Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fisherman Fiend

It’s been a couple of weeks since I visited the patch proper and I was looking forward to it, I’m glad to say, less is definitely more. Was it to be the reservoirs or the marsh though? If I say it should have been the marsh you will know that I choose the reservoirs!

I noticed that Pete had written in the log that he had seen a ‘small Falcon, not a Kestrel’ a couple of times on Sunday, I think his natural caution has been further tempered by the fact that Merlin would be a patch tick (if he keeps one) for him. I also heard from Kevin, who suddenly appeared behind me on the Lockwood, that Pete had seen the Mediterranean Gull on factory roofs by the Banbury recently, so both those species are using the full length of the patch it would seem, certainly they are hit and miss in their appearances.

The Lockwood is still very low but pumping has begun to fill it so the edge won’t last long, not that it’s pulling in much.

Winter Duck are in short supply, in fact wintering Duck are in fairly short supply compared to a few weeks ago when we had vast flocks of moulting Aythyas, they must have all dispersed or headed back North in the mild weather. I did see a female Goldeneye on No.1 and couple of newly returned Shelduck on No.5, back from their moulting grounds off Germany. Possibly from Germany, though we will never know, were another couple of red colour-ringed Gulls, a Common Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull both on the bank of the Lockwood but waaay to far away to read any numbers.

A Chiffchaff and perhaps two Kingfishers were calling from the Lea by the Ferry Boat Inn but none of them gave themselves up for scrutiny.

On the Southern section the only action of any consequence involved screeching Ring-necked Parakeets, some seemingly paired up and prospecting nest holes, presumably for next year, it’s not that mild!

I checked the Coppermill stream edge for any Water Rail, a few of which are now on site, though not on this occasion in sight, wintering Bitterns, too mild yet? And roosting Long-eared Owls, just a fantasy really. A look on the East Warwick revealed a Fisherman walking through the small Reed bed in the South-west corner, if he flushed a Bittern I might have looked on this act more kindly but he didn’t so I think it was very irresponsible. One of his brethren on No.4 decided that he would cast his Fly just as I got behind him; I kindly requested that he look first before he had someone’s eye out, he laughed! At least we don’t have Dog walkers over here....yet.


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