Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Abberton Reservoir

Spent the day with Clive & David at Abberton Reservoir. Freezing fog while driving there cleared to a fine sunny day on arrival. Stopped first at Layer Breton causeway. Soon found Egyptian Goose, of eight birds found one was very obliging.

There were a number of Goldeneyes visible from the causeway including a few fine drakes.

Eventually we managed to find four Smew, three cracking males and a redhead, they stayed together and the glorious sunshine had the drakes feeling amorous, courting the female and throwing their head back in display. 

One or two Lapwings were feeding at the waters edge, while a Grey Heron posed at the edge of the small reedbed.

The Essex Wildlife Trust's new visitor centre is excellent and I can highly recommend the homemade cake & coffee! Walking around the reserve today, the trails were frozen and in places very icy. Between the Roy King and Tony Soper hides a few Golden Plover could be picked out in flight amongst the Lapwing flock, but disppeared on the ground in the vegetation. Lots of Meadow Pipits and a few Chaffinches feeding in front of the hides. We also saw a pair of Stonechats and a female Marsh Harrier flew across the reservoir.

We finished an excellent day back on the causeway, where a Buzzard was perched in a nearby tree and seven Snipe circled once overhead. A day that produced 50+ species of which seven were new birds for my Essex year list which now stands at 103.