Thursday, 24 January 2013

Arlington Reservoir

A crazy afternoon at the reservoir which started amazingly well! I got out the car and as the light was poor decided not to take the camera as well as the scope. I hopped over the stile and two swans appeared over the dam wall...I had a look with my bins expecting them to be Mute's...I could not believe my eyes as I clapped eyes on 2 adult Bewick's Swans!!!! They must have been on the reservoir itself and they were heading towards the Long Man of Wilmington. I chucked my scope on the floor and started the dash back to the car to get the camera. They nearly reached the downs and then turned and appeared to be heading back...they seemed to be following the road and I lost them over the tree tops. I was 99% sure they were going to be on the reservoir when I got up there...They weren't! Sod it! I looked at the back of my camera and I had two barely visible white dots!

I then sat on the bench and scanned the reservoir and noted four female Goosander. As I was counting the other wildfowl another Goosander this time a male appeared and dropped in with the females. The Slavonian Grebe was also seen in front of the hide. And a Water Rail was running around below the dam.

I was then joined by my mate and we had a look on the scrapes finding a single Common Snipe and a flyover Shelduck. Shelduck is another good bird for the res and I was surprised to see it. Normally they are an autumn bird/ We then headed up to the hide to get a closer look at the Slav. It was right in front when we arrived though the light was poor. Dad then joined us and we carried on round the north side of the reservoir, having even better views of the Slav Grebe catching several small Perch.

Slavonian Grebe
We then headed round the farm, all the time keeping an eye on the water in case the Swan's came in to roost. As we approached the dam wall I got onto a decent sized flock of Lapwing heading in from the north. They came right towards us and I noted another bird in with them but I couldn't get a positive ID on it. They flew over us on the dam wall and continued to head SE but luckily turned back round and landed on the dam wall. By now I had sorted out the ID of the other wader which was a single Ruff! Only my second patch record of this species and my first winter record. What a day...! If only the patch was like this more often!

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