Monday, 30 August 2010

30-8-10. Willington GP.

I have not been here for ages and there has been a Little Gull hanging around for some time now. I got there for seven and there were quite a few cars around. I have been here many times and the times I have come across multiples of birders here I can count on one hand. I bet this site was horrendous when the Whiskerd Terns turned up. I started up the track and there was a few peopl on platform one so I headed for platform three. Birds noted were Blackbird, Cormorant, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Blue Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Common Tern, Lapwing, Mute SWan, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Kingfisher. Unfortunately the last 6 birds were viewed through the trees. The platform was being taken over by the big lens crew so no access was allowed. I didnt hang around as views were very limited and so I headed for the canal pit. On the way I managed to get on platforms one and two and added Blackcap, Snipe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Teal, Shoveler, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Common Whitethroat and a Jay. Whilst on the way to the canal pit a birder came passed and told me a Spotted Redshank had just been found on the canal pit. Superb. I got to the pit and, at first was unable to locate the bird. Then a birder who had got it put me on to it. Fantastic. The light levels were not brilliant, bright sun but at a rubbish angle, plus a small heat haze. I could see the birds but not sure of the plummage. I looked like it was just going out of summer plumage as it was a dark bird but the legs were a bright orangy red. A cracking bird. This was then joined by a Greenshank. Other birds noted were House Martin, Starling, Chaffinch, Swallow, Sand Martin, Little Grebe, Pied Wagtail, Common Sandpiper and Pochard. News started coming through of a possible juvenile Citrine wagtail at Ogston reservoir which was not too far. A quality bird for the area and a would be lifer for me. A birder I was with was off to see it but the top birder that I am said it would turn out to be a Yellow Wagtail. How wrong I turned out to be. With the family do yesterday I missed out on the Kentish Plover. I also missed the Franklins Gull at Chasewater. Now I blanked the possible Citrine Wagtail. Three very easily twitchable lifers.

30-8-10, Alrewas GP.

I headed home and had a brunch and a sit down as I was quite knackered. After a couple of hours watching rubbish on TV I looked at the dog, she looked at me, the tail started wagging so I decided to have another of my pit walks. That will finish both of us off. A sprint over the A38 (believe that and you will believe anything) and I was safely on Alrewas gravel pit land. Birds noted were Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Wren, Wood Pigeon, Long-tailed Tit, kestrel, Starling, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, lesser Whitethroat, Magpie, Collared Dove, Common Whitethroat, Green Sandpiper, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Lapwing and Buzzard.

30-8-10, National Arboretum.

Over to the arboretum and I had a look for the Spotted Flycatcher I found on Saturday. It was not there. In fact there was not much around. The arboretum was very busy an I was getting the odd strange look as I walked around with my scope on my back and the dog by my side. Birds noted were Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Cormorant, Lapwing, Swallow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Carrion Crow, Common Whitethroat, Black-headed Gull, Robin, Wren and Kestrel.

30-8-10, Junction Pit.

The usual visit to this pit and there were plenty of birds on it but not many species. Birds noted were Black-headed Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Starling, Snipe, mallard, Teal, Long-tailed Tit, Tufted Duck and Canada Geese. There was a good number of gull, about 600 mixed birds, and about 200 Lapwing.

30-8-10, Croxall Wides.

A quick visit to the wides produced very little. Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Coot, Cormorant and a couple of Pied Wagtails. There was a Little Egret standing in a tree but a bit more onto the scrapes than the wides at Croxall.

30-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

It was getting on for late afternoon. I was pretty knackered but I woddled off around Whitemoor. First the lake then the rough track. Birds noted were Pied Wagtail, Robin, Buzzard, Swallow, Blue Tit, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, mallard, Carrion Crow, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Kestrel, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Greenshank, Wood Pigeon, Sand Martin, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Greenfinch, Linnet, Tree Sparrow, Whimbrel (year tick), Blackbird, Herring Gull, Yellowhammer, Rook, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Corn Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Chaffinch, Stock dove, Wren and a nice end to the day with a single Wheatear. The single Whimbrel was in a field with loads of gulls. I couldn't tell at first what it was as it flew off away and over the back lake but it did make a call. On getting home a checked a cd and was 99% sure it was a Whimbrel and not a Curlew.
Next weekend I am fishing in the WICAC (waterways industry course angling championships) so no birding. maybe the Sunday I will be out, not sure yet.

29-8-10, Alrewas GP.

The family was off down to Worcester today for a family party but I got an hour first thing to do a bit of birding. I decided to head for Alrewas pit rather than whitemoor, to see what was around. Birds noted were Blue Tit, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Wren, Chiffchaff, Collared Dove, Starling, Robin, Sand Martin, Cormorant, Chaffinch, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Lapwing, Kestrel, Lesser Black-backed Gull, House Martin, Long-tailed Tit, Common Whitethroat, Great Tit, Canada Geese, Dunnock and Blackbird. Not a bad morning really and it was great fun watching the Swallows and Martins feed up before there long treck home. They were whizzing about all over the place coming to within feet of me. There is also a fair few Chiffchaffs here with a very rough looking one favouring a tree. Not a bad hour. family duties now. Yawn.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

28-8-10, Blithfield Reservoir

I decided to head to Blithfield today. the site of some recent activity including Little Gulls and Spotted Redshanks. I dont visit here that much, its somewhere I dont really get excited about but I will keep trying, especially after today. Birds noted were Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Nuthatch, Robin, Wren from the car park to the first hide in Tad bay. Osprey, Teal, Mallard, Blach-headed Gull, Cormorant, Chaffinch, Canada Geese, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Redshank, Peregrine, Great Tit and Jay around Tad Bay. I then headed around the point and into Blythe bay were it was a little windy. I added Pied Wagtail, 6 Little egrets in the small pond, Goosander, Coot, Great Black-backed Gull and Blackbird. The major bonus today was the Osprey. My first, not only for this site but for Staffordshire. Watching the Peregrine was quite good as it hunted but not much fun for a lucky Redshank that was being chased by the top predator and twice ditched into the water to evade capture. The second time it just managed to get out of the water and escape the Peregrine. Nature is harsh.

28-8-10, circa Alrewas.

After some breakfsat I headed out for my rather long circular walk which takes in a few gravel pits. But on approaching Alrewas gravel pits, before I crossed the A38, I noticed a Hobby hunting in the back fields between Alrewas and Wychnor. Also present were Carrion Crow, 564 Lapwing, Starling and 3 Buzzards.

28-8-10, Alrewas GP.

I quick run over the A38 and I was at the gravel pit. I think this site is better first thing in the morning, and I was proven right. Birds noted were Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Mute Swan, Starling, Mallard, Green Sandpiper, Tufted Duck, Coot, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Wren, Black-headed Gull, Chaffinch, Canada Geese and Pied Wagtail. Not bad but it could be better. Will get here first thing tomorrow.

28-8-10, National Arboretum.

Another hop over a busy transport line, this time the train line, and I was in the National Arboretum. I usually head from the gate straight towards the Junction pit and see whats about but today I turned right and had a wander along the hedge along the train line. There is a small bunch of trees (could hardly call it a wood) and there are always birds here so I hung about a bit and noted Starling, Magpie, Swallow, carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk and a real bonus, a Spotted Flycatcher. Cracking. I headed off towards the Junction Pit (see next site) and then headed out of the Arboretum. I added Sand Martin, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting and Canada Geese.
28-8-10, Junction Pit.

This site is attracting a lot of gulls of late but they are always easily frigthened here so I had to use stealth. yeah, right. Birds noted were Reed Bunting, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Goldfinch, snipe, Reed Warbler, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Coot, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Great Crested Grebe.

28-8-10, Croxall Wides.
A quick visit here proved to be a bit pointless but you never know until youv'e tried. Birds noted were Canada Geese, Mute Swan and Coot. Deep joy.

28-8-10, Whitemoor haye.

From the arboretum it was over to Whitemoor Haye. The first thing to come across is the quarry pool and then me and the dog did the rough track before heading back to the village, rather tired. Birds noted were Carrion Crow, Mute Swan, Greenshank, Canada Geese, Pied Wagtail, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Sand Martin around the pool. Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Linnet, Stock Dove, Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Kestrel, Black-headed Gull, Buzzard and Magpie around the rest of the site. Very quiet.

28-8-10, Barton GP.

After a rest watching football, yep Derby messed up once again, and other stuff i slapped myself in order and headed out to Branston pits. This is an ace place and I just dont get here often enough. There are always loads of birds here as well as lots of Sloe berries for this years Sloe Gin. Come on. Birds noted were Wood Pigeon, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Dunnock, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Swallow, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gull, Greenshank, Pied Wagtail, Tufted Duck, Stock Dove, Teal, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Greylag Geese, Buzzard, Moorhen, Sand Martin, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Green Sandpiper, Rook, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Pheasant, Reed Bunting and a couple of Red-legged Partridge. Bed time.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

22-8-10, Alrewas GP.

A bit of an unusual move but I was meeting someone at Whitemoor so I had a quick flick around this site. This morning I didn't do it service. There were birds everywhere and I could of done with loads of time here. Birds noted were Robin, Wood Pigeon, Mute Swan, Great Tit, Coot, Tufted Duck, Magpie, Swallow, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Collared Dove, Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Mallard, Black-headed Gull, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Canada Geese, Blackbird, Green Sandpiper, Cormorant, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lapwing and Chaffinch.

22-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

I met up with a birder from Tamworth today who wanted to walk around Whitemoor with me and sample its delights. Unfortunately it was nothing near as good as yesterday. Birds noted were Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Robin, Stock Dove, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Blackbird, Dunnock, Swallow, Yellowhammer, Jackdaw, Skylark and Yellow Wagtail an adult and quite a few juveniles in between the stubble. A nice walk and a change from birding alone. I was going to stop at the quarry pool as I left but the sun was low and bright and bouncing straight off the pool so I left it maybe for later.

22-8-10, Back garden.

I did a few more jobs around the house and was pretty knackered. As things are starting to drift south I spent an hour in the garden having my lunch and noting what I saw land in the garden and also fly/drift over. Birds noted were 5 Wood Pigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Wren, 6 Little Brown Jobs, 20 Swallow, 4 Starling, 2 Goldfinch, 3 House Martin, 2 Carrion Crow, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Magpie, 2 Robin, 2 Jackdaw, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, and 1 Blackbird.

22-8-10, Alrewas GP.

After watching a great game of footy between Man Utd and Fulham I decided to head out on my bike and try the local pits. I decided to have a longer mooch around this site as first thing this morning was alive with birds. Wouild it be as good tonight? No, not really. Birds noted were Lapwing, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Mute Swan, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Collared Dove, Great Tit, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Linnet and lesser Black-backed Gulls.

22-8-10, National Arboretum.

This is were it all goes pear shaped. I entered the arboretum and headed over to the Junction Pit noting Buzzard, Swallow and Wood Pigeon on the way. I got to the Junction Pit.

22-8-10, Junction Pit.

On arrival I could hear lots of gulls. I crept along the hedgerow and could see Black-headed Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the sand including a couple of hundred Lapwing. I also added Linnet, Swallow, Mallard and Canada Geese to the list. Then as I was enjoying myself the phone went and I had to go to a call out at work. Oh well thats the way it goes.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

21-8-10, News

When I arrived at Whitemoor Haye this morning, I found a black walking stick which has an blue RSPB access band on it. If anyone has lost it or somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody, get them to get in touch with me. Also apologise to the couple walking the dog this morning. I was to concerned about speaking to people about the Whinchat and when I sorted myself out you had gone. I will have a conversation next time. Honest!

21-8-10, Whitemoor Haye

The forecast for today was not good but when I got up it wasn't bad so I got my gear on my bike and headed off. I am still trying to get my car repaired, the rear bumper is still away being sprayed. I am also on call for a week so can only be local. It doesn't take long to get to site and I had a look over the pool. Birds noted were Long-tailed Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Greenshank, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Mallard, Mute Swan, Jackdaw, House Martin, Swallow, Magpie, Sand Martin and Kestrel. Not a bad start to the morning. Could it get any better? I headed off from the pool and had a steady ride heading up to the rough track and all of theway around before heading home. Other birds noted here were Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Common Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Linnet, Starling, Stock Dove, Canada Geese, Skylark, Whinchat, Buzzard, Pheasant, Peregrine, Greylag Geese, White-fronted Geese, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and Dunnock.
Can somebody verify the Whinchat. My books do not show a juvenile or female, I am sure this is a juvenile or Female Whinchat. It was showing on the tops of the barley at the start of the rough track.
Stock Dove

Whinchat ( I think it is anyway)

Peregrine enjoying his breakfast.
As I approached the sharp bend on the rough track I heard lots of screaching. I thought they were raptors but was not sure. Then I started seeing birds swooping. I got to the bend and found a Buzzard on the ground with three Peregrines. They were dive bombing the bird and eventually the Buzzard got up and flew off. This left a single Peregrine to tuck into whatever was caught by whatever. A second bird did land and this was was not as dark but larger. Was the first bird (see photo) a juvenile and the second bird the mother and it was the parents teaching a juvenile to hunt? I don't know but it was great fun watching the birds for a while. After all of this fun it was back home to carry on repairing the car and clean out a couple of sheds.

Friday, 20 August 2010

20-8-10, Rutland Water

Birdfair time already and this year me and my mom decided to go on a Friday. Well I decided actually as I booked us on an evening trip on the Rutland Belle in search of Ospreys. The show was, as usual, brilliant. Did all of the marquees twice, had a pint of Birdfair bitter (which is always very nice), and I met up with Alan Davies of The Biggest Twitch who I've known for about ten years now since I started birding at Conwy RSPB. Very nice couple and I will enjoy reading their book. I also decided to drop Birdnet for my pager service and go onto Rare Bird Alert. Oooh, check you. Dont know how to work the pager yet but I will one day get it sussed. At the end of the day we travelled to Whitwell where the Rutland Belle sails from. We boarded for a six o'clock departure (my mother had everything to keep her from seasick) and we headed to the Osprey areas. Our guide for the trip was Nick Baker of various things on TV. A very nice bloke, very witty and knowledgable. We cruised for about 1 and a half hours but the only Osprey sightings were of the nests in the distance with a very small blob on them. Not really a sighting. Other birds seen were Coot. Mallard, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Swallow, Canada Geese, Gadwall, Wood Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Kestrel, Carrion Crow, Egyptian Geese, Mute SWan, Little Egret, Great Crested Grebe, Great Black-backed Gull, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Swift, Sand Martin, Shelduck and Dunlin. A top day out.

Monday, 16 August 2010

16-8-110, Some recent photos.

Bloodstock 2010 as viewed from Croxall lakes.
A rubbish but phsycodelic photo of the Tawny Owl in my garden

Swallows taken at Whitemoor Haye.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

15-8-10, Alrewas GP.

With a nice clear head it was up at an early hour, bike loaded with photography gear, wellies on (not easy on a bike but a necassity with waterlogged fields) and it was off on my bike over the A38 and to the first site. I have not done these pools for some time so I was looking forward to it. I was rewarded with a very good list of birds for this site. Birds noted were Mute Swan, Great Tit, Magpie, Redshank, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, mallard, Tufted Duck, Blue Tit, Starling, Reed Bunting, Wren, Chaffinch, Grey Heron, Linnet, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Black-headed Gull, Green Sandpiper, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Meadow Pipit, Long-tailed Tit, chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Cormorant, Lapwing and Goldfinch. If you was driving past the pools around 07.30 you might have seen an angry person making gestrures. I was giving myself a right rollocking as I set up my digi camera to digi-scope a couple of Swallows and as I turned the camera on it lasted 5 seconds and the battery died. Damn. I got the digital camera and 500mm lens out to photograph them and the battery died within seconds again. Double damn. Main lesson of the day; check all batteries before a mornings photographing.
I am still convinced that if I ever make it big in the birding world by finding a mega then this place will be it. Very underwatched and loads of habitat e.g sewage farm (always a good starter), wetland, water, scrub, trees, hedges, grassland. What else do you want. Remember you heard it here when I discover a new species of warbler or finch. The Collins Finch! Maybe not.

15-8-10, National Arboretum.

A quick walk under the tunnel (note, I usually walk over the train line but I re-found a tunnel I used to use, much easier), and I was into the arboretum. This time of year is not the best, winter being the best, and birds noted were Goldfinch, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Linnet, Blue Tit, Wren, Green Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Coot, Canada Geese, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Black-headed Gull, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, magpie, Long-tailed Tit and Chiffchaff.

15-8-10, Junction Pit.

This pit is still failing to produce. Birds noted were Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Swallow, Green Woodpecker, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Chiffchaff and Wood Pigeon. There are always a few waders on this pool, even throughout the summer but this site has not produced much at all. Hopefully it will pick up for the autumn.

15-8-10, Croxall Wides.

As usual it was a quick scan over the wides to see what was about as it is better this side than in Croxall itself. Birds noted were Pied Wagtail, Swallow, Canada Geese, Mallard, Mute Swan, Ringed Plover, Green Sanpiper, Common Sandpiper and Coot.

After I left the arboretum (for those who don't know Croxall Wides and Junction Pit are found half way around the arboretum) the skies were very black and I didn't fancy a soaking so I headed home.

15-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

After watching the Liverpool/Arsenal match I decided to take the dog out for a walk. We walked around the rough square first and I noted Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, either 7 Curlews or Whimbrels (they lifted off the far quarry pool and flying towards me, I thought they were gulls at first, then they tuned before going around a soil mound, no chance to id), Tree Sparrow, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting (7 standing on...well corn actually), Kestrel, Grey Heron, Wren, and Lapwing. Over to the pool and I added only 8 Greenshanks, 6 Great Crested Grebe and a Stock Dove over.

15-8-10, Croxall GP.

I had the dog with me so I could only do the main side but as I was walking around Whitemoor a guy stopped a told me he had a female Redstart earlier. Birds noted were Jackdaw, Lapwing, Spotted Flycatcher (one in the bushes on the first bend, nice), Blackbird, mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Chiffchaff, Wood Pigeon, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Coot, Mute Swan, Common Sandpiper, Swallow, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Greylag Geese, Lesser Whitethroat, Pheasant, Common Tern, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull and Green Woodpecker.

A bonus Spotted Flycatcher at Croxall GP.

You looking at me?

Its typical. I fancied heading towards the coast this weekend. A few waders are on the move as well as skuas and shearwaters. East Yorkshire would have been my location and whilst keeping an eye on the pager I missed some great birds. White-winged Black Tern, Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warbler, Citrine Wagtail, Ortolan Bunting, Wood Sandpiper and Sooty Shearwater all would have been nice year and life ticks. Never mind.

14-8-10, Whitemoor Haye

After a night out with beer and curry I was a bit late at arriving to site. It was a steady walk in between lots of showers. A walk around the square produced Swallow, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Starling, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Linnet, Stock Dove, Common Whitethroat, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Robin, Goldfinch, Grey Pertridge, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Magpie, a bonus Hobby, Pheasant and a fly over Mute Swan. It was a bit of a struggle to get quite a varied list of species, with only singles of most of them showing. Over at the pool it didn't get much better. Common Sandpiper, Great Crested Grebe, Sand Martin, Mallard and Canada Geese only added to the list. Due to the rain we have had recently water levels were quite high and the winds had made lots of foamy stuff along the left and top bank which made it hard to find any waders.

14-8-10, Croxall GP.

With the weather holding off I tried Croxall. It was fishermen and dog walker free. Nice. A walk around the main side got me Chaffinch, Cormorant, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Carrion Crow, Common Whitethroat, Lapwing, Tufted Duck, Common Tern, Grey Heron, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Great Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, and Black-headed Gull. This weekend was the annual Bloodstock, a modern day twist on Woodstock. This one though was all heavy metal.It could be heard from my front room in Alrewas village, here at Croxall I could watch the main stage in the east side with no problems and it was quite noisy. This was proberbly why not many birds were on this side. I added magpie, Rook, Mistle Thrush, Buzzard, and Kingfisher. Back on the main side and walking back to my moms car (mine is still not fixed yet, long story), I added a female Blackcap and a nice, showy Garden Warbler. Now its car fixing time.

Monday, 9 August 2010

9-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

Nothing worth watching on TV and the dog needed walking so it was a walk around the lanes at Whitemoor Haye. It was a very blustery evening and birds were hard to come by. Birds noted were Carrion Crow, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Black-headed Gull, Stock Dove, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Kestrel, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, 2 feral Barnacle Geese (if it was winter I would have been excited seeing a few hundred geese on the stubble fields but as it is only August I only had the briefest of looks), Yellowhammer, Jackdaw, Rook, Robin, mallard, Dunnock, Pheasant, Tree Sparrow and Greenfinch. I stopped off at the lake to see what was still around in the fading light and I added 3 Greenshank, Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull site tick for me, Great Crested Grebe and a noisy Blackbird. There are now lots of gulls roosting over night, around the 500 mark. A couple of Franklin Gull possibles but they are distant and its just a dream really. However I picked out my first Yellow-legged Gull for this site. It was standing side on and the legs showed well against the Herring Gulls present.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

8-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

After getting up at five, driving to Somerset and then driving back, getting home about ten, I was knackered. This and having a busy week off led me o having a very lazy day on Sunday. And even if I wanted to go and see the Baird's Sandpiper I didn't have a car anyway. I did manage to get out to walk the dog so Whitemoor Haye was my destination. Birds noted were Swallow, Starling, Robin, Linnet, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Tree Sparrow, Kestrel, Common Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Buzzard, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Wren, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Rook, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Magpie. At the pool I added Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Canada Geese, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull and Common Sandpiper. Half way around the rough track I started hearing a lot of squarking in the air and looking up I counted 7 Buzzards. I assume the noise was coming from juveniles (or maybe the female!!!!). I have a funny feeling I am on call the weekend coming so stuck to local birding again.

Friday, 6 August 2010

6-8-10, News.

Been repairing the bumper on the car for most of the day then I finally got permision tio use the works vehicle to drive to a fishing match tomorrow. This match is for qualification to fish in the WICAC (Waterways Industry Coarse Angling Championship). Some of you might remember I fished in this last year and did quite well. The venue iis the River Huntspill in Somerset so its an early start tomorrow. Then see how Sunday goes, the Bairds Sandpiper is a possibility.

6-8-10, Croxall GP.

A few weeks ago I was using my car at work and as I was driving through a grassy field, a tree stump ran in front of the car. It broke my front bumper and a couple of things fell off underneath. These were picked up and I managed to get home. A new bumper was bought (very cheapily too) and currently my car is in lots of bits in the yard at home. To get the front bumper off, many things also had to come off, then try the new bumper to make sure it fits before going off to be sprayed. My plan was to replace the old bumper until the new one was ready sometime next week but the hassle of putting everything back on then, a couple of days later, taking it all off again. The rear bumper is also having a few repairs. Whats this all about? Conclusion. I have no car. Bloody long winded way of telling you but there you go. My main job for today was working on the back bumper but before this I had to do some birding. Im not the biggest fan of Summer and birding in June and July is usually sparse. However, something kicks in in August and I start getting excited. Birds are on the nove again. Breeding waders are moving from the breeding grounds to their wintering grounds. Seabirds are doing the same. warblers are preparing to head out and the juveniles are a lot more showy. theres also the attraction of rarities being blown off course. Take today, lots of Shearwater and Skua species on the move and a Bairds Sandpiper in Nottingham. Doh, no car.
I headed for Croxall hoping to see no fishermen or dog walkers. I was in luck and the birding wasn't bad either. Birds noted on the main side were Wren, Goldfinch, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Grey Heron, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Blackcap, Mallard, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Common Tern 6, Reed Warbler, Magpie, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Moorhen, Common Sandpiper 6+, Ringed Plover 6+, Starling, Canada Geese, Yellow Wagtail 2 juveniles, a Peregrine attacking the waders, Dunlin 2, a singing Chiffchaff, and a Robin. Over to the east side and I added Rook, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Chaffinch, 1 Little Egret, and a Stock Dove over. Back on the main side I added Common Whitethroat, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Cormorant over.

6-8-10, Whitemoor Haye.

There were a few drops of rain in the air but I headed to Whitemoor Haye. A scan at the lake produced Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mallard, Linnet, Great Crested Grebe, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Sand Martin, Swift and Carrion Crow. With the weather not much better I carried on around the rough track before heading home. I added Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Blue Tit, Kestrel, Dunnock and Rook. Not the best ever birding day but better than nothing.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

4-8-10, News.

Just returned from a golfing break in Scotland. Weather waqs wet and windy but the golf was ok. I didn't manage any birding but travelling from the first golf course to the B & B, I drove past Catcleugh Resevoir which is on the A68 between Jedburgh and Corbridge. As I was passing it a bird soared over the road in front and I immediately recognised it as an Osprey. I watched it over the road and then it looked as if it was getting rerady to dive for food in the resevoir. Unfortunately there was nowhere to pull up and watch it but a bonus year tick anyway. I'm up early to do either Whitemoor Haye or Croxall but it is raining so I will be getting on with a few jobs today until football tonight.