Tuesday 22 November 2011

Burrator 20th November 2011

A beautiful day but unfortunately a Sunday so the news of a desert wheatear at Mansands in South Devon was a no go for me for various reasons. Mansands is a bit of a pain to get too, there is nothing there to entertain David although he was happy to take me there and I had visions of it being packed full of twitchers due to the weather and being Sunday and I just could not face all that hassle. Having been to see the green heron last year at Heligan in Cornwall and putting up with the crowds with their telescopes and cameras and tripods blocking the views for the poor souls who arrived after them while they japped away to each other about the fabulous time they had had in the Scilly Isles that year was too much for me to put up with today.

So we had a walk around Burrator reservoir instead and it was a very pleasant walk with not too many people around and we had a nice ice-cream again in the sunshine at the end of the walk while watching the star bird of the day, a great northern diver, from the dam. It had been reported a few days ago but I wasn't sure if it would still be around but there it was and it showed very well, spending long periods just swimming around with the occassional dive. It is the first time I have seen one here on the reservoir.

Other birds included a kingfisher (heard), crossbills (heard overhead but not seen), 3 little grebes, 4 male tufted duck, 4 male and 3 female teal, a juvenile cormorant, 2 white feral geese, mallards, an adult great black backed gull with an adult and 2nd winter herring gull and black headed gulls and 2 male and 3 redhead goosanders, the males looking resplendent in the strong sunshine.

Also heard was a great spotted woodpecker and jays with siskins and nuthatches seen and heard in the trees. A red admiral flew over in the warm sunshine.

The desert wheatear is still around so maybe I'll have a trip out to Mansands sometime..............

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