11 August 2007

Draycote and Napton Reservoirs

A good day's birding today, my first longish session for a while.
I got to Napton Reservoir by 7.15am, and although there was still a slight chill in the air, it looked set to be a fabulous day.
By 8.15am the chill had gone and it was already getting hot. Nothing wrong with the birding either - along with the usual collection of Mallards, Coots and Moorhens I was able to find large numbers of young Sedge Warblers (see photos below of two birds in typically hard-to-photo places), Cettis Warblers, a Chiffchaff and several Willow Warblers, a large flock on Linnets, two pairs of Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Reed Buntings, and as I left some Swallows swooping low over the smaller of the two waters.
Moving on to Draycote, I resolved to walk the full circuit, around 5 miles in all. Two hours later and I had added to my morning list as follows: several Lapwing, lots of Coromorants, a few gulls, a juvenile Common Sandpiper, the long-staying Black-throated Diver, and my personal highlight, a Yellow Wagtail (see main photo) - a gloriously bright bird which sat in the sunshine on Draycote Bank and kept a watchful eye over it youngster.
In just over four hours I had found around 40 species, enjoyed some of the best weather of the year, got some much-needed exercise, and secured some nice photographs to remind me of the trip (old camera, in case you were wondering - I still think the FZ20 is a great camera for birding, and I plan to carry on stowing it in the birding bag for all trips where birding, not photography, is the primary plan).

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