I knew I'd made a mistake as soon as I'd got to the top of the steps from the lower car park because the wind was howling at this higher level and the water was really being churned up.The Engine pool was particularly rough and for a moment I thought I was on the beach at Cape Horn with a winter storm blowing.Of course there were no birds to be seen on the water and things didn't improve when a local told me "the Mandarin was very close in yesterday posing for pictures".Bugger!!!!!
The sun was shining on Friday morning so I raced off to Whitacre Heath to try for the LS Woodpecker and the Mealy Redpoll that friends had recently got great shots of.
Soon met up with Paul who had earlier seen the LSW along the path to the River Pool hide so I spent an hour searching that area for it but had no luck.
I then gave up and went to the feeder hide to try for the Mealy Redpoll.For anyone who has not been there the feeder hide is small and takes only three birders who sit on a small wooden bench so I was pleased that the three birders already in there let me squeeze in.Soon another birder arrived and he squeezed in as well so there were now five birders (all big guys except me) all putting enormous pressure on the little bench God knows how it didn't collapse.The Nuneaton Model then entered the hide but thank goodness no room was found for her.
Back to the birds.I spent an hour in the hide and the only decent birds that showed were some Lesser Redpolls.No Mealy Redpolls turned up while I was there but it was nice to get of few shots of the Lesser Redpolls before they leave.
On a sad note there was a Chaffinch there that was showing the disease that affects their feet.
At lunchtime I left and headed for Marsh Lane to try for the White-fronted Goose seen there the day before and the Jack Snipe which Brian and Jeff had close in on the marsh a couple of days ago.It was very quiet when I got there and I failed to see either so when the clouds rolled in I headed home to have a desperately needed coffee.