Tuesday 8th February 2011
Looks like our ration is one beautiful day a week and today was it. So it was a question of getting out there to see what you could find. Anything would be a change. Worked my way slowly towards the Tame valley starting at Bentley Woods near Atherstone. With no wind and a warming sun you could actually hear birds singing. The usual woodland species were about but no sign of Redpolls of any description. I headed towards Shustoke via the back lanes looking for any finch flocks in suitable habitat but couldn't even find any suitable habitat. Drove into Shustoke Res. to find the car park pretty near full so drove straight out again. By contrast I had Coton pools to myself. A pair of Shelduck were the most noteworthy birds. After a coffee at the Cedars it was on to Broomey Croft for lunch and then up the canal to Fisher's Mill and Dosthill via Sita hide where there was no sign of any Smew but I did see my first Kingfisher of the year. What have you been doing I hear you cry.
There were a few large gulls on Fisher's Mill north pool including a very good candidate for a first or 2nd winter Glaucous gull. Trouble was I was the wrong side of the river looking into the sun with only my bins and as I started to get to grips with the bird everything went up and dispersed. Apart from all that though I had a stunning view ! Not. I just take my hat off to those guys who can pick out a Slaty backed Gull amongst hundreds of foraging Lesser black Backs on a tip.
On the Dosthill Nature reserve was the first Oystercatcher of the year but no further sign of 'the Glauc' on the Dosthill lakes.