Saturday 4th April 2009
Only managed a quick look into Middleton Hall on the way to and from seeing my Dad yesterday but was lucky to connect with the Cattle Egret both times.
Today I continued my quest to see Corn Bunting at Lawford Heath on the way to Draycote Water. After seeing a couple of Linnet sitting on top of a hedge along Ling Lane I finally focused on a much chunkier bird on the hedge, my first Warks. Corn Bunting (130) of the year.
At Draycote there was a bit of a Birders convention. Initially interest was focussed on Toft bay where the Red necked Grebe and Green winged Teal had been penned in by a semi -circle of Fishing boats like baying Wolves around a Bear. Eventually one boat came right in front of the hide flushing the Teal to the other end of the reservoir.
John Judge had a call from Richard Mays saying he was looking at a ringtail Hen Harrier from the Country Park. I jumped into the back of John's van. It was pitch black in there, like riding in a coffin. I was glad to be let out but grateful for the lift. I was also grateful to John for letting me use his scope to get a view of the Hen Harrier. After a coffee it was back to Toft. I connected with 2 Yellow wagtails (131) on the way and also had a pair of Ravens over. A single Ringed plover flew along Toft bank.
The issue of fishing in Toft Bay, designated a 'conservation area' by Severn Trent, is something I feel should be pursued. Admittedly there is no demarcation of the no fishing zone on the water but anybody with half a brain must wonder why people are looking at them with gritted teeth as they fish right in front of the hide (some of the photos were taken from inside the hide). I shall send 'the evidence' to Severn Trent and make the point that conservation is not a public relations excercise but a attempt to correct the exploitation of the countryside and its wildlife. Draycote desperately needs a users forum and the will to enforce simple rules to conserve and respect Wildlife habitat.
Sorry about the moan, anyway I met alot of old friends and some new ones, so thats nice.