Friday, 3 December 2010

Big Freeze (part 1)

Managed to drag myself reluctantly out into the freezing cold this morning (Dec 2nd) for a circuit of the Lockwood. The past week has seen practically the whole country swathed in snow & ice and sub-zero temperatures. Unsurprisingly there's been a lot of cold weather bird movement of late so this felt like a great opportunity to get out on the patch & see what showed up.
I was greeted by a Redshank in the relief channel almost immediately (not common in these parts). On the res - in the biting N-Easterlies and with a nose starting to resemble a leaking tap - I quickly picked out a group of about 15 Wigeon, mostly resting on the snowy N bank, amongst them a few Gadwall and 50+ Teal.
Making my way slowly around the Eastern bank I soon became aware of an interesting group of Aythya ducks out in the middle of the water...a group of 5 Scaup no less, including 2 adult drakes...not the first this year, but superb! Made a pathetic attempt to take a record shot with my far-from-adequate mobile phone - very tricky through an angled 'scope at the best of times - and failed dismally.
Another group of 19 Wigeon came in from the South, and I later counted a total of 37, by far my highest count here (as were the Scaup).
Other notables were 3 female Goldeneye, a couple of Lapwing, 3 Green Sandpipers, 5 Common Snipe, a low Skylark (which landed briefly), and 3 Meadow Pipits plus another pipit sp. which I reckon was probably a Rock/Water, but flew of before I could get onto it (not for the first time)...all in all a satisfying (albeit bone-numbing) excursion.
LB

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