Thursday, 30 December 2010
What for next year?
I have decided to go with the flow. However I would love to try and get over 250 birds for the year, that would be ace, and thats why I am having two full days in Norfolk to kick the year off and hopefully nail a few life ticks.
Thats me for a bit, thanks for reading this blog and see you next year.
Tomorrow I am off to spend New Years Eve in a seedy motel just outside King's Lynn, all on my own. then up sharpish to get to Titchwell to start off 2011 with, hopefully, a bang.
Happy New Year to all.
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
In each case most birds were seen, usually in hedgrows and trees, but also the odd duck (odd as in number not appearance or behaviour) was seen on the ice near the bank or flying over.
Starling, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Robin, Wren, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Great Tit, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Teal, Carrion Crow, Redwing, and Coot.
Black-headed Gull, Great Tit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Wren, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Mallard, Wigeon, Goosander, Goldeneye, Canada Geese, Bullfinch, Coot, Moorhen, Chaffinch, Redwing, Goldfinch, Fieldfare, Pheasant, Jay, Teal, Greylag Geese, Grey Heron, Snipe and Mistle Thrush. I dont think thats a bad list really.
Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Moorhen and Magpie. A pit that once showed great potential but now has low water levels and no birds.
In the hunt for a Smew I had a quick look through the mist and saw Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Canada Geese. I was going to go to Croxall pits after the arboretum but there was some very load gun shots as if there were some hunters around the hide area so I didnt bother going there. Not a loss really.
Kestrel, Robin, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Teal, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Canada Geese, Magpie, Tree Sparrow, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Mute Swan, Redwing, Starling and Meadow Pipit.
Thats more than enough for today.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
We will see what the rest of the week has to offer weather wise but its not looking top good.
Monday, 27 December 2010
Croxall pits (including Alrewas GP and Junction Pit plus the river):- Canada Geese 238, Coot 42, Cormorant 13 (flying over), Goldeneye 19, Goosander 3, Great Crested Grebe 31, Grey Heron 3, Greylag Geese 30, Kingfisher 3, Lapwing 224, Little Grebe 2, Mallard 85, Moorhen 1, Mute Swan 21, Pochard 49, Redshank 13, Snipe 5, Teal 374, Tufted Duck 65, Black-headed Gull 12 and Lesser Black-backed Gull 17 (flying over).
Barton pits (only the one by the marina as I cannot get permission to get onto Catholme pits):- Coot 29, Mallard 212, Moorhen 15, Pochard 8, Tufted Duck 29 and Black-headed Gull 35.
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Not bad species wise but it was difficult birding around this site.
I fancies making another trip just down the road to between Elford and Fisherwick to see the Bewick's Swans and try to get some record photos. Birds noted were 153 Mute Swans, 16 Bewick's Swans, 9 Skylark, and loads of Carrion Crows and Wood Pigeons.
One of the nice group of Bewick's Swans.
26-12-10, Croxall GP.
I headed for Croxall next. It has been nearly two years since I have seen a Smew and this was at Draycote Water. I cannot remeber the last Smew I saw around Whitemoor/Croxall area. I decided to concentrate on the river section hoping to find one. Birds noted were Kestrel, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Redwing, Fieldfare, Wren, Carrion Crow, Bullfinch, Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Goldeneye, Coot, Teal, Tufted Duck, Mistle Thrush, Redshank, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Goosander, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Reed Bunting, Rook, a group of about 50 Siskins flew over and a couple of Dunnocks.
There are some great numbers of both Redwing and Fieldfare at Croxall at the moment, easy a few hundred of each at times. The Fieldfare are very skittish so I couldnt get that near to them and these were my best efforts!!! Nuff said.
A fine few hours birding. Same tomorrow me thinks.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
19-12-10, National Arboretum.
This site is not covered by me on the WeBS count but the Junction Pit and Croxall are so I was checking out the ducks on the river as I walked to Croxall. Birds seen around the arboretum whilst passing through were Skylark 8 flew over, Teal, Mallard, Snipe, Robin, Carrion Crow, Moorhen, Dunnock, Wren, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Goldeneye, Teal, Blackbird, Great Tit, Fieldfare, Goosander, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Redwing, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant and a Buzzard.
19-12-10, Junction Pit.
A short diversion for the Junction Pit left me very disappointed with only a single Grey Heron standing on the 100% iced pool. A Reed Bunting was calling nearby and a Wood Pigeon flew over. Staggering, not.
19-12-10, Croxall GP.
After the last visit, the main pool has now completely frozen over so counting ducks and waders was pretty easy. 9. 9 Mallards were sitting on the ice looking pretty fed up. I then caught up with a group of birders led by Dave Scattergood and we had a quiet walk upto the river to have a look at the birds on the river. Then it was home for a desperately needed breakfast. Birds noted were Kestrel, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Skylark, Redwing, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Magpie, Bullfinch, Mallard, Lapwing, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Snipe, Redshank, Teal, Goldeneye, Robin, Kingfisher great views of two birds feeding by the river, had to drag myself away, Goosander, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Wood Pigeon and Pheasant. The new wides at Croxall are an excellent new habitat but the birds are very edgy and it is impossible to walk around that area without upsetting the birds. With this and the frozen ground and pools I decided not to upset the birds and head back home instead.
I popped up to the marina to count the birds on the nearby pool and didnt do a proper birdwatch.
I will post the bird count later after going through ny notes.
This is the last post till xmas as I am working until 5pm xmas eve. I then go on call for a week, until NewYears Eve but I will be out doing local birding as usual.
Merry Christmas to all the readers.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Friday, 17 December 2010
From Burton I was going straight to Whitemoor Haye but leaving Burton I was curious as top why cars and lorries had snow on the front of them. I soon found out on the A38. As I got to Barton it turned into a snow storm and by the time I got to Alrewas all roads were covered. I got home and hung around for an hour until the snow past and the sun came out. I headed out and decided to head to Croxall instead. It was very pleasant with no dog walkers and birds noted on the main side were Redwing, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Mallard, Wigeon, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Dunlin, Snipe, Chaffinch, Shoveler, Skylark, Goldeneye, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Goosander and Gadwall. The main pool was half frozen so the ducks were present but I assumed there would be more on the river as like last week. Through to the east side and I added Rook, Kingfisher, Coot, Redshank, Little Grebe, Jackdaw and Dunnock. Very little was on the river so it was back to the car and off to Whitemoor.
The quarry pool was mostly clear so I had a quick look here. Birds noted here were Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Pochard, Redshank, Goldeneye, Starling, Mallard and Chaffinch. I was going to walk around the lanes but it was very icy under foot so I took a slow drive around instead. Other birds noted were Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Mute Swan, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Magpie, Kestrel, Skylark and Great Tit.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
I have also made a decision on my birding next year and plans already in place for the first two days of next year. Really looking forward to it. Will tell more in my review in a couple of weeks.
13-12-10, Whitemoor Haye.
I wrote the above pretty early and then waited for it to be bright enough to do some birding. It took ages this morning for some reason but eventually I was there and the birds were showing, slowly but surely. Birds noted were Magpie, Black-headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Starling, Lapwing, Tree Sparrow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Curlew, Blackbird, Mute Swan, Robin, Wren, Merlin, Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Buzzard, Fieldfare, Pheasant, Jackdaw, Yellowhammer, Pied Wagtail, Long-tailed Tit, Canada Geese and Stock Dove. Although we had witnessed a thaw over the weekend, the quarry pool was still 99.9% frozen, just a small patch by the inlet was ice free.
Off to Wales now.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
5-12-10, Whitemoor Haye.
With the pool completely frozen bar a small patch by the inlet I just concentrated on the lanes. Birds noted were Tree Sparrow, Wren, Starling, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Buzzard, Lapwing, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Magpie, Robin, Wigeon heard in the distance from the river, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon, Fieldfare, 11 Grey Partridge, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Canada Geese, Skylark, 312 Mute Swan, Long-tailed Tit, Snipe and a Pied Wagtail.
I was looking at a group of 6 Lapwing when I noticed a bird move from the edge of the scope, then another, then another one. Skylark and in total 55 feeding in the field. Superb. It was a day for another big group of birds too. As I approached the field with the swans in a group of Wood Pigeon flew over and there was easy 2500 to 3000 of them, if not more, they just kept coming. Unbelievable.