Sunday, 28 October 2012


Well Saturday was supposed to the best day for weather, and having walked the dogs Friday night, I knew it was going to be ok weather wise. Clear sky and a bright moon meant I was waking up to my first frosty start. I love frosty starts, apart from when the car doesn't kick in, dam it, so after sorting the tangled booster cables and de-icing the cars window I was on my way, first port of call, it has to be Summer Leys. Clear skies and all the Golden Plove early in the week means possibility of at least one Peregrine sighting...I had a quick look from the Rotary hide, and a few Teal and even fewer Widgeon on Rotary Island were asleep with a single female Golden Eye on the water , no male with it seeming it was cold I left them sleeping.  I had a quick look from the Pioneer hide and out onto the scrape, nothing except two swans and two Coots, oh dear this ain't looking good, carried on around and found common passerines along the footpath but nothing special, took a few images and carried on, in Pete Wilds' fields there were some Linnets and one Skylark, but no real big flocks of Linnets nor Yellowhammers, yet.
I decided to go straight pass the double decker hide and go straight to the Screen hide, where apart from the odd Shoveller and Cormorant coming close there wasn't much around to either watch or photograph. The Lapwings were in a field opposite the nature reserve and the Golden Plovers seemed to have gone. There was hardly any birders I know apart from Doug Goddard so started to make other plans. I have to seriously consider wether Summer Leys has lost it's "mojo" or wether it's a small blimp, but given at one point I was trying to guess the species of dog I was looking at I'm seriously worried about the ol' pit.


Shoveller, with annoying water reflection behind birds bill.
So my next plan was to see if I could relocate some Bearded Tits that had been found earlier in the week at Stanwick lakes, I had one reed bed at a "Natural England" site that sits behind Pastures Farm. It's near Whiston. It's quite a good site, I've already be a few times during the spring as it's great for Cettis Warblers, Grasshopper warbler and Cuckoo's having had two males and one female there. It's serioulsy underwatched, on all my other visits I've only ever seen the farmer there or his wife walking their dogs. It's strange because it's not too shabby. I checked the reed bed and apart from Reed Buntings and a Water Rail no Beardies here. My last port of call was going to be Stortons Pit, as I've heard and seen them there on two other winter periods, I decided to drive from the carpark towards Whiston I spotted in the field nearby a strange "construction", it looks like some sort of flood elevation scheme but at the same time it looked like a "duck shoot" type of pond, I decided to have another look at it tommorow.
As I approached Stortons pit it was "double trouble" both the Saints rugby team and the footie team were playing at home, I didn't have my mobile on me which was a shame because if I had done I would've seen the local bird reports saying Bearded Tits and a Ring Ouzel were present, the rugby fans, not a problem but I didn't want to have to stand there with by big old 500mm with the football fans, but instead I turned around and went to Blisworth canal, were I got some biggish flocks of Fieldfare and Song Thrush, some "so-so" images of a Kingfisher and plenty of Bullfinches gorging on the berries. On the way back home I stopped for a quick coffee at Salcey Forest, wacthed a (Eurasian) Nuthatch and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Not to bad for a busy carpark.
I opted to go Beardie hunting Monday morning as Sunday was dedicated to being with my other half, plus she has SKY and footie, another bad choice (SKY not Sarah...honest).


  1. I do hope Summer Leys hasn't lost its 'mojo'; I like it there. :-(

    Cracking shot of the Shoveler.

  2. Me too being so close to home it's a beauty to have.