Shustoke Reservoir lies two miles east of Coleshill on the B4114 Coleshill to Furnace End Road, south of the River Bourne. At 1.5km west to east, the main pool is only 400m at its widest point. The River Bourne feeds the smaller eastern pool (8 acres), the water is then transferred to the main reservoir (92 acres). Disturbance at weekends can be a problem.
Joy and I trailed around the Reservoir today seeing exactly the same as yesterday. Try as I might I can find no more than one Tree Sparrow a species that was once regular in the area. I thought the cold snap might have moved on the Common Sandpiper but it was still present – as were the other two!
Not a bad day today with the Three Amigos still present (aka Common Sandpiper, Scaup and Red-crested Pochard. Nearby I saw upwards of 12 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting and at least 1 Tree Sparrow my first for at least three years at the site.
At dusk I checked out the Finch roost and there were upwards of 20 Greenfinch but no Brambling. Eight Goosander flew in five male, three female.
Needing to walk off the Xmas festivities I took a morning walk around the Reservoir. The Scaup and Red-crested Pochard which have been present for around a month were both still around with both to be found on the small pool. I had a site year tick in the form of several Yellowhammer in the sheep field on the other side of the railway. I also had double figures of Snipe at a couple of locations along with a pair of Meadow Pipit.
The three amigos were still present the Scaup, Red-crested Pochard and the Common Sandpiper. The duck had relocated to the small pool whilst the CS was feeding on the edge of the main pool like it has been for nearly three months (it might not be popular at the moment but give it 10 days or so).
There were a couple of Nuthatch and the usual passerines but not a lot else.
Not a bad day with a couple of Jack Snipe and around 30 Snipe the cold weather obviously moving the birds on – there were none last week in the same area. The Red-crested Pochard and the Scaup were still present and there was an impressive c.350 Tufted Duck, 27 Gadwall and c.60 Pochard,
Wednesday – Shustoke the Common Sandpiper was still present, along with the Scaup and the Red-crested Pochard – new for the year was a Woodcock. On the whole, not as good as yesterday but still not bad.
Thursday – spend the day at Middleton Lakes, highlights were c.350 Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, 8 Shelduck, Water Rail several Stonechat and a good supporting cast of commoner birds.
Friday – Joy and I were up early and 10 minutes after dawn we started the Malvern Ridge a Castlemorton Common nearly three hours later we saw the Snow Bunting again at Worcestershire Beacon also seen were a few Stonechat, Raven, Bullfinch, 20+ Meadow Pipit and a first – a Mistle Thrush feeding on Mistletoe Berries!
Sitting at home knackered after a near 15 mile ridge walk!
What a day, probably the best I have had birding at the Reservoir for years. It started well with a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper together in the north-west corner, I thought I had peaked early. But at the far end the drake Red-crested Pochard and the 1st winter male Scaup were still present, a great haul for Shustoke. I had to make my way along the south shore to see the Scaup as I needed the sun behind me. When I confirmed it was there I made my way back to be greeted with a male Merlin which flew past. I only saw it for a few seconds but it was unmistakably.
I then made my way around the small pool seeing a large flock of Goldfinch which contained a few Siskin, then I saw Willow Tit again in roughly the same area. A large female Peregrine was soaring in the direction of the Gryphon. When I checked up and had seen 58 species in the morning, which quite a few glaring omissions.