Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sunday's sightings


The first venue this morning was Sywell Country Park where the relatively long-staying adult Whooper Swan was just off the dam, well it was until a testosterone-fuelled Mute Swan decided he didn't want it on his patch! The Whooper received the message and the swan swam off in to the middle of the water in still murky conditions. A Cetti's Warbler and a Grey Wagtail were also in the vicinity of the dam.

Next was Ditchford Gravel Pits and specifically the pits west of Ditchford Lane. Birds here in dull conditions included a Great White Egret, eight Egyptian Geese, an adult female Peregrine, a Green Sandpiper, a Kingfisher and a couple of Cetti's Warblers.

A visit to the village of Bozeat at midday was next where some photography in slightly better light was necessary to capture the spangled colours of the humble Starling and a possible Nordic Jackdaw.

An afternoon at Pitsford Reservoir attracted sightings of a Great White Egret and a drake Smew in the Scaldwell Bay (courtesy of Jacob Spinks) and two pairs of Red-crested Pochard and a roost of 155 Cormorants in the Walgrave Bay.


Neil M

Whooper Swan
Sywell Country Park

It may only be early winter but
Cormorants aged three years and over
will now begin to acquire their
resplendent breeding plumage ready
for pairing and nest-building in February.

Not the right day to take photos
of Pochard on grey water, but many
of the wildfowl present at Sywell
Country Park are so used to seeing a
constant stream of people and dogs
progressing around the water that they
barely move away from the water's edge...

Egyptian Geese at
Ditchford Gravel Pits

The stunning Starling. It is likely that the Starlings
we see currently in the county are a mixture of local
and foreign birds. The white spotted 'winter' plumage
begins to wear during the early spring to the point that
they are back to being glossy again. And the Starlings are
singing now, another birds that initiates the breeding cycle
a season early! Most adult males are already beginning
 to sport a bluish base to the bill and the females pinkish
(please see above).

A possible 'Nordic Jackdaw' at
Bozeat today. Small numbers from
northern Europe appear to winter
 in the UK.

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