Today was taken up completing the monthly count of water-birds present at Pitsford Reservoir.
Three or four Great White Egrets were again present - it still has not been possible to see all suspected four birds at the same time! One showed particularly well just off the causeway this afternoon, causing a small gathering of curious on-lookers taking photos. Possibly as many as 15 Little Egrets were present.
Good numbers of waterfowl were present, the highlights being 11 Goosanders, a drake Smew (Holcot Bay), a Black-necked Grebe (near yacht club), 10 Pintail and 24 Red-crested Pochard (plus an extraordinary drake RC Pochard x Mallard hybrid)! Less authentic species included the Bar-headed Goose still and three Black Swans.
Waders were well-represented - a single Black-tailed Godwit, 4-5 Redshank, 40 Snipe, a Grey Plover and a Common Sandpiper.
Other birds included an adult female Peregrine, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, two Kingfishers, 12 redpoll sp, a couple of Siskins, a Grey Wagtail and a Chiffchaff. One of the adult Great Black-backed Gulls present has learnt to catch fish by diving in to the shallows in a similar manner to a Gannet - the Scaldwell Bay is its usual fishing haunt.
One of the many Little Grebes present suffered predation in the jaws of a large Pike in the Pintail Bay - probably a regular but rarely witnessed event. The Little Grebe clearly saw the underwater predator because it was sounding the alarm and tried to take evasive action but to no avail.
Eleanor & Neil
Red Fox and escort!
First year Great Crested Grebe
Great White Egret
Little and Large!
Vanity is a terrible thing -
he/she clearly admires the reflection!