Saturday, December 06, 2008

back home

Having flown home overnight from Boston and scraping a mere single hours sleep, courtesy of a very noisy babe-in-arms, I got home, we had breakfast, got changed and got out. Well it had to be done, a clear crisp winter's day... the first real opportunity to enjoy winter.

The reserve was surprisingly quiet - it looked in fact as if a large number of the wildfowl were south of the causeway feeding. We did get to see large numbers of Redwing and here Fieldfare, our first of this winter:

I confess that having had almost no sleep my spotting skills were absent as was my balance, and with the slushy mud it was hard work getting round, but very much worth it, a beautiful winter's day.

On the way round we also saw a pair of Great-spotted Woodpeckers fighting furiously, a couple of lone Green Woodpeckers, two fleeting glimpses of a huge black bird which must have been a Raven (now we know our previously stated Raven at Pitsford was a Crow!), and a single drake Goosander, though at a distance as the water levels are the highest I've ever seen there - so plenty of the land is under water, increasing the overall surface area of the reservoir and providing much more space for the wildfowl. The darker side of winter was much in evidence too, the wildfowl were very skittish at our approach and both of the farms were hosting shoots, so more canned killing masquerading as 'sport'.

On a brighter note, we spotted this strange hybrid, (left hand bird) it looks like a Wigeon drake but it has a green patch above the eye, having consulted with those wiser than I (thanks Neil) it turns out it's a first winter Wigeon drake with a 'variable' quantity of green on the head... it needs to tidy up all round before it looks like t'others...

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