Sunday, 27 June 2010

26-6-10, Whitemoor Haye.

Well, well, well, what a load of rubbish from a load of rubbish from over paid and over rated no-gooders. Yes I'm on about England not derby. Utter garbage. Nuff said. The regular readers will know that Stu and warm weather don't mix. This and being on call mean that not much birding will be done this weekend. In fact just one visit a day to Whitemoor really early before it starts getting too hot. Saturdays visit was at 05.30 as i was going up to Wales for a quick job before turning and burning. Birds noted were Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Goldfinch, Wren, Swallow, Black-headed Gull, Skylark, Swift, Jackdaw, Corn Bunting, Cormorant, Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Linnet, Robin, Blue Tit, Common Whitethroat, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kestrel, Yellowhammer, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Curlew and Tufted Duck.

27-6-10, Whitemoor haye.

A bit later starting today with a 06.00 start. An hours walk around the back lanes produced Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Jackdaw, Skylark, Wren, Grey Heron, Goldfinch, Linnet, Magpie, Song Thrush, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Stock Dove, Chaffinch, Robin, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Swift, Black-headed Gull, Starling and Yellow Wagtail. A quick drive and I was at the quarry pool and I added mallard, Lapwing, Barnacle Geese, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Mute Swan and Oystercatcher. In the next month I am on call every other week. I also have a busy social life this time of year so birding will be quite minimal. The weather forecast is for hot weather so that aint going to be much fun either.

Last word to the three lions out in South Africa and chin up lads, you now have a month of before going back to work were you will be hard at work (I'm sure) earning your many thousands of pounds a week whilst a lot of us will be working very hard just to keep our jobs!

Monday, 21 June 2010

19-6-10, Loggerheads CP.

The day of the wedding and I had a bit of spare time so I headed for this small country park as Dipper can be found here. Birds noted were Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Jackdaw, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wood Pigeon, Chaffinch, Garden Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Blackbird, Buzzard and Carrion Crow. Nothing special and no Dipper but it was a nice walk.

18-6-10, Llanynys.

I decided to stay in a tent for the whole holiday and set my tent up on the site where the wedding will be on Saturday. Friday morning at 03.30 I was awoken to the call of a Quail not more than twenty feet away. I lay there listening to it and if I had seen how low the maize was I could have got out of bed and seen it, but I didn't. I lay there for about an hour listening to the bird slowly go away before getting up to go to Anglesey.

18-6-10, South Stack RSPB.

I have not been to many seabird colonies in my time as a birder. They are all special and usually offer something different but South Stack has to be my favorite. Why? I dont know. Maybe because it was my first seabird colony I ever went to. Maybe its complete ruggedness. I'm not sure. All I know is I love coming here. Birds noted here were Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Hooded Crow (year tick), Chough (year tick), Common Whitethroat, Stonechat, Skylark, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Linnet, Gannet (two out at sea, year tick), Razorbill (year tick), Oystercatcher, Fulmar (year tick), Peregrine, Guillemot (year tick), Puffin (year tick), Swift, Cormorant, Sand Martin, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush and House Sparrow. A brilliant couple of hours spent here.

18-6-10, Holyhead Harbour.

This is a great place to watch Black Guillemots as long as you can find the car park where to watch them from. Where the Sea-Cat moors up then leaves, it goes around a right hand bend to get to the new harbour before open sea. It is on the inside of that right hand bend where you can park inches away from the water and so you can scan left and right for the birds. Birds noted were Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Black Guillemot (year tick, nine in total), Grey Heron, Swallow, House Sparrow, Ringed Plover, House Martin, Cormorant and Great Black-backed Gull.

18-6-10, Cemlyn Bay.

This is another of Anglesey crown jewels. This site has a breeing tern colony and has had many special birds here. I missed a Sooty Tern here by hours a few years ago. A Bee-eater and a Common Rosefinch had been seen here the last couple of days. Birds noted were Swallow, Shelduck, Coot, Mute Swan, Mallard, Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, common Whitethroat, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Blackbird, Red Breasted merganser (year tick), Sandwich Tern (year tick), Arctic Tern, Turnstone (year tick), Ringed Plover, Pheasant, Common Tern, Kestrel, Mediterranean Gull, Goldfinch, Manx Shearwater (year tick), Razorbill, starling, House Martin, Linnet and Greylag Geese.

18-6-10, Conwy RSPB.

With the very early morning thanks to the Quail I headed for Conwy for some food and relaxation. I had targeted some birds on my trip and one I was struggling with was Water Rail. Inner Marsh Farm usually delivers but not this time. Conwy also is a very good place to see them. I decided to have some food and drink at the restuarant at Conwy. Out of the window is also the area where Water Rails are best seen. Once I had a belly full I had a very slow walk around the reserve. Birds noted were House Sparrow, Swallow, Canada Geese, Coot, Lapwing, House Martin, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Dunnock, Magpie, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Gadwall, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Wren, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Common Whitethroat, Song Thrush, Greylag Geese, Goldfinch, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Curlew and Linnet. No sign of any Water Rail. Tiredness had got the best of me so I did a bit of friend visiting before watching the football. The less said about that the better too.

On returning to the campsite I was informed that a Red Kite had flown over the Clwyd Valley during the day. Typical but I cannot complain I suppose.

17-6-10, Inner Marsh Farm RSPB

To start my two day birding extravaganza around my favorite sites in North Wales I started at this ace RSPB site on, er, the Wirral. Ok I am actually still in England but one of the pools here is half in England, half in Wales (funnily enough its called the Border Pool) but its a great place to visit. There are plans to enlarge this RSPB reserve dramatically, giving it a posh new hide come visitor centre and more hides. If anyone knows it, the visitor centre will be on the site of the fishery seen in the distance from the current hide, and this hide will be at the furthest point of a circular walk, with hides dotted around giving good views of number one pool and border pool. Should be good. Anyway birds noted here were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Little Egret, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Robin, Goldfinch, House Martin, Lapwing, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Green Woodpecker, Dunnock, Great Tit, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Chaffinch, Black-headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Coot, Reed Warbler, Gadwall, Mallard, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting, Moorhen, Black-tailed Godwit, Wren, Rook, Starling, Mute Swan, carrion Crow, Shoveler, Buzzard, Swift, Blackcap, Canada Geese, Sand Martin, Blackbird, Linnet and Tufted Duck. A good list of birds but it was quieter than normal on the reserve as it was a low tide. Still good fun.

17-6-10, Gronant Sands.

Here is the only nesting site in Wales for Little Terns, and I cannot remember the last time I have been here. Rubbish. After finding somewhere to park it was a good walk in the sun and heat to the breeding colony. I don't know how many birds breed here but the breeding status here is decribed as very good. Good news for this magical tiny tern. Birds noted on this site were Common Whitethroat, House Martin, Dunnock, Skylark, Swallow, Mute Swan, Coot, Goldfinch, Little Tern (year tick), Ringed Plover, Starling, Oystercatcher, Carrion Crow, Mallard, and Pied Wagtail.

17-6-10, Point of Ayr RSPB.

It has been six plus years sincve I have been to this site and I was really looking forward to it. It is basically a hide at Talacre in North Wales and it overlooks a big bay at the start of the Dee estuary. It can be a very good place to watch storm blown birds but it is best viewed at the high tides and today I was going to be in time for an 8.8 meter tide, pretty good. It is not the biggest hide so you need to get there at least two hours before high tide and there is also a good half an hour walk. All of this information is useful but for one thing. Whilst at Inner Marsh Farm I was speaking to a local birder anmd I told him I was to visit this site. He tol;d me that the hide was no more as the kids had vandalised it. This does not suprise me considering it is in the middle of the North Wales coast holiday park. The Scouse and Manc kids need to feel at home so they destroyed the hide. Cheers. I was not to keen on going but I thought what the hell. Birds noted were House Sparrow, Herring Gull, Swallow, Blue Tit, Starling, Carrion Crow, Moorhen, House Martin, Robin, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Wren, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Little Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Skylark, Cormorant, Goldfinch, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Meadow Pipit, Pheasant, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackbird. Not the best birding I have had here by far. I got comfortable on the base of a new vandal-proof hide which is going to be built soon but there was a severe heat haze and I couldn't pick anything out over the sea. If you have never been here, do go once the new hide is up, especially in the autumn on a high tide, it can be brilliant.

Monday, 14 June 2010

14-6-10, News

This is proberbly my last post for at least a week. On Thursday I am heading for Wales. My mate is getting married and I am going to see my old house for the last time before I hopefully sell it. Thursday and Friday will be birding days though. Thursday I am planning to be at the gates of Inner Marsh Farm RSPB reserve for opening time. Then I am aiming for Point of Ayr RSPB, which is just a hide, for the high tide. After vthat it is Gronant for Little Terns, then I dont know where. Friday is South Stack RSPB, Cemlyn lagoons, possibly a lake near Rhosneigr for a Black-necked Grebe, The Spinnies and then Conwy RSPB. I cannot wait. See you soon.

13-6-10, Whitemoor Haye.

Man at Croxall doesnt need bird hide, and a lovely Linnet at Whitemoor.

After a bit of a lie in I decided to go for a walk around Whitemoor to see what was about. After parking at the usual place I walked around the lanes and noted Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Skylark, Carrion Crow, Tree Sparrow, Starling, Magpie, Corn Bunting, Jackdaw, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Robin, Stock Dove, Wren, Swift, Chaffinch, lapwing, Yellowhammer, Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull and Pied Wagtail. There were quite a few juvenile birds including Blue Tit, Goldfinch and Moorhen. There was a good group of LBJ's in one tree which held loads of Linnet as well as the juvy Goldfinch. I dont know if any of the Linnets were juvys though. I never heard any Quail today but they are being heard quite often. Good news. A quick look over the pool produced Mallard and Canada Geese. There were a few guns around and a few feathers and bodies (birds) littered the quarry pool!!

13-6-10, Croxall GP.

there were a few dark clouds gathering but I decided to head around the reserve. Fortunately there were only a couple of cars in the car park and no dogs in site. hurrah. Birds noted were Garden Warbler I had some crippling views of at least three birds on the walk, superb, Cormorant over, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Chaffinch, Mallard, Coot, Sedge Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Great Crested Grebe, carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Goldfinch, Canada Geese, Pochard, Redshank, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Teal, Shoveler, Sand Martin, Oystercatcher and a single Barnacle Goose. Must have missed the Svalbard bus. Through to the east side and I added Reed Bunting, Rook, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Willow Warbler, Tufted Duck, Common Tern, Stock Dove I think they are nesting in the Kestrel box as two flew out as I approached the hide, could have been roosting, Common Whitethroat, Moorhen, Skylark and Pied Wagtail. Back to the car and I added Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Starling, Great Tit, Blackbird and a few Swift. The trip was a bit spoilt by a man with a big lens ignoring the use of the hide and instead standing in front of it by the shore. Whats that all about?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

12-06-10, News.

Unfortunately it was a no birding Saturday for me. I hand built a trailer a few years ago and wanted to get a few jobs done on it. There was also a small matter of a couple of football matches in this small tournement which is taking place down south. And then theres the grand prix. I had to go to work just as qualifying started last night but managed to get home for the second half of the England USA match. What a load of rubbish. Nuff said. As I said, no birding but whilst I was busy with the electrics on the trailer lights a very noisy Oystercatcher flew overhead and a couple of seconds later a Sparrowhawk complete with three LBJ's in tow whizzed over our house, through the garden and disappeared.
I know a couple of people who have already found this new blog, I can't though, on any search station. I am also a bit puzzled on what people can see on the page. I have put on about tem blogs that I visit often. When I get a preview, all I see is two, Belvde and Natalies blog. Is that what you guys see? I'm still trying to find my way around blogspot, please be patient.
Im now going to drink my coffee and go out birding. See you later.

Friday, 11 June 2010

12-06-10, Help

My aplogies to Natalie for calling her dog Brandy when its actually Bailey. I am trying to change the name but struggling to find the edit button. Hi to Natalie and Sheila. How did you find this blog. I keep putting in the name of the blog but it doesnt find it, keeps going to a peregrine. blogspot site. Any other blogspot users a very handy hints would be most useful. Is there a screen which shows the number of visits you have had?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

11-6-10 News.

Hurrah, the weekend is almost upon us. Unfortunately I am on call so local birding only. Shame because the Mamora's Warbler is still showing and very well at times. However this time next week I should, hopefully, be standing on South Stack RSPB reserve before heading to other North Wales biring hotspots. Cannot wait, but in the meantime local will have to do.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

10-6-10, News

Hello. My name is Stuart also known as Alrewas Birder. I have been writing a blog since 2007. You can see it at Unfortunately Windows keep messing around with everything and have messed it up so I have moved. I dont yet know how to use this blog so please be patient whilst I get it set up. Thank you.