My day started on a good note with a Barn Owl and pair of Stonechat at Blueberry Farm . It went downhill thereafter.
I decided to run around the big side at Pitsford Reservoir with Tor and notched up 2 Grey Wagtail, a Kingfisher and 2 Goosander [first one's I've seen at Pitsford for a while]. There was at least one Smew although I didn't see it myself.
I was aware that there was a tractor hedge cutting or rather to my eye's murdering the hedge as chunks of sharp branches etc were flying off in all directions leaving the hedge scarred and ugly. I was none too pleased when I trod on one of these sharp pieces....ouch.
I intended to spend some time birding the small side but this was not possible today as the Ruddy Duck cull was in progress!! . There were several boats secreted in the reeds/bushes each containing folk with riffles as well as folk with binoculars/radio's at various points along the shoreline. Consequently most of the wildfowl had vacated the area. I really do have to question the cost of this project, how much does each Ruddy Duck death cost ? and for myself it begs the question as to why this is allowed on a nature reserve ? !!
After I had calmed down I went to Harrington to feed the birds. More frustration as I was greeted by a very muddy feeding area and a constant stream of lorries bringing some extremely smelly muck which they have deposited half way along the track. The birds couldn't really feed at the entrance so I put some food further along the track hoping that they would at least be able to feed. So if you intend visiting Harrington at the moment be prepared for mud and the famous "Harrington aroma". The only birds of note were 2 Raven and approx 100 Golden Plover.
Birding will be limited tomorrow. Many of us knew Rodney Ingram who sadly died earlier this month. Tomorrow there will be a service at the parish church , Ecton at 2pm to celebrate and give thanks for Rodney's life. Rod touched so many of us in a huge variety of ways. He was instrumental in starting up from scratch the Northamptonshire Bird Club and for many years served on the committee and remained supportive of the club. He was an extremely talented artist and used this gift to illustrate the birds in the Northamptonshire Bird Report and Christmas cards for the Rspb. He was passionate about all aspects of birds, but he was also one of life's true "gentlemen" and I believe left his mark on many of our live's and his legacy will continue. Thanks Rod.