A UK LIFER FOR ME - YEAR LIST NOW 160
WEATHER; dull and overcast all day, light breeze, very cold. Temp 1-7C
I spent the first two hours of daylight looking into a Sewerage Works near Bristol!! For some reason Dawn didn't want to come with me! But it was worth it, I had a UK first and I got to grips with a bird that I missed 5 times in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago! But better than all of that, I clawed a species back from Guy Campbell who saw this species in Norfolk as he stood next to me!
Hume's Leaf Warbler - almost identical to a Yellow-browed Warbler but the call is very different, standing next to a Wren
I arrived at Compton Dando sewerage works at 8am, there was already a small number of birders there and they had seen the Hume's Warbler just before 8. Over the next hour or so I saw the bird several times but could not get a picture of it, the bird was very active even though it came out into the open quite a lot. Around 9am some of the birders left and I squeezed into the vacated gap in the bushes to get a better view through the fence. In the meantime I had seen Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Dunnock and a Blackbird.
more record shots
I am so pleased to get this bird after my dismay in Norfolk
Several birds were joining the Pied Wagtails on the sedementation beds including Chiffchaff and the Hume's Warbler. From my new position I was at eye-level with the beds and finally got a few reasonable record shots. I was happy with those and so I left the site. The Hume's was a lifer, I had watched it for over an hour and it brought my UK year list to 159.
As I was quite near to Chew Valley Lake it would have been rude not to pop in and have quick squint. I hoped to see the over-wintering Smew (a redhead which = female) which had been showing from Heron's Green. I made a quick stop at Herriot's Bridge ( Guy and me had seen this bird last December from here) and listed all the usual suspects before driving round to Heron's Green.
a pair of Goldeneye with a Tufty in the background
A concentrated scanning effort produced nothing that even resembled a Smew!! But I did find a Common Sandpiper which was new for the year and took me to 160, which the Smew was supposed to be doing!
I scanned and scanned but couldn't see the Smew and I only had a pass-out for 1/2 day so at 11am I left for home. I had great views of lots of Goldeneye the males were performing their head-throwing courtship display, I also saw Great Egrets, all the common ducks, grebes and geese.
I was back home by midday, well pleased with my morning excursion.