Saturday 7 September 2013

Black-tailed Godwits at Alvecote Pools

Mill Pool, Alvecote Pools, Warwickshire.
Photo by Adam Archer

Every now and then you rekindle the love for your local patch and today was one of those occasions. Initially it was pretty slow around Mill Pool with just a single Common Snipe and a couple of Little Egret. Unfortunately there was no sign of yesterday's Garganey but 35 Shoveler and 5 Wigeon were good to see. With a herd of frisky bovines guarding the route to Teal Pool I decided to mooch around elsewhere until they had grazed their way into the distance. 

Within a few minutes of reaching Laundry Lane I heard the distinctive high-pitched rattle of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker calling up ahead. This used to be a fairly regular sound around the patch but in line with a huge decline around the rest of the Country this is now a very rare treat indeed. After a few nervy minutes I at last managed to catch a glimpse of an immature male bird as it fed in the canopy of a young oak tree. Luckily it then flew over towards a line of willows where it performed exceptionally well for nearly thirty minutes. This was my first sight and sound of this species at Alvecote in over five years

Other birds in this area included a bundle of common warblers including Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and a single Lesser Whitethroat. The best of all however were 2 Spotted Flycatchers and an elusive Common Redstart, a couple of autumn migrant species which always brighten up your day.

With the cows now out of the way I carefully made my way around to Teal Pool where I found a group of 11 Black-tailed Godwits probing around unconcerned just a few yards away. Typically, I had left my camera at home but with some pretty good photographic opportunities available I gave Dave Hutton a call to see if he would be interested. Below are series of 'record shots' taken by Dave who is possibly the greatest perfectionist in the whole of British bird photography. Believe it or not he was not that happy with these and thought he could have done better!

Black-tailed Godwit
Photo by Dave Hutton
Black-tailed Godwit - Alvecote Pools, Warwickshire
Photo by Dave Hutton
Black-tailed Godwit - Alvecote Pools, Warwickshire
Photo by Dave Hutton

Other sightings of interest included masses over Swallows and House Martins migrating through south early on, a pair of juvenile Dunlin on Mill Pool and a trio of noisy Hobby around the Mill Pool and Gilman's Pool area.

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