Out and about

18th Jan 2017

Overcast, dull, cold.

I had the morning at the Witham mouth, where the best bird was a slavonian grebe, seems to be a fairly reliable bird here in winter. Other birds on the water were few and far between; 8 great crested grebes, 1 little grebe, 4 goldeneye, 2 guillimots and a red-throated diver.

Quite a few large gulls flocked around a fishing boat. Couldn’t find any white-wingers despite the countrywide influx we’re having. All the usual shore waders were around and a merlin sat on the merlin posts.

I’d had enough by lunchtime and decided to call in at a couple of local sites on the way home. Ropsley quarry was quiet apart from a flock of finches and yellowhammers. At Culverthorpe lakes a fine  drake common scoter was a very nice surprise, the closest one to home I’ve ever found. I watched it swim around and preen, before flying off after half an hour. Off to nearby Woodland waters at Ancaster, and a drake red-crested pochard showed well, first one of those I’ve seen here too. The resident pair of Egyptian geese put in an appearance.

Couldn’t resist stopping to snap these beautiful highland cattle near Oasby, their every breath showing in the cold stillness.