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 Pipit, searching for that longer, heftier bill and the dark coloured legs, but alas, it was not to be found on this day.
Roughly half way down the Farnborough bank the group came across a Greenshank and a Ruff, walking together in an almost symbiotic relationship which was something to see as they continued to walk together for the remainder of the day. Also seen on this section were: Little Ringed Plover, Cormorant, Teal, Little Egret, Common Gull, Herring Gull and a little Wren singing its heart out.
Just as the group approached the first bird hide, the glorious sun burst through and set some outstanding views as it highlighted the reservoir, sailing boats, fishing boats and all the greenery in between. In this area was a 500+ strong group of Tufted Ducks and Great Crested Grebes that had to be seen to believed, but sneaking around in this group was the odd anomaly and thanks to eagle-eye Angie, a lone female widgeon was spotted hanging around on the back of this group; also trying to blend in with the Tufted Ducks was a Goldeneye. By this point the group was up to a strong 26 total species for the day.
The hide itself was wasn’t particularly busy with wildlife, with a squirrel and a pair of Great tits. From leaving the hide we continued through a small forest type area, which added a few numbers of bush and tree dwelling birds including Blackbird, House Sparrow & Goldfinch.
The walk back looked to be a little less eventful as it was a brisker walk, although about the half way point a lot of commotion was spotted in a hedgerow just off the main path. To our surprise a great many different birds were seen here including: Yellowhammer, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and even a Kestrel. We all then wrapped up the day in the coffee shop with a strong 45 total species for the day. For the full list, check out the bird list available on the walks page.
Pictures from the day (taken by myself) are available alongside this post.
Thanks for reading!