A grey and overcast day did not deter a large group and did not disappoint on the birding front. Joined on the day by Ken, Dave and his grandson Billy, Graham, Fred and Linda, Vicki, Julie, Ellen, John and Angie, Sue and Beverly we made our way to the first of the two hides on the pond. Up to this point and here we had views of a Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, a pair of Kingfishers, Sand Martins, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and many more (see the bird list). From here we moved along trying to find the best route to dodge the waterlogged sections and the muddy sections. A pleasurable day had by all. I left the group early to check out the Kingfishers again and was also greeted by a pair of Oystercatchers having a squabble. I decided to also test out the new burger van which was delicious!
A while ago, earlier in the year, an advert popped up through my Facebook fed asking if anyone was interested in doing an advert for a company called Hive, a subsidiary of British Gas. They sell interactive smart products like light bulbs, thermostats, plugs and a few other items that link together with your smart phone and allows you to control your home from anywhere in the world, providing you have an internet connection.
I contacted them and received a reply asking me about myself and what my hobbies were, well I guess you can guess my hobby to be honest, but I think it was initially drawn them into contacting me further. After a few more rounds of questions they said they would like to come to my home and record me for the day both at home and whilst bird watching.
I chose my favourite location, Brandon Marsh, as you all know it’s close to home and a beautiful location.
All in all it was a twelve hour day, both at home and out at Brandon, but my family and I had a lot of fun.
With a misty and cloudy start to the day 8 intrepid birders arrived at Draycote water that was comprised of the following bunch: Neville, Graham, Angie, John, Beverly, Julie, Ellen and I. We were immediately greeted with the view of a Green Woodpecker, was this to be a good omen?
Recent rarity records found via twitter prior to our visit at the reservoir included the Little Stint and the Rock Pipit which we all had an eye for and were all hoping to see.
Guided by the ever knowledgeable Neville, the eight of us set off down the Farnborough bank of Draycote reservoir; within moments of being bombarded by a large volume of birds to see. From the start there were a number of female Goosander, Linnet, Little Grebe, and Meadow Pipit alongside all the common birds you would expect to see in a location such as this like: Moorhen, Coot, Crow, Mallards, Magpies and Pied Wagtails.
We continued the walk stopping multiple times for extended periods scouring the Meadow Pipits for that elusive Rock Pipi...
The onset of the glorious spring sunshine on the first Sunday of April prompted my Wife, Son and I to go for our first family walk of the year.
This first walk was a later start than last year, but this was necessitated by our young Son who is harder to protect from the elements.
The venue for our walk was local favourite Coombe Abbey and Grounds situated just down the road a stones throw from Brandon Marsh.
Whilst this is a typically busy venue, early risers will find that the crowds do not appear until around midday.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk, plenty of species to be seen including a breeding pair of Egyptian Geese. The hide was good for a few fishing birds including Egrets, Cormorants and the odd Heron. Due to its proximity I would recommend this venue for a stroll and stop of around 2-4 hours.
This site does charge for parking, 1-2 hours is £2.00 and 2-4 hours is £3.80.
Anyone else who would like to write pieces, please contact me and let me know.