visit the fishing lodge at Pitsford Reservoir in order to renew my expired bird watching permit and decided to start my day by visiting nearby Harrington Airfield. Nothing too special about but the mixed finch, bunting and thrush flocks along the concrete road were quite spectacular. Around 10 Bramblings, 50+ Yellowhammers, 400+ Linnets, 100+ Fieldfare, 20 Redwings. A chat with the farmer revealed a ridiculous idea to turn the site into a feature park to commemorate the war time "Carpet Baggers" air crews and the later Thor Missile bunkers. Would you pay to visit the derelict lumps of concrete (above) that is the only reminder of its past? I say leave it to nature!
A flyover Mute Swan showing well its wing structure
On to Pitsford Reservoir and my annual bird watching permit was soon issued. However, walking Harrington Airfield in wellies had taken its toll, with my left ankle becoming painful. I restricted myself to a short walk to the Maytrees feeding station and scanning either side of the causeway. Nothing special about with the expected wildfowl.
Its a hard life! Mute Swan
While scanning the Scaldwell and Walgrave Arms, I noticed a white spec in the distance!
It looked like an Egret, but with its back to me. The distance was immense but its size was leading me to think it was a Great White Egret. Would it turn around? Well yes, and the thick yellow bill was in my scope.
After about forty minutes, the GWE had had enough and took to flight over Walgrave Arm, eventually being lost behind the trees. My first sighting this year, even if it was "A speck in the distance!".
Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Great White Egret; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Wigeon; Mallard; Gadwall; Teal; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Buzzard; Kestrel; Pheasant; Red Legged Partridge; Coot; Moorhen; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; LBB Gull; GBB Gull; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Green Woodpecker; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Skylark; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Redwing; Mistle Thrush; Long Tailed tit; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Starling; Jay; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Rook; House Sparrow; Tree Sparrow; Brambling; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Bullfinch; Linnet; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting.