15 February 2006

An awful lot of Coots

We visited the in-laws in Essex this weekend, and as well as being delighted to see that side of the family, I was also quite pleased to get some very good birdwatching in.

Friday afternoon saw me arrive, drop off the wife and child, and head straight off for Abberton Reservoir, one of the area's premier birding spots.

I arrived to be confronted by well in excess of 3,000 Coots - rafts of them spread all over this massive water, impressive when stationary but breathtaking when they scooted low across the water en masses, wings beating together and feet skimming the surface.

There were plenty of other treats to be savoured - impressive numbers of Goldeneye, a lovely pair of Goosander, a couple of Common Sandpipers that have apparently over-wintered here (usually they're migrant birds that that leaves our shores in the winter and only come back in March / April), and neighbouring fields full of Wigeon, Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing, Starling and Rook.

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