Repetition: Inspired by @jarpartridge I checked out the filter beds in Coppermill Lane. It’s a place I find a bit frustrating as it clearly gets lots of birds but they are very difficult to see; what with the fence, the crash barriers that they all hide behind, the distance and the sun (you’re looking south). I came away empty-handed, needless to say. Later in the afternoon @danbarrett6 tweeted out a Bullfinch from there! No further details (later heard it was in trees by the silos on the Western side) but I happened to be on the South of No.5 so had another look...no Bullfinch but a Jackdaw was feeding on the Eastern side of the beds.
Hesitation: I was going to do the Lockwood but the Fisherman’s car park was closed due to ‘works’, meaning I couldn’t park near the entrance, this caused me to pause and formulate a new plan. Everywhere you go on the reservoirs they are doing ‘works’! A lot more scrub has been cleared along the path between No.1 and Nos.2 & 3 which is also closed. They have cleared bushes by the Beam House, chopped down Trees at the bottom of the West Warwick and grubbed up scrub at the bottom of No.1. Where will it all end? I expect its all part of the prettification before it is open to the great British public.
Deviation: I took the car down to the underpass by the West Warwick and, call me crazy, decided to walk Clockwise, rather than Anti-clockwise around the reservoir. I know! That’s just the sort of mood I was in, caution to the wind, devil may care. After just a few metres a Kingfisher flashed past, a few more and a Snipe (if you have been wondering where they all are this Winter, Mike M told me he flushed 15 from the Bomb Crater field on the marsh last week – Wellingtons advised) flushed up from the edge, my deviant behaviour was paying off, talking of deviant behaviour, I spotted some Common and Black-headed Gulls appearing to want to land on the top of a Tree (not sure what type - Ash?), as I watched I realised they were actually feeding from the Tree, whether it was seeds or Insects I’m not sure but I think the former. It went on for some time, long enough for me to get a few shots, in other words quite a long time.
Another oddity was a female Tufted Duck with a nasal saddle, looks like B66. I have sent the record to a ringer in France as I suspect it may be from there. Looks like we have had some Duck movement as I couldn’t see any Scaup on the Southern side of the complex and there seemed to be more female Tufted Duck around, whether this is cold weather movement or Spring passage I don’t know.
Things got even more exciting when I spotted a small party of Duck grazing on the bank in the South-east corner, through the bins they looked like they might be Wigeon, I was a bit disappointed and confused when the scope revealed they were Gadwall, until this one popped his head up. Quite probably the bird Pete L had a week or so ago, looks like a 1st year male. They all got spooked by a passing train but dropped onto the reservoir and was still there later.
Best of the rest was a Water Rail in the South-west corner of the East Warwick, a confiding pair Pheasants on the weedy area North of the East Warwick, another Kingfisher in the Coppermill stream, 5+ Meadow Pipits on the Eastern edge of No.5 and a few Goldeneye scattered around.