Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bonxies at Draycote Water

Tuesday 14th October 2014
Draycote Water is about as far away from the sea as its possible to get, so when a pelagic species turns up its usually worth seeing. Steve H. contacted me to say there was a Bonxie at Draycote Water so I was soon on the road. I'd seen one a couple of weeks earlier but with a strong passage of pelagic species down the east coast and big weather systems around the UK there was a good chance of something else turning up. I hoped this bird might prove a little more obliging than the last one which stayed out in the middle of the reservoir.
When I caught up with the bird it was attacking Coots near the inlet and putting on a great show. Bob H. and Tim M. were already there. I took a few shots from Rainbow corner before the show was over. The Bonxie sat on the water a bit further out. Apparently that was its routine: sit on the water and periodically haress the groups of Coots and Ducks around the res.
After some time Bob and I wandered back towards the visitors centre stopping on the way to photograph 3 Dunlin. I kept checking the Bonxie and was amazed to see another Bonxie flying around Rainbow Corner. I checked the original Bonxie was still on the water. It too was now flying but there were definitely 2 birds. I yelled at Bob that there were now 2 birds. As we watched we became aware that there were in fact 3 birds flying around the reservoir. They eventually all landed in Biggin bay.
There was also a passage of Kittiwakes and a single Arctic tern which I unfortunately managed to miss, but I was pretty chuffed at seeing the Bonxies.
Bonxie mobbed by a Crow and Black headed Gull, Draycote Water
3 Bonxies feeding on a fish

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