Water Park Again

My original plan today was to head out to the Rissingtons in Gloucestershire where one and sometimes two Great Grey Shrikes and a Hen Harrier have been regularly seen. However I was put off by the weather. If the visibility was as poor there as it has been in Chiseldon then it could well have been a waste of time. Especially as at around the two hundred metre mark the area is of a similar level to home. So instead I headed for the below a hundred metres Water Park. I started at Eysey where the usual large flock of Mallard was noted. Also here were Little Egret, Heron, Shelduck, Pochard and Tufted Duck. Then it was along to Marston Meysey for a look at the two Ruddy Shelduck which were sharing the

floods with a few Swans and Mallards. Also Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead. On to Castle Eaton where the fields along the Thames were host to hundreds of Black-headed Gulls. Then to Twitchers where I met a couple of birders from Corsham who were out on a Grand Wiltshire Tour. Highlight here was a flock of at least eight Bullfinches that were sat in a single Tree. Otherwise it was the usual fare with several hundred Wigeon still in residence. Today there were also a lot more Shoveler than on Tuesday, but only a handful of Teal. I drove round past Waterhay which was almost devoid of birds, two Greylags, a few Coot and a Moorhen was all that was seen. Final call was again the floods around Cricklade, where in the area that the Bewicks were in, was a very large flock of gulls. I spent a few minutes scanning them and managed to pick out a single Great Black-backed amongst the hundreds of Lesser and Herrings. Later on when I was back home I saw a Tweet reporting the Shrike and Hen Harrier had both been seen at Rissington. Maybe a drive out on Saturday afternoon if the weather is kind. Unless of course the Shrike that was seen near Warminster today hangs around.

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