Saturday, October 27, 2007

Draycote Water in Autumn

We couldn't decide between Salcey Forest and Pitsford, so opted for Draycote Water in Warwickshire instead, on the basis someone had reported a Snow Bunting there at the start of the previous week. On arrival we checked the bird sightings book. There was a report of a Horned (Slavonian) Grebe. Knowing our luck it would have headed off first thing.

We set out anti-clockwise on this our second visit to the reservoir to see it from a different perspective. The reservoir itself was teeming with fishermen on boats and offshore, so what waterfowl there was had been pushed back into three or four areas of the reservoir.

Halfway round we met a chap who asked if we'd seen the Grebe as it had flown from where he'd been watching to the area we were headed away from. No such luck. We decided to press on though feeling that we'd probably missed out.

We got to the tower, where it had been spotted the previous day, and up it popped, at the back of a group of Tufted Ducks, which was a result!

As you be able to tell from the pictures, the light was poor, with the skies very overcast, but we were still delighted to see a Horned (Slavonian) Grebe for the first time, and to be able to photograph it:

You can just make out the very bright red eyes. The bird was very busy, regularly diving. This time it emerged with a small fish (click on the pic for a closer look):

It must have spotted something close to the surface of the water, as it ran across the surface, first from left to right, followed by a short dive:

Then from right to left though this time faster, using its wings to drive it on:

We watched it for about five minutes then left it be. Further round we spotted this very lightly coloured Little Grebe, we presume a first winter?

There were too many fishermen on the water, crowding out the birds and the temperature was much lower than we'd planned for but seeing the Slavonian Grebe made our morning!

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home