Tuesday, 10 November 2009
A Birdwatch to Remember
Big day at Carsington this weekend. It began with a report of a Black Redstart (video above), by the end of it Great Northern Diver (mostly summer plumage), female Scaup and Common Scoter, and a Ring-billed Gull made for the best visit I can remember for a long time. First and last birds there lifers too (#222 & #223), and interesting birds. The RB Gull is a Carsi regular, turning up in the roost early each November staying for a few weeks and then it's off again. Must have its reasons I suppose. Bet it spends the summer somewhere like Scotland, can't really see a trans-Atlantic migration from its normal range being made every year.
The Black Redstart was a second site record, the previous one a spring bird from as far back as 1996. Charming birds, a sort of smoky delicacy in the feathers, they've a definite touch of class about them. Ours spent a lot of time on the sailing club building, picking off flies warming themselves up on the sunny side of the roof.
To add to the impressive cast earlier in the week we had a Garganey of debatable age and even gender during the RSPB's A Date With Nature event. That's how it can be when you have eclipse males around, this ostensibly female-looking just too warm coloured to be a female. Might still be on the water now.
The water is really really low on the reservoir meaning the acreage of exposed mud is enormous, good for the wintering Teal and surely alluring for any vagrant waders. Eyes peeled. The Garganey enjoys the mud too, but really ought to be in Africa already.
Yellow-legged Gull, Ravens, Buzzards, Peregrines, Goldeneye, tonnes of Tufties, Wigeon, Pochard and Coot, Snipe and other regulars make it fairly easy to notch maybe 60 species in a day visit at the moment.
Also had good numbers of Pink-footed Geese overflying the few days. Nice to be under their direct flight path between their first port of call in Lancashire and their real destination in Norfolk.
Another video of the Black Redstart, it just misses a whopping big fly there...