Saturday, 4 February 2012


The day started well with a surprise Reed Bunting in our crabapple tree first thing. This is the first one i've ever seen here and it bought my garden total to 77 species. Of these 48 have actually been seen within the garden with another 29 species seen from the garden.
A little while later I noticed two birds circling 'our' lake, they didn't land but headed off east from where they came. A couple of minutes later they returned and as I watched they dropped on to the lake but out of sight of the house. I grabbed my binoculars and walked through the garden gate and immediately located them, two superb drake Goosanders, number 30 from the garden! I didn't think the day would get any better, but it did.
Having failed to find the Dunlins down on the river yesterday I decided to try again today. So after the excitement at home I headed off to the lakes. As I walked along the northern edge of Brooklands lake I heard a strange call coming from somewhere within the reeds. I walked on to one of the fishermen's swims, disturbing a Heron as I did so and out popped a very handsome drake Pintail! (67). This is a site tick for me, and a few others I think, so to say I was pleased is an understatement. By the time i'd got my camera out it had flown a bit further away but I did at least get a record shot, above, poor though it is due to the gloom and having no chance to adjust the settings.
I spent the next ten minutes or so texting everyone, it took so long because my fingers were frozen stiff. First to arrive was Eddie and David who also managed to see it and then we went to the bucket seat by the river and hey presto the Dunlins were back! (68). Fairly distant views but another site tick nonetheless.
There was also another female Goosander on Brooklands making three for the morning and just as I left, a Common Buzzard drifted over the lake creating a bit of a furore among the local gulls. A good end to a great morning.


Alan Pavey said...

That was a good day Phil, glad the Dunlins returned great stuff, Pintails are one of the most attractive looking ducks.

Marc Heath said...

Sound like a good day Phil and always nice to get a patch tick. Warms you up somewhat even when it is freezing!

Bob Bushell said...

Well done Phil, the Pintail is one of one my favourite. Great picture.

ShySongbird said...

What an exciting day! I have never, to my knowledge, had a Reed Bunting in the garden and the day I see Goosander from the garden is the day I will know I've finally lost it ;-)

Pintails are such handsome ducks and to find the Dunlins too... excellent Phil!

Simon said...

Cor, 2 new new birds in 1 day - well done with the Reed Bunting and Pintail Phil!