Thursday, January 05, 2006
Black-throated Thrush and more
2nd January saw an early start for the black-throated thrush in Somerset. A lifer for Dan, Jeff and myself. We arrived around 8:40am with a suspected speeding offence in the bag! It didn't look promising at first as a few birders were leaving to look elsewhere. We scanned the fieldfare and redwing flocks to no avail. Patience paid off however, as after about half an hour or so the bird appeared about 250 metres away giving prolonged views. Jeff managed this record shot. After a while, Geri, Kevin and Martin arrived and we decided to team up for a jaunt through Somerset. We left Curload having ticked kingfisher, grey wagtail, little egret too. We stopped at North Curry Moor for some reported Bewick's swans. There was no sign, but we had nice views of two peregrines overhead. We headed north for Shapwick Heath NNR, stopping a couple of times for reported ruff in the area. Again this species proved elusive, but we enjoyed huge flocks of lapwing with smaller numbers of dunlin and golden plover. At Shapwick Heath, we were soon viewing upto 16 water pipits at the first tank. Cetti's warblers were heard along the path upto the Noah's pools. Canada goose was seen here along with 3 grey geese. We thought greylag at first but Geri suspected pink-footed. We didn't get good enough views to confirm identity either way though. We all however, managed brief glimpses of Cetti's warbler though. On the return Geri did his best impression of water rail to entice a skulking bird out of the bog. He failed! On to Chew Valley Lake for a reported Slavonian grebe on Herriot's Pool. Dan did well to pick out the distant resting bird and Geri picked out ruddy duck too. We headed on to nearby Barrow Gurney reservoirs where a long-staying great northern diver remained. Tank 3 gave us nice views of 4 black-necked grebes feeding together amongst the ducks. 5 goosanders were on show too. Over the road to tank 1 for the diver. It was showing well, and constantly diving. This is a big, heavy bird! A large flock of linnets flew across empty tank 2. The light was fading now, but we had just enough time to dash across to Avonmouth to conclude the day with the long-staying drake ring-necked duck at Avonmouth Water Treatment Works. An enjoyable day out with some great birds.
Posted by Wayne at 1/05/2006 11:22:00 AM