Draycote Water: Black-necked Grebe, White-fronted and Pink-footed Geese and a Smew!

Draycote Water : February 18th.
 We had never visited this location before; what a mistake! The original idea was to do a 7 mile walk including the local village but the attraction of the birds was too great...

We had heard there was a black-throated diver on the lake  and decided to scan for him as we walked along the main dam. Good grief there he is - was; they dive a lot you know! I would like to think I  enjoyed the stress of actually finding, focusing and `shooting` the little blighter before he dived after another fish....

Still, he was a life-tick so ...
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Black-throated Diver.
I actually got three good shots; finding such a small bird without anything to focus on in advance is still a challenge. O well; the digiscoping kit is lighter and cheaper thatn those big lenses.

We had spotted some Greylag Geese flying in and landing ahead near to the hide so headed in that direction. I knew it was possible to get pink-footed and white-fronted geese with them but these close views were completely unexpected!

white-fronted goose 444 (84)
White-fronted Goose.

white-fronted goose 444 (96)

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Pink-footed Goose.
There were several Goldeneys on the lake as well; patience finally rewarded me with some nice `action` shots along with the usual `posed` ones.

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Male Goldeneye displaying to female.
The Smew was very difficult to spot as it spent most of the time in the middle of the lake. However, one very distant shot (at 60X magnification) in a strengthening wind proved possible; another life tick! Great!

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Male Smew - at last!
Draycote Water is now a place that is on the growing list of `local` places to visit again; I understand there are butterflies to be seen there as well...

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