An early morning visit onto the patch revealed that the drake Goosander was still roosting on floods, sleeping on one of the small islands.
Moving onwards, we moved to Eyemore Wood, looking for a certain species, and they didn't prove too hard to see. I was quite surprised however to find the entire flock of CROSSBILL completely silently feeding on larch seeds adjacent to the road. Usually, you can hear the 'Glip' call while trying to locate them. A few local birders appeared soon after. Of the 12 Crossbill that were present, there was at least 3 stunning red males.
The males birds in particular are absolutely gorgeous birds, i mean just look at them!
Saying that however, the bright green females are great aswell!
Not wanting to spend to long here we then headed to Grimley Pits, to have another look at the female Smew, which had been joined by a 1st winter drake!
We arrived at the north end to be greeted with largely silhouetted views of the hundreds of waterbirds. I scanned the middle section, and after some scanning i picked up the female SMEW, only briefly however, and after getting my dad a look at it through my scope, it duly disappeared! In the time being though, we were treated to views of a female Goldeneye. There was also small flocks of Gadwall, Teal and Shoveler, with larger numbers of both Pochard and Tufted Duck.
Following this, we then moved to the south end of Camp lane pits, in the hope of picking out the Smew's in better light, and after a while scanning, i picked out the female bird as it swam and dived further to the north. Very soon after, the bird was joined by the 1st winter drake SMEW. Both birds then sailed around the pool, and we were treated to decent, if fairly distant views! From this new viewpoint, i also clocked onto 3 Goldeneye (2 adult fem, 1 juv).
Infact, the birds were so distant i couldn't even be bothered to get any video footage, combined with the fact that the wind was buffeting my scope like crazy! It really was windy!
So we moved onward.
I haven't had Jack snipe this year, so we headed to Upton Warren Moors pool in search of the long staying, occasionally 'showing well' bird. The lake itself was fairly quiet, so much concentration went onto scanning the edges of Amy's marsh and the track to the left of the hide. This was rewarded fairly quickly when a Water Rail strode into view.
A second bird joined soon after, and they had a brief fight before moving away from each other. With the light now rapidly dropping, and having only seen 20c Common Snipe, i went back into Snipe mode, and on my final scan of the evening, there it was! A JACK SNIPE perched in the shallow water on the 'boat peninsular' opposite the hide. I quickly got my scope onto the bird, and pulled out the camera. While doing so, the bird began to bathe in the shallows, and i was able to get footage of the interesting behavior!
Once the Jack had moved back into the Reeds, it wasn't long until we decided to end the day and head home.
All in all a good days birding, Crossbills, Smews, Goldeneyes and Jack Snipe, as well as fairly decent views of Water rail! Not a bad way to spend a early February day in Worcestershire!