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.

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