Friday, January 30, 2009

17th January, 2009.

Early start with Matthew to try and miss some of the traffic. Called at Holme Pierrepoint,Nottingham to see the Lesser Scaup and then pressed on to Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire. A fine array of waterbirds ( Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Goosander, Great crested Grebe ) met our eyes and, eventually, we found the Red-necked Grebe that was present and had quite reasonable views. A couple of adult Yellow-legged Gulls were a nice surprise

Our next stop at Fen Drayton was based on curiosity as much as anything. It comprises a large area of gravel pits,with which the RSPB now an association,and is certainly an area that's worth a visit. Clearly still under development it also carried a good variety of waterbirds including a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers. Of equal interest to me were birds like Green Woodpecker and Stock Dove which we don't have on Islay!

After calling at Coveney to look for Rough-legged Buzzard (that's all we managed! ) we continued across the Fens to Welney, this time with the roads open due to an absence of flooding which, in previous winters, has revised our intended journey. What a wonderful sight....endless Bewick Swans giving out their musical, bugling calls which, somehow, have less urgency than those of Whooper Swans,of which there was a number in nearby fields. Good numbers of Pintail and the first of several Barn Owls together with many other duck all added to the spectacle.

Time was now pressing and brief calls at various sites were the order of the day ,including Wolferton for Golden Pheasant, before arriving at Hunstanton to stock up with supplies for the week. Onward, now in the dark, to Holt but with occasional
Barn Owls to keep up our interest before settling in for a rest and review!!

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