A potential new species for me had been found at Upper Bittel Reservior. Long Tailed Duck has being one of my target 'too see' species for a long time, and as one had finally shown up in the home county, it didnt take long before i was heading there.
As we pulled up, we were informed by a couple of local birders that the bird had flown to the North western end, unviewable from the Causeway, and we had to walk up the hill to the public footpath to the north.
We were the only people standing there, and it soon became aparent that this was only going to be a 'scope job'. The birdesr who were leaving as we arrived said the bird was showing well.....
Err, i dont think that counts as showing well...
The female LONG-TAILED DUCK remained 'stuck' into the willows at the furthest point possible from the viewpoint (about 400 metres per Google maps), feeding constantly, the bird spent more time below the water than above, and this made viewing even harder. However, a very nice looking bird, and one that ive been wanting to see for a long time!
From here we headed to Upton Warren. From the west hide, a drake Pintail was showing, as was 5 Wigeon, 60+ Shoveler were feeding around the islands, along with a lone drake Pochard.
A male Blackcap was showing in a bush near the feeders.
At this point, we noticed that the birder in the East hide suddenly look ferantic, and cameras and scopes pointed. That could only mean one thing.
We rushed to the other side, and there we go, a superb JACK SNIPE! We were treated to great views as the sun went down, and i was able to enjoy this first for the year.
The bird was incredibly inactive, and didnt move apart from accasionally swaying its head.
As we walked back along the C'way, we heard the calls of a CETTI'S WARBLER! And, added to this, we saw the bird as it flitted amonst the reeds and into a small bush, before heading off into the deeper reeds.
Overall, not a bad winters day birding for inland in november