Monday, 3 January 2011

Willen,Caldecotte and Linford.

Stayed  my side of the border today.

A walk around Willen North this morning. Still almost entirely frozen even though the thaw set in  almost a week ago.
 A short vigil by in the inflow produced the anticipated Water Rail scurrying around, but other than the small unfrozen areas of the lake very few birds were around.
 A flock of 30 odd Lapwings stood on the ice, while on the water, Mallard, Wigeon, Tufteds, Pochard, Teal, Gadwall, a single drake Goldeneye, Coot, Great and Little Grebes filled what water was available.

Reports of a Scaup at Caldecotte gave me an excuse to get out this afternoon.
A drive through the Oldbrook estate proved fruitless as the Waxwings seem to have moved on.
 At Caldecotte, as at Willen most of the lake is frozen, other than an area in front of the houses which was absolutely packed with Mallards, Tufteds and Pochard, some Canada Geese, Mute Swans and a single Black Swan also a few Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. Two female Goosander were present, as were a pair of Goldeneye, a few Little Grebe and their Great-crested cousins.
 I couldn't see any sign of a Scaup, but there was a female Tufted Duck with a very large white face mask, which could well be the bird in question.
 While the Mute Swans walked on the ice, I noticed one was wearing a BTO metal ring, so with the use of my camera I took a photo and blew it up big so I was able to read the number. I have sent the details off so if you're interested Keith I'll let you know the details when they get back to me.

For the last half hour of daylight I decided on an Owl watch at the Linford reserve.
I had only got half way down the drive when a Barn Owl got up from one of the posts and began hunting the long grass in the field just yards away. I should have turned around then as that was as good as it got, a Sparrowhawk being the only other bird of prey spotted before darkness set in.

1 comment:

  1. I had a quick visit to Caldecotte this morning Rob, and like you, no sign of a Scaup. There were 2 very white faced Tufted Duck yesterday, and I'm pretty certain that's what was seen, and thought to be a Scaup.

    Yea, I'll be interested to know the details of the ringed swan. Seen him there for the last few days on the ice.