Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Having been in wimp mode for a while now and only visiting very local places on Tuesday as soon as I saw that the weather was going to be decent I thought I'd better get into adventurous mode and go further afield.Not too far mind you don't want to be stupid.I left home pretty early and headed over to Brandon Marsh a reserve I'd not visited for ages mainly because the road works on route are a real pain.

Got there just before 9.00 AM and headed straight to the Steetly hide.I was wearing my wellies which was very shrewd as the path was very muddy.My wellies are designer poser's wellies and are comfortable and warm but the tread is poor so you can easily slip and they cannot handle floods over 20 centimetres deep.This gives me a problem later on.

The hide was full and the birders told me they had been there since dawn and had not seen anything.This was no surprise because the water level was coming right up to the Kingfisher perching pole.

I left straightaway and headed off to the Baldwin hide along a very muddy path but as soon as I walked down the main path leading to the hides I was greeted very soon by a flood.Got through this OK but a little further on was another flood which was too deep for my poser's wellies.Oh Dear ! !

I thought blow this for a game of marbles I'll leave and drive down to Draycote Water and try for the Smew and the Great Northern Divers.

Got there at 9.45 AM and though my luck had changed when I spotted a Peregrine sitting on some floodlights on the building on the left of the entrance road and when I parked a women kindly gave me her parking ticket.However when I went back for the Peregrine it was still there but I couldn't get a shot as the bright morning sun was right behind it.It soon flew off.

Being an old goat now I have limited range when out walking so I have to choose which way to walk at Draycote Water.I chose to walk down the Farborough Bank towards Toft. Big mistake because I didn't see the Smew nor any of the GN Divers. In fact I struggled to find anything to point the camera at.Oh Dear.Not having a good day.

Did manage a few shots of a handful of Goldeneyes but they wouldn't come close.  

A Meadow Pipit landed on the rocks but flew off before I could get close.

A Little Grebe caught a pretty large fish in the gloom at the bottom of the rocks.It took a while but it managed to eat it. 

So I did a lot of walking and a lot of driving for very little reward.Perhaps I should stay in wimp mode.Mind you I did meet a Leicester City supporter on Farborough Bank and had an enjoyable chat with him.He reckons that he has not stopped smiling for many weeks now.I also bumped into an old   friend Francoise who has not been well and it was nice to see she was much better.  

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