Whilst making my way down to the patch this morning a female Merlin passed through. This means there are both male and female birds wintering in the triangle of villages between Seckington, Shuttington and Newton Regis in the north of Warwickshire.
Down at Alvecote Pools I stumbled upon a real local rarity in the form of 9 Bewick's Swans, my first in the area since 1984 and the first ever to be found on the Warwickshire side of the reserve. The small flock consisted of 7 adult and 2 juvenile birds stopping off to refuel after their long and arduous 2,500 mile migration from the tundra regions of Russia. These birds will probably continue their journey south and spent the winter with up to 320 other birds of this species at the Wildfowl & Wetlands reserve at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.
Other species of note included just 2 Shelduck on Mill Pool along with a single first winter male Common Pochard. This species along with Tufted Duck are here in surprisingly low numbers so far this year. It is no doubt linked to the relatively mild conditions on the continent this autumn. Over on Upper Pool a Little Egret was still present and around the feeders at Gilman's Pool a Coal Tit and 4 Bullfinch were spotted.
|Bewick's Swans (adult & juvenile) - Alvecote Pools.
|Bewick's Swan (adult) - Alvecote Pools.