Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Tame valley Great Northern Diver

Wednesday 4th February 2015
Started the day with a walk round the Caldecote patch. The stubble and winter wheat held large numbers of Skylarks and Thrushes with a few Reed Buntings and Linnets in the hedges. The highlight though was a Merlin being mobbed by a crow before getting bored with the attention and disappearing in the direction of Woodford Lane. Near the river there were even more Thrushes, 4 species in fact and a 50+ flock of Linnets. On the return leg along the flood plain was a Stonechat.

Stonechat, Caldecote

After a cuppa I moved on to Kingsbury Water Park. I made my way around to Cliff pool. I'd just passed The 'canal' hide when a large bird landed near the small island on Canal pool. I raised my bins expecting a Cormorant but was stunned to be looking at a Great Northern Diver. I fumbled about to get out my bridge camera. When I looked up a second later the bird was gone. Assuming it had dived I scanned the pool, but the sun came about making viewing difficult so I moved back to the canal side. Still no sign of the Diver on the water but I did see the bird again as it was now circling the pool. Oh how I wished I'd got my 'proper' camera with me. The bird seemed reluctant to leave the area but finally headed of towards the south end of the park. After a quick Tweet I tried to phone Steve H, but he beat me to it. He was at Lea Marston so we decided to check out the larger, largely ice free lakes including Coton and Shustoke. In fact I was making my way around to where the hide used to be at Coton when I got another phone call 'ABORT, ABORT', it was getting to be a cross between a military operation and Top Gear. Steve had just seen the Diver take off from Coton lake do a circuit and head off North West towards Birmingham? and that was that, the little adventure was over, but at least someone else had seen it.

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