New Year Sightings

Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd January 2011

The two first-winter male Greater Scaups were still showing well in the WWT Rushy Pen this morning. Views of the less advanced individual in better light than on 29th (above and below) show it to be also a male, with some grey feathers beginning to show through on the mantle, also a darker head; I should have picked this up on the earlier visit rather than going along with female, but I'll blame it on the fog - it looks obvious in these photos!

Other highlights included c40 Siskins around the car park, a Water Rail at the Robbie Garnett feeders (below) with a Treecreeper nearby, and at South Finger on the Bottom New Piece 450 Dunlin, seven Ruff, four Golden Plovers and a Redshank plus of course the Bewick's Swans and White-fronted Geese at several locations around the reserve, though the latter somewhat elusive apart from a small group on the Bottom New Piece.

Yesterday, a New Year's Day walk from Fairford with Linda took us past some of the Cotswold Water Park East lakes. Most were still ice-covered but a small unfrozen area on pit 104 held a good variety of birds including three red-head Smew, three Goldeneyes (including a drake), a Teal, a Gadwall, four Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and several Pochard. One of my first ticks of the year was two male Bramblings in the garden. Record photos below of Goldeneye and Smew:

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