A pleasant morning with sunshine but a seasonally fresh breeze met me at Draycote Water this morning. Overnight rain giving way to clearing skies and an early morning frost did not bode well for anything new at Draycote, but it was good to meet up with a few long staying "friends". The Great Northern Diver was still showing well along Farborough Bank, but today favoured the stretch between the spit and Toft shallows. Toft shallows again enabled views of the albino Squirrel, but it seemed reluctant to leave its nest box home. Toft also held a single Chiffchaff and Treecreeper. Not a lot to see, but nice to enjoy a bracing walk!
A brisk walk this morning on a local patch, Ashlawn Cutting, an area that is on my doorstep but somewhere I hardly venture in too. I was first introduced to the cutting, forty five years ago by stalwart members of the local Rugby Natural History Society, long before its management fell to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. The cutting in those days was very open, part due to the fact the railway (Great Central) had closed only a few years previous. I remember recording species with the likes of Bill Mason, Lynn Rushall, Bertha McCleod, Eric Maughan and many others. I suppose this should become my local patch again!
I have to say that I blame Bob Hazell for today's excursion to Eyebrook Reservoir! In conversation at Draycote Water a few days ago, he expressed surprise that I had not been to Eyebrook Reservoir to touch base with the adult male Velvet Scoter. This sowed a seed in my mind that was reaped this morning with an early morning visit. Unfortunately, the last week has not been good for light, and today continued with this theme! Although the bird was quite close, an ISO of up to 1600 was needed! I am, however, grateful to Bob!
Arriving at the Eyebrook Fishery at the dam, I met a very pleasant chap, Andy Miller who stated he had not seen the Velvet Scoter this morning. However, a quick scan soon located it on the Rutland side of the dam. It was rapidly moving towards the Leicestershire bank so I waited by the reeds for closer views. I was not to be disappointed, the Scoter came up to the fishing pontoons to dive and feed and then move out again. This seemed to be its routine. I was really pleased to get such good views as normally these birds are seen miles out to sea with Common Scoter and only identified by the white flashes!
Typical! Draycote Water was not in a "happy" mood this morning! It was very gloomy with mist making everything seem very grey and unwelcoming. The purpose of my visit was to touch base with the Great Northern Diver and Long Tailed Duck that seem happy with their residence! The Great Northern Diver was very obliging, staying close to Farborough Bank. The Long Tailed Duck, however, was very distant - not helped by Bob Hazell informing me that while I was getting up close to the Diver, the Long Tailed Duck was close off Farborough Spit, about 100yds from where I was standing!
Great Northern Diver
Just to add some colour to an otherwise "grey" morning -