Tuesday 13th January 2009
Set off for the Tame valley mid-morning with vague plans to try and pick up a few Warwickshire year ticks. Scaup was a definite target though, having failed to connect on a previous visit. Some rough ground near the Kingsbury oil Terminal looked worth a gander on the way but saw nothing. So on to Lea Marston where luckily all three Scaup could be picked out relatively quickly. I wasnt in any particular hurry but it was good to see a decent bird early on. On to Whitacre Heath Nature reserve and a chance to take a few snaps. A few regular species were on show at the feeding station so I amused myself trying to photograph Nuthatches and Willow tit. You can only take so many photos of Nuthatch so it was soon time to move on. After stopping for a coffee at Hams hall I found myself at Curdworth, the aim was to look for Corn Bunting but I was way off as I followed the perimeter fence of a major up grading programme for the Minworth sewage treatment plant. Nice. Only birds seen were Bullfinch and Grey wagtail. Up until now I'd resisted the temptation to cross the border into Staffs. but with the rain beginning to fall I popped in to Debbie's boatyard to check out the wildfowl. Not many there early afternoon but the Pink footed Goose was there with an immature drake Pintail.
The rain fizzled out so time for the canal walk. Timing is everything in birding as with comedy. I cant tell a joke to save my life but I sometimes get lucky with the birds. The Short eared Owl was showing well on the Water Park and as it moved off to pastures new the Barn Owl took up the search for food in Richards meadow, but the best was yet to come. As I walked back along the canal in the fast fading light I picked out the silhouette of a Tawny Owl against the orange sky, magic.