Sunday, 6 March 2011

Grafham Water

I fancied doing something slightly different today, so I opted for the relatively short trip up to Grafham Water in Cambs.
 I took a route across rural Bedfordshire, bypassing Thurleigh Airfield. Here several Corn Buntings sang from roadside bushes, a large flock of Golden Plover stood on the  fields and Lapwings and Skylarks indulged in their display flights.
 Once at Grafham, I parked in Perry village and took a clock-wise walk around the reservoir.
Near to the Fishing Lodge a sole redhead Goosander stood on the pontoon, Great-crested Grebes, Tufted Ducks and several Goldeneye were seen offshore.
 In valley Creek a couple of Shelduck, lots of Teal, a single Wigeon and several Greylag gathered.
I made my way through the woods towards Dudney Creek and encountered a small flock of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Chaffinches in one of the cleared areas. Also a close encounter with a Stoat that walked up the path towards me but running off before I could get the camera out.
 In Dudney Creek a small flock of Tufted Duck contained 4 male Scaup, an adult and 3 first winters, also another pair of Shelduck and 6 Redshanks. A flock of mixed Tits contained at least one Goldcrest.
 I carried on my walk deciding I would go as far as Savages Creek ( If I had realised it was that far I might have had second thoughts). Birds seen on the way were 3 Buzzards, a Little Egret and several Skylarks.
Eventually arriving at the hide, my efforts were not rewarded as there was very little to be seen, just around 20 Goldeneye, a Little Grebe and 3 Common Gull. There was certainly no sign of  a Red-necked Grebe that had been seen here recently (it typically came up on Cambirds as being present later in the day)
 The long walk back to the car was brightened up by a very low flying Red Kite that seemed to follow me part of the way back - perhaps I was flagging more than I realised.

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