Sunday, 26 December 2010

Prime time Birding.

i have put so much effort in to get the blog up to date and finally it is, and what a day to do it on.
christmas had been as good as usual so when a report of goldeneyes on the river in bewdley surfaced very near to the patch i just had to be there, but luckily i did briefly change my mind to visit trimply instead but being -7.5 ouside that seemed a bit much so goldeneye hunting it was...
the plan was to park in Blackstone car park then just check the area. but alot of the plan was aborted when the area of river that is actually on the patch was completly frozen ( south of the road bridge) so we walked northward, clocking GOOSANDER, after goosander, in total 14 birds ( 3drk), we very quickly logged onto 3 LITTLE GREBE right in below the bank, including a bird which we though was frozen in the ice, luckilly after a few minuites it manadged to free itself and dived to join its 2 friends.
we got to behind the high school over the metal bridge when i spotted the GOLDENEYE feeding slightly upriver with its friend a drk goosander, i got into a positing where i could video the bird and got one short, wonky film before it and the goosander was flushed by walkers on the opposite side of the river, its wings humming as it went....

we had our target bird so decided to head back to the car with the hands struggling to turn the focousing wheel on my bins, we again found the goldeneye and after a minuite it was flushed once again by walkers on the opposite side of the river ( a major problem today), we decided that the bird had already been flushed twice so we left it to its own devices.

we crossed the metal bridge again and came to a small gap ( heading back downriver btw), where the bird of my patch dreams was,

In all its 1st winter splendor

A DRAKE SMEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A drake smew OMG, seriously DRAKE SMEW, sitting in front of me about 4-5 metres away, a drake smew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, before i even put my scope down i grabbed my camera from my pocket and put it to my bins before this bird was flushed to, and here it is: video no-1 of the bewdley smew:

yes. really crappy, but a white drake smew!!!!!!

now i had the confirmation video, i put my scope in the middle of the path ( could give a toss if somebody wanted to get past cause i just found a drake smew!!!!!) and spent about a min struggling to find it in my scope, but when i did:

yes i know, still really crappy, but all i ask from my photo's/videos's is that you can tell what the bird is and this is a 1st winter DRK SMEW!!

i got this video then for the 2nd time in 2 week phoned up birding today to tell them of my momentus discovery, but before the phone was answered a flock of 9 Goosander took flight and the smew took off with them, as did the single goldeneye, i didnt know what to do, drop my phone or pick up my bins, the birds flew south under the road bridge ( thus onto the patch) and i told the details, we very quickly got to the bridge but the birds had gone, but knowing that there was a little bit of open water open on the patch we hung around incase they flew back up ( as the goosanders do on the patch), they didnt so we went to the car to thaw out. where 2 reed bunting were in the car park. we drove around to bewdley as a last ditch fire attempt to relocate the bird, from the opposite side of the river, but although after walking all the way to the patch bridge there was no sign of the bird and only 5 goosanders ( 2drk), but i did manadge to find the whole flock of 5 goldeneye (all drk), whcih added to the bird that flew off was the total that was seen the day previous.

another 2 little grebe were noted, and an amazing flock of 11 !!!! tufted duck were on the river ( 5 drk) in the town centre, and 2 dipper were reported here this evening also. there was alot of birds presant so i did probs miss them....

and like i said in the last post what a way for the patch to hook me back in. 3 new patch birds in a week.....

1st win drk SMEW!!!


14 goosander

11 tufted duck

5 little grebe

2 reed bunting

What a couple of hours can do to a patch birder eh......



Jason K said...

What an amazing haul of birds you had today Craig...just goes to show what you can find on your doorstep if you put inthe time

Drake Smew is a great find!

Rob.S. said...

Hi MB, congratulations on finding a superb patch tick in the shape of a smart drake Smew well done and well deserved

midlands birder said...

Jase- cheers for the comment, the smew really was probs one of my greatest patch discoveries in the past 7 years.... glad you got it as well ( as did quite a few people)
Rob- cheers for the congrads, it was a great bird, and we only went to twitch a goldeneye in the 1st place..