Friday, 13 January 2017
A Good Start
In over 30 years of visiting the reservoirs, I have only seen a couple of Black Redstarts and both of those were in the spring. So the female-type that the Prof spotted as we walked round the partially drained No 5 this morning was both a delightful surprise and an excellent start to the year. It showed very well in the south-west corner where, given the wagtails and Meadow Pipits around, there seemed to be no shortage of food. It was still here, GJ reports, in late afternoon.
No 5 also held two female and a drake Goosander which were probably the same birds earlier on No 4. Another drake took the place of the missing Scaup on the NW corner with the Tufted Duck but was considerably less sleepy and soon departed across the road. Walking round East Warwick, we flushed a Snipe which landed down in the hidden lagoon on the island.
The day had not started quite so promisingly when our cunning plan to start later and avoid the snow ended up with us arriving at Lockwood just as a blizzard started. It persuaded us to walk around the bottom rather than brave the wind and snow which might explain why we did not see the Scaup as the last report during the week was up on Lockwood. A 3W Yellow-legged Gull had the same idea of keeping out the wind and loafed on the side of High Maynard until we got our cameras out. High Maynard also held four Goldeneye and, briefly, a Green Sandpiper. A pair of Peregrines were displaying to remind us that spring was only a couple of months away. It just did not feel like it.....
Stop press.....by late afternoon, the Scaup was back on No 4 and GJ had found a Jack Snipe in the new reed bed at the north end of No 1 which means an unexpected visit to the reservoirs again tomorrow.