Friday, 16 October 2009

16th October 2009

Today was another very good one for me. Got to the lakes on the bike at c. 7:00 am hoping to see the Starlings leave their roost, but it wasn't until c. 7:30 am that they, an impressive flock numbering something around 600, got up and left. Terry's Pool was quiet, with a Treecreeper being the most notable bird, so I thought it would be an uneventful day. However, things picked up when I visited Windmill Pool's south side, and saw a Water Rail again in the same reedbed as before, plus 1 Wigeon and 6 Teal. Then amongst some distant Canada Geese I saw a duck with distinctive white cheeks - something unusual I thought. Moving to the east side to get a better view (during which a dog-walker pointed out a male Muntjac Deer in someone's back garden along there), I realised that it was an exotic and not really something I could tick; nevertheless, I wanted to ID it and after noting as many features as I could, back at home I concluded that it was an adult White-cheeked (Bahama) Pintail. Still at the lakes, I made my way back to the Malthouse Lane causeway where today's best bird was seen, albeit briefly - a Rock Pipit (lifer!). I'd have liked a much longer view of it at rest than the two few-second views I had before it took off, but it was noticeably bigger and darker than a Meadow Pipit, 2 of which landed on the causeway/dam not long afterwards, so I'm pretty sure the ID is correct. Numerous Redwings and a few Skylarks flew over the lakes again.

Coming home, I spent a few minutes looking at the Hungry Horse field and was rewarded with a Raven perched on one of the telegraph poles, plus a Jay flew over.

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. At home, I saw a report of 15 Common Scoters at Upper Bittell Reservoir (Worcestershire) so, dreading the distance and hills I'd have to cycle but really wanting to see them, I made my way there during the late afternoon, finding just one other birder there, Mark, who I've met a couple times before and pointed the flock of 15 (lifer!) out to me. He kindly let me look through his scope (thanks!), so had a better view of them than I would've, but unfortunately the ducks kept well away from the dam. Also seen there was a Common Redshank, a lone Greylag Goose coming in for the night, and 400+ roosting Jackdaws.

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