I'm afraid the bad run I'm having getting decent shots locally is continuing.This is despite going down to Marsh Lane a few times and doing my local country lane tour a couple of times in the last week or two.There is very little about I've even struggled to find Fieldfares and Redwings in decent numbers on the local berry trees.There has been nothing decent at my other local patches.Well decent enough to get me out and about in the Winter weather anyhow.
Even in the back garden where both my neighbours and myself are keen bird feeders it has been very quiet.Last year the feeders had to be topped up regularly but this year the feed is lasting for ages.No Siskins or Redplolls or any Winter Thrushes.
I've been birding for about 10 years now and I think this must be the worst Winter birding locally during that time at least up till now.
Things did seem to be much better at this time years ago.Here is an example of what was at Draycote Water on 30/12/08 in addition to loads of Goosanders,Goldeneye etc.(the shots were all taken either on that day or a few days either side).
Great Northern Divers were a regular visitor to Draycote Water in those days sometimes as many as four but now have become pretty rare with none this year.
A delightful Red Necked Grebe use to show well from the Farborough Bank.It stayed for many weeks and later in the Spring you could watch it change into Summer plumage.
A great find just before Xmas was this cracking Red Throated Diver which was a lifer for me.Annoyingly it use to stay miles away in the middle but one lucky day it came much closer in along the Hensborough Bank.
Also present at this time was a juvenile Shag that use to hang around the pontoons.
Every year including this one Draycote Water gets a drake Smew usually from along the Farborough Bank and that Xmas was no different.
Not bad for a day's local birding.Happy days ! !