On leaving the house this morning with my two collie companions I had no idea where we would be heading, but thinking that these two could do with a change of scenery we started at Brixworth Country Park. There were 2 Bramblings, 4+ Lesser Redpolls and several Siskin flying around.
I then decided to walk around the big side of Pitsford Reservoir, which proved to be quite exhilarating, due to the wild and windy weather conditions.
The majority of the birds were found sheltering in the bays with very few on the open choppy water. Those that did brave the open water bobbed up and down like corks and made me feel quite sea sick.
One of the first birds I saw was in fact the Great Northern Diver, sheltering very close to the bank in the small Yacht Bay and shortly afterwards I saw 4 Smew (2 drakes + 2 'redhead') in the Pintail Bay. I didn't see anything else of note until the small bay near "The Pigs" were there were a further 4 'redhead' Smew.
One of my collies is still recovering from major surgery so I am continuing to push her out in her buggy. I "parked" her buggy whilst I scanned the open water, but a strong gust of wind pushed it forward and propelled it at quite a speed towards the water. My initial thought was "do I save my scope, which was strapped onto her buggy, or the dog first "!!! Luckily I didn't have to make this choice as the buggy and Bobbie came to a halt at the waters edge.
Mind you Bobbie had the last laugh as we got caught out in a vicious squally shower and there was nowhere to shelter, but she remained snug and dry in her buggy.
So cold and wet we continued. As we crossed the causeway I could see 2 Great White Egrets on the small side, but I couldn't hold my 'scope steady to see anything else.
At the back of the Catwalk Bay was a Water Rail and at least 6 Lesser Redpolls feeding on some tall dead grass stems.
The other birds of note seen on my walk round were 2 drake Goosander, 2 Raven and a female Peregrine.
I thought that I might as well drive around to the causeway and then walked down the Scaldwell Bay. Again the open water was devoid of birds as they sought shelter underneath the bushes or in the shelter of the back of the bays. There were in fact 3 Great White Egrets present and 8+ Red Crested Pochard. Also 3 Goosander (2 drake, 1 'redhead'), 2 drake Smew (possibly the same birds from the big side). There were also 2 or 3 Redshank flying about.
A visit to Ravensthorpe Reservoir this afternoon failed to find anything of note.
Above three images
courtesy of Jacob Spinks
Surface-feeding birds taking
advantage of diving ducks and
Mute Swans bringing up weed
and contents for them to pillage -