Friday, 29 April 2011

29-4-11, News.

Ok, it looks like I've dropped a big clanger. Been out birding today, will fill in the details sometime over the weekend, and whilst on a break I had a look at some pics of a Collared Pratincole in flight. I am 100% sure the bird I saw fly over the pertol station was the Collared Pratincole, without a doubt. However there arer suspicious minds at work out there and by declaring that I have seen it I know what people will say, therefore it will stay off my list and I hope one turns up very local very soon. Next time it will be more haste, less speed when entering my posts and do the homework first before putting the news out.

29-4-11, News.

We all know it is Royal Wedding day so no biring at all as I am staying in all day with the flags flyi................not really. Just finishing brecky then I'm off birding. Currently it is 08.12 but my blog gives a different time under the postings as I have just finished writing the last post (not the song), and that shows I wrote it near to midnight last night. Can I alter that on my own??

Thursday, 28 April 2011

28-4-11, The Big Dipper!!!!!

Tetney Lock

I had yet another day off work, awoke about 4am, wondered what to do and decided to go and mop up a few birds around Lincolnshire. I found myself at Tetney Lock just before 7am, was reading a few instructions off rare bird alert when another birder joined me and he knew the area, bit of a bonus. We then proceded to walk a good walk in order to find the area where the Tawny Pipit had been showing. I was lucky I was disoganised and not cleaned my car out as it was bloody freezing and blowing a gail but I had my coat in the car still, shame about no hat and gloves, seriously it was bloomin cold. On the way to the lock I had a major bonus in seeing only my second Dotteral in my pathetic birding career so far. In fact there was seven of them. Back to the pipit and we scoured a large area for ages, being joined by several disgruntled birders. Myself and the chap then headed back along the canal to look at some sugar beet piles before I carried onto the car. Five minutes later I heard a slight noise, looked around and the chap was waving frantically. I turned and burned, well limped really, up to him. He had seen it on the sugar beet. We had a good sesarch along with an ever increasing group of birders but the bird didn't show. Eventually I was too cold and leg sore (groin strain in left leg, bad foot on right) so headed to the car. Other birds noted were Mute Swan, Sedge Warbler, Wren, Woodpigeon, Corn Bunting, Carrion Crow, Swallow, Kestrel, Short-eared Owl (another bonus), Shelduck, Cormorant, Yellow Wagtail, Skylark, Wheatear, Collared Dove, Linnet, Moorhen, Mallard, Cuckoo, Magpie, Chaffinch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Goldfinch, Starling, Common Whitethroat and Tufted Duck.


I decided to give my injuries a rest for a bit so I drove for 30 minutes or so to Ruthland just south of Louth. If the Tawny Pipit showed again I wouldnt be far away. A juvenile White-tailed Eagle has showing around Ruthland a fair while. I arrived and the glum faces said it all. No sign all morning. I hung around for about an hour with still no sign. Then the pager sprang into life, Collared Pratincole at Immingham. I was off.

Rosper Road Pools NR.

The hour or so drive was made miserable for the fact I was on bendy roads stuck behind a bloody caravan. This turned out to be critical. I arrived at at the small pools as everyone was looking into the skies. It had just flown off. Aaaaaargh. Feeling hungry and thirsty I span around and visited a garage nearby for some food and drink. As I was leaving the garage a bird flew over which I had never seen and couldnt id it. I stopped got my bins on it, got only a quick view before it flew out of sight and I am 99% sure it was the Collared Pratincole but that was not good enough to be sure so it doesnt enter my black book. I turned up on site, chatted to someone who said it flew in the area of the garage so was a great possibility. I will never know. I hung around for about an hour and a half before getting fed up. Birds noted were Common Whitethroat, Mute Swan, Swallow, Mallard, Coot, Starling, Goldfinch, Wooidpigeon, Pheasant, Willow Warbler, Magpie, Reed Bunting, Lapwing and Pochard. Feeling disgruntled I headed home as no news of any other birds had come through.

Whitemoor Haye.

Two hours later I was on the quarry pool at Whitemoor Haye. News had come through that the Tawny Pipit was showing. Grrrrr. I had a quick look around the pool as I couldn't walk much. Birds noted were Robin, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Common Tern, Yellowhammer, Mallard, Swallow, Blackcap, Pheasant, Lapwing, Goldfinch, Greylag Geese, Redshank, Wren, Canada Geese, Skylark, Oystercatcher, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Chaffincg, Jackdaw, Linnet and Willow Warbler. Not bad considering I was in the same place for half an hour. Feeling a bit tired I then went home and read the Pratincole was back and the eagle was showing well!!!!! Pub me thinks.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

26-4-11, News

I am doing a dawn chorus bird walk at Fradley Junction this coming Sunday (May 1st) at 04.00. Meet at Fradley Junction at 03.45 for a 04.00 start. Its free of charge but if I get enough people coming the cafe will open at 06.00 and we can have a breakfast that will cost £5 each. It will just be a fry up rather than choosing from the full menu. If anyone is interested at getting up at an horrendous time to listen to a few birds then email me on It is been held in conjunction with International Dawn Chorus Day which is on May 1st. Events are being held around the world. For more information visit

25-4-11, Attenborough NR.

Today I was going to chill out a bit more and just do a bit of birding. It actually turned out that I spent half the afternoon in Lichfield in the pubs. A pleasant Bank Holiday afternoon.

I headed for Attenborough as I was meant to go somewhere else. Still with me? I was going to Long Eaton GP as some Black Terns were present on the Sunday and a Whinchat the day before. I have been here before when I came to see Woodchat Shrike. I followed the directions and drove under a barrier to a dead end. I am sure last time I drove down a lane and there were pools on the right and left as I came to see Ring-necked Duck. Not really knowing where I was (Trent Washlands was on an old notice board) I decided to head to Attenborough to try my luck. Birds noticed were Common Whitethroat, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Mallard, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Sand Martin, Woodpigeon, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Black-headed Gull, Wren, Garganey, Green Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Gadwall, Blue Tit, Moorhen, Long-tailed Tit, Grasshopper Warbler, tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Pheasant, Common Tern, Magpie, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Blackcap, Shelduck, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Starling, Sparrowhawk, Mistle Thrush, Willow Warbler, Egyptian Geese and Robin. A pleasant few hours spent here plus a bit of photography too. Pheasant playing hide and seek

Garganey taken in rubbish light - photographers number one excuse.

Greylag Goose!!!!

Juvenile Grey Heron, one of many around

An adult Grey Heron playing hide and seek with the Pheasant.

Monday, 25 April 2011

24-4-11, Alrewas GP.

Today I was a recovering alcoholic...............think Ive heard this somewhere before. I decided to do my usual gravel pit walk and see what was about. First site was just up the A38. I had a good long walk around here, going into corners I had never been in before. Birds noted were Swallow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Coot, Tufted Duck, Blackbird, Mallard, Canada Geese, Wren, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Robin, Starling, House Sparrow, Moorhen, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Black-headed Gull, stock Dove, Skylark, Blue Tit, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Grey Heron, Sand Martin, Cormorant, Willow Warbler, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Blackcap, Pied Wagtail, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher and Lapwing. A great list for this little site.

24-4-11, National Arboretum.

I am sure you know the story now, leave Alrewas pits and head through the arboretum to check out Junction Pit. I was not too fussed about birding around the arboretum but couldnt help looking out whilst walking through and had a nice bonus as I did. Birds noted were Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Cuckoo, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, Sand Martin, Swallow, Common Tern, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Black-headed Gull, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Bullfinch. The two Cuckoo's were a nice suprise and one flew really close to me but I did not have mny camera with me. Typical.

24-4-11, Junction Pit.

A quick look on this sorry pit and birds noted were Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Reed Warbler, Black-headed Gull, Linnet, Swallow, Sedge Warbler, Mute Swan, mallard, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Common Tern, Great Crested Grebe, Coot and Greenfinch.

24-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

By now I was getting a bit knackered but I soldiered on towards Whitemoor Haye. Entering the road I noted Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Willow Warbler, Bullfinch, Skylark, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff and Wren. At the quarry pool I noted Lapwing, Mute Swan, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Ringed Plover, Carrion Crow, Robin, Great Crested Grebe, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Gadwall, Greenshank, Oystercatcher, Scaup and Magpie. On to the lanes before headeing home and I added Starling, Tree Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Common Whitethroat, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Stock Dove, Grey Heron, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Grey Partridge and Buzzard. That was me done in and the dog well and truely walked.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

23-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

On to good old Whitemoor Haye and a walk around the lanes produced Swallow, Woodpigeon, Tree Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Blackbird, Corn Bunting, Lapwing, Common Whitethroat, Grey Heron, Greenfinch, Wren, Chaffinch, Magpie, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Stock Dove, 52 Mute Swan, 2 Grey Partridge, Wheatear, Mallard, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Buzzard, Moorhen, Starling, Dunnock, Linnet, Mistle Thrush and Collared Dove. On to the quarry pool and whereas yesterday there was only Tufted Duck and Cormorant, today it woke up. Birds noted in and around the pool were Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Greylag Geese, 2 Redshank, Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Tern, Chiffchaff, 2 Dunlin, Robin, Willow Warbler, 1 Common Sandpiper, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail and 2 Greenshank. Thats better. Pub time.

23-4-11, Croxall GP

This morning I was a recovering alcoholic and was thinking about getting up when the phone went. It was Mr Blurred Birder, Ring Ouzel at Croxall. I was there in fifteen minutes and thinking about possibly doubting the chap yesterday. Ouch. I headed up to the hide to meet Mr Yapp and Graham Manton (apologies if name is mis-spelt or wrong) and within another fifteen minutes had seen the Ring Ouzel. Check the photos on Blurred Birder, I was to slow to get a record shot of it. Other birds noted were Sedge Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Warbler, Canada Geese, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Teal, Lapwing, Magpie, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Sand Martin, Greylag Geese, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Common Sandpiper, Great Tit, Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, Shelduck, Mute Swan, Ringed Plover, Coot, Cormorant, Rook, Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, Oystercatcher, Dunnock, Grasshopper Warbler and Blue Tit. A great site and year tick in the form of the Ring Ouzel and fortunately a few other people have managed to see it since.

After heading home for a couple of hours an ex work mate of mine was trying to find the Ring Ouzel so I headed back down, found him and also Eric Clare but we couldnt find the Ring Ouzel. I added Redshank, Shoveler, Pheasant and Grey Heron. I also managed to find a Garden Warbler as I was walking back to the car.

22-4-11, Croxall GP

Whilst at Whitemoor Haye I was approached by a chap I have met on many occasions. He told me he thought he had seen a Ring Ouzel from the hide. He was not sure and its not an impossiblity. One was seen around Catholme a couple of years earlier. He was not confident on his identification and as I didn't really know him I couldn't put it on Rare Bird Alert. He then said he had been watching a Grasshopper Warbler for an hour and a half. Aaaargh, all the way to Belvide and theres a Gropper five minutes down the road. I had to go for myself. It was from the car park, hunt for the Gropper, up to the main hide to hunt Ring Ouzel and then the east side before home. Birds noted were Canada Geese, Coot, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, Great Crested Grebe, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Blackbird, Grasshopper Warbler, Song Thrush, Little Ringed Plover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Tern, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Teal, Dunnock, Mallard, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Sand Martin, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Rook, Starling, Cormorant, Great Tit, Pheasant and Gadwall. Cracking views of the Gropper but no sign of the Ring Ouzel. A Blackbird maybe!!!!!!!

22-4-11, Whitemoor Haye

Back to some local patch work to see what was around. I parked at the house then walked around the lanes. Birds noted were Tree Sparrow, Swallow, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Yellowhammer, Mute Swan, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Linnet, Skylark, Lapwing, Corn Bunting, Blue Tit, Canada Geese, Pheasant, Grey Partridge, Wheatear, Raven one was flying over when it targeted a Buzzard before heading on its way, Mallard, Stock Dove, Chiffchaff, Kestrel, Wren, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Blackcap, Mistle Thrush which I think has a nest around the houses and Collared Dove. On to the quarry pool and before I think a ruddy great big fence gets erected to stop us looking over the pool I only added Tufted Duck and Cormorant. Pretty rubbish on the lake but some nice birding around the rest of the place.

22-4-11, Cannock Chase - Seven Springs

A Wood Warbler has been showing and singing his ace song here for a few days. Unfortunately I have never heard the bird singing, fortunately I had my ipod with me and listened to the song before walking around the car park and adjacent areas hunting this cracking little gem of a bird. Birds noted were Willow Warbler, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren and Nuthatch. Walking near the car park I suddenly heard the song of the Wood Warbler and five minutes later I was the bird. Other birds noted were Chaffinch, Blackcap, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff and Buzzard.

The best shot I could get of this active bird.

22-4-11, Belvide Reservoir

First day of a long weekend and time to start mopping up on some incoming and passing migrants including Black Tern, Wood, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Whinchat, Grasshopper Warbler, Pied and Spotted Flycatcher. I headed for Belvide nice and early, headed down to the first hide, started watching a distant Buzzard fly over the dam across the reservoir. It didn't look right so bins on it again and it was only a cracking male Marsh Harrier, a county tick for me. Spot on, early bird catches the other early bird!!! Then it was off to the far side of the reservoir to nail the main reason, Grasshopper Warbler and a couple showed nicely. Other birds noted today were Red-legged Partridge, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Blackbird, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Magpie, Jackdaw, Moorhen, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Wren, Reed Bunting, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Song Thrush, Lapwing, Shoveler, Mallard, Reed Warbler, Rook, Teal, Stock Dove, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Greylag Geese, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Gadwall, Redshank, Wigeon, Pied Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Cormorant, Shelduck, Long-tailed Tit and Ruddy Duck. A nice four hours here.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Recent photos.

Skylark at Whitemoor Haye.

Little Gull at Branston GP.

Mistle Thrush at Whitemoor Haye.

Swallow at Whitemoor Haye.

Roe Deer on Cannock Chase

Redstart on Cannock Chase

My first ever Slow Worm on the Chase

Alsomy first ever Green Hairstreak butterfly

Stonechat on Cannock Chase

Grey Heron at Whitemoor Haye

Coot on Barton Marina pool footpath

A Goldfinch flying off

The shallows at Croxall GP viewed from the main hide

Coot ast Croxall GP

Mallards at Croxall

Dunnock along the main track at Croxall

Magpie at Whitemoor Haye

Carrion Crow at Whitemoor Haye

Magpie at Whitemoor Haye

Stock Dove at Whitemoor Haye

Wheatear at Croxall GP

Black-headed Gull at Croxall

Blackbird at home

Monday, 18 April 2011

18-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Back to good old local patch work and a slow stomp around the Whitemoor Haye lanes got me Mistle Thrush, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Wren, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Lapwing, Dunnock, Stock Dove, Canada Geese, Common Whitethroat, Little Owl, Greenfinch, Buzzard, Blue Tit, 121 Mute Swan, 2 Grey Partridge, Mallard, Dunnock, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kestrel, Pheasant, Robin, Grey Heron, Corn Bunting and Pied Wagtail. On to the quarry pool and I added Tufted Duck, Redshank, Blackcap, Teal, Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Oystercatcher, Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear. I was going to head to Croxall after here but I was starting to get a bit knackered and the weather was starting to turn so I ended on a high at Whitemoor.

18-4-11, Branston GP.

I was due to take a tree down for one of my Dads mates so I was home at lunchtime. However it was postponed so I was thinking where I could go in the afternoon and Branston pits came to mind. I was a bit dubious about going there at first as it is a working pit so I would have to stick to the public footpaths (which I always do!!!). I decided to go and it was a great decision. I turned up and set off for the main lake before walking to the middle lake and then the sandy pit. Birds noted were Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Stock Dove, Blackbird, Wren, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat, 5 Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Skylark, Pheasant, Coot, Mallard, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gull and in with these was a single Little Gull, superb, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing, Gadwall, Teal, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Buzzard, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Rook, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Greylag Geese, Green Woodpecker, Ringed Plover, a pair of Mandarin Ducks, Wigeon, Grey Partridge and Swallow. Not a bad afternoons birding. The Little Gull was a great find for myself and my first proper Staffs Little Gull.

18-4-11, Cannock Chase.

I decided to spend the morning on the chase at various sites. First site will remain undisclosed for reasons which will become obvious. I didn't know how the Dartford Warblers had faired over the harsh winter but I had heard they were at this certain site so my main job was to find them. Birds noted at this site were Jackdaw, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Rook, Robin, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Stonechat, Pheasant, Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Dartford Warbler, Coal Tit, Dunnock and a couple of calling Cuckoo's. Some people might be annoyed that I have mentioned Dartford Warblers and Cannock Chase in the same sentance but its a big place. Not long ago I was hunting for a certain bird and a group of birders were openly talking about this certain site and exactly where to find the Dartford Warblers down to almost the exact tree and I was at least thirty feet away from this group. If I was an egg collector I would have known where to go straight away. Loose tongues!! I have mentioned no more than what you could learn by googling it. Next site was Punchbowl carpark. I long walk around the area and birds noted were Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Wren, Willow Warbler, Robin, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Redstart, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, calling Cuckoo, Tawny Owl hooting away nearby, Tree Pipit, Great Tit, Blackcap and Blackbird. A pleasant walk with a few birds to note. On to the last site for the morning, Sheerbrook Valley. Birds noted were Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Treecreeper, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Song Thrush, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Skylark, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Green Woodpecker. Not too many birds here but I was mainly hoping for Cuckoo which I found and Grasshopper Warbler which I didn't see or hear. A good morning all in all.

17-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Back to the local patch after a most excellent grand prix and the end of the Arsenal/Liverpool match. I walked the lanes before heading to the quarry pool. Birds noted around the fields were Swallow, Woodpigeon, Mistloe Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Cormorant, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Buzzard, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat, 2 Grey Partridge, Dunnock, Pheasant, 92 Mute Swans, Grey Heron, Magpie, Moorhen, Kestrel and Pied Wagtail. On to the quarry pool and I added Tufted Duck, Teal, Chiffchaff, Common Tern, Wheatear, Blackcap, Black Headed Gull and Oystercatcher. Not a bad day with four year ticks.

17-4-11, Willington GP.

WeBS count doen and a Garganey had been present at this superb Derbyshire site for a couple of days so it was straight there fron Barton. The duck was showing on the canal scrape so straight round there and it was not good news, the pair of Garganey had been flushed by a woman walking her dog around the pool. Some people are so thick its untrue. I hung around for about ten minutes when two ducks landed on the pool, it was the Garganey, superb. From here I only had time to get to the first two platforms as I wanted to get back and watch the grand prix. Birds noted were Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Wren, Chaffinch, Common Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Redshank, Lapwing, Mallard, Coot, Oystercatcher, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Greenfinch, Cormorant, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Sedge Warbler, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Grey Heron and Black Headed Gull.

Sunday 17th April 2011, WeBS count.

A busy days birding as it was WeBS count day. With my blog playing up when inputting different sites on one post, I will put all of todays on one page but keep it simple. First port of call was Alrewas GP and the birds noted were Wren, Skylark, Robin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Magpie, Canada Geese, Goldeneye, Common Whitethroat, Mallard, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Reed Bunting, Stock Dove, Blackcap, Starling, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Dunnock, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, lesser Black-backed Gull, Greylag Geese, Cormorant, Willow Warbler, Grey Heron and Black-headed Gull. To get to the next pit (Junction Pit) it means going through the Arboretum. I couldnt help doing a bit of birding and birds noted were Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Black-headed Gull, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Grey Heron, Wheatear, Goldfinch, Linnet, Sand Martin, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Great Tit, Willow Warbler and Wren. At Junction Pit I saw Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Canada Geese, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Coot, Sand Martin, Greylag Geese and Goldfinch. Over to Croxall GP and I saw Canada Geese, Sand Martin, Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Tufted Duck, Little Ringed Plover, Black-headed Gull, Cormorant, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap. Sedge Warbler, Blue Tit, Magpie, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Long-tailed Tit, Song Thrush, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Tit, Teal, Gadwall, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Shoveler, Redshank, Lapwing, Green Woodpecker, Rook and Robin. The last site for the WeBS count was Barton Marina Pool. Birds noted were Mute Swan, mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Canada Geese, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Robin, Great Crested Grebe, Wren, House Martin, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull and Blackcap.

Friday, 15 April 2011

15-4-11, Cannock Chase - Old Butts.

I was hard at work around lunch time when the pager went off on my desk telling news of a Wryneck on the chase around the shooting butts area. A quick yelp in the office and my afternoon was rubbish. I need a Wryneck mainly for Staffordshire but it woulkd be a nice year tick too. I was finaaly released and was on the chase at 16.45. I was heading off to the shooting butts when I bumped into another blogger who told me it was the wrong shooting butts, I needed the old ones. Aaaargh. I didn't have a clue so I trusted the directions they gave me on the pager and I eventually found another birder who guided me to this new place. When I arrived there was a few people hanging around and slowly but surely they were drifting home. I asked one, very unhelpful, person who just said when asked where it was seen "out there". Thanks for that. I finally left site at around 19.15 and birds noted were Great Tit, Robin, Stock Dove, Willow Warbler (loads of em), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Jay, Woodlark, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Pheasant, several calling Cuckoos but I never saw any so they cannot be counted towards the year list, Mistle Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Magpie, Blue Tit, Buzzard, 2 fly over Mallards, Wren and some fly over Siskins. Yep, no Wryneck. There was so much habitat it would be impossible to find it on the floor but congratulations to the guy from the forestry commision who found it. For pictures of the bird check out Belvide blog. Work tomorrow so birding will be doubtful.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

13-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

After a visit to the doctors because of my poorly foot I was told to rest so off to Whitemoor Haye it was, with the dog, to do a bit of birding. It was a bit late when I got there, about 18.45, and it was already quite gloomy and it didnt get better. Birds noted around the tracks were Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Wren, Tree Sparrow, Robin, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Swallow, Mistle Thrush, Mallard, Cormorant, Grey Partridge, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Buzzard, Magpie, Mute Swan, Pheasant and Meadow Pipit. Then it was through the ever increasing gloom to the quarry pool to see what was around. Birds noted were Tufted Duck, Teal, Canada Geese, Blackcap, Greenshank, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover and Starling. An ok visit, better than sitting at home and I came home with the bonus of a Greenshank for a year tick.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

11-4-11, circa Alrewas.

Myself, the dog and my known drinking associate (Ive got no mates, only known drinking associates!!!) went for a walk around the back fields and along the river by the weir was a Common Sandpiper. A nice bonus year tick.

11-4-11, Croxall GP.

Onto Croxall and the weather was looking more and more dodgy but I carried on up to the main hide. Birds noted were Canada Geese, Chaffinch, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Moorhen, Coot, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Lapwing, Sand Martin, Little-ringed Plover, Shelduck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Ringed Plover, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pochard and Mute Swan. Whilst in the hide there were a few sprinkles of rain but it was not too bad so I headed under the train line into the east side and I added 4 Wheatear which were perching nicely along the fence posts, Rook, Meadow Pipit, Jackdaw and Stock Dove. It was at the furthest point that it started to rain heavily so I took shelter in the hide for about half an hour before it cleared up but during that time there was not much to see. Not sure what has changed here as I used to sit in this hide for hours watching plenty of bird. The large fire patch and disgarded barbeque twenty yards in front of the hide showed peoples disregard for this site and another reason why I dont come here much any more. Back to the car and on the way back I added Dunnock, Willow Warbler and Long-tailed Tit. A pleasant visit, even in the rain.

11-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

After a cycle ride hokme it was a bit of brecky then off to the local patch and it was one of those mornings when it was a pleasure to be on the patch with plenty of spring bird calls and very active birds including a few year ticks, butterflies and other wildlife. Birds noted around the lanes were Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Tree Sparrow, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Stock Dove, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Lapwing, Long-tailed Tit, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Little Owl, Greenfinch, Magpie, Red-legged Partridge, Common Whitethroat (year tick), Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail (year tick), Meadow Pipit, Blackcap (year tick), Blackbird, Dunnock, Great Tit, Kestrel and Swallow. On to the quarry pool and I noted Mallard, Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Teal, Black-headed Gull, Little-ringed Plover, Redshank, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Chiffchaff and Pheasant. Superb.

11-4-11, Fradley Junction NR

I borrowed a van over the weekend and had to return it early Monday morning so the guys could get out and work so I was at fradley Junction for 06.45. I decided to bike back so threw my bins in and headed around the nature reserve. The other day I was here and I heard several Blackcaps but never saw any and they are needed for my year list. Around the reserve I noted Chiffchaff, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Blue Tit, Treecreeper, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Mallard, Mute Swan and Nuthatch. A pleasant start to the day.

9-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

A bit of a busy Saturday but I did have time to have a walk around Whitemoor Haye. A walk around the lanes got me Magpie, Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Black-headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Robin, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Stock Dove, Long-tailed Tit, Swallow, Wren, Lapwing, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting, Canada Geese, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Grey Partridge 6, Linnet, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Moorhen, Blue Tit, and Buzzard. Over to the quarry pool and as they are now dumping hundreds of tons of soil along the hedgline. Dont know what thats all about but I wouldnt be suprised to see a bloody great big fence put up to block out views of the pool. In the meantime I noted Redshank, Great-crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, 56 Mute Swan, Greenfinch and Starling. Back towards the car and I added Great Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Mistle Thrush. The chances of Quail turning up this year is very low as the fields have been planted with mainly potatoe along with rape. Not good.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

3-4-11, Back Garden.

After a week at work and a good Saturday night out I decided to have a chill out day and plod around at home. Whilst I was carrying out some jobs outside I did a bit of birding. Birds noted were Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, and Great Tit. I also had Cormorant, Mute Swan and Black-headed Gull flying over. But that was not it. Whilst I was eating breakfast I looked at the niger seeds and a small brown bird was on them. It looked a different than a House Sparrow so I grabbed my mothers bins and there was a Lesser Redpoll having its brecky. Superb, a cracking garden tick. It did have a fair bit of white on the flanks and belly and I did try to turn it into a Mealy Redpoll but eventually settled for lesser when it flew off before I could get a photo.

2-4-11, Croxall GP.

Was at work all day today but managed a quick visit to Croxall first thing. I hung around the car park for a bit before a short walk along the main track before I had to head off to work. Birds noted were Canada Geese, Oystercatcher, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Willow Warbler, Cormorant, Fieldfare, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Teal, Swallow, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Black-headed Gull, Mallard and Chaffinch. A pleasant hour before a days work including a nice year tick in the shape of a Willow Warbler.

Friday, 1 April 2011

2-4-11, Help.

Anyone else having trouble with putting multiple listings on one post? I used to put a whole day on one post but now I cannot make a space between Whitemoor Haye and Croxall from yesterday. I will have to go back to one post per site from now on. Not good Blogger.

1-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

I finished work a bit earlier today so it was off to Whitemoor Haye for a it of local patch birding and I was in for a bit of a surprise. It was quite windy, especially as most of the trees and hedges have been ripped out whilst the diggers were cleaning out the ditches. I headed off around the lanes and noted the following. Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Woodpigeon, Wren, Great Tit, Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Mute Swan 16, Mallard, Stock Dove, Grey Partridge 2, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Pheasant, Magpie, Kestrel, Buzzard and Corn Bunting. There were loads of Black-headed Gulls were following the various tractors that were planting the various crops and I decided to have a scan to see if there was anything different within them and I was staggered to find 2 Mediterranean Gulls resting with half of the other gulls. Bloody hell yet another site tick as well as a year tick. I sent a couple of texts, including one to my mother as she has never seen one before and she came out to see it (thats the Mothers Day present sorted), one to another mate and a phone call to rare bird alert. A quick look at the quarry pool got me Redshank, Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Greylag Geese and Chiffchaff. Its not looking good for Quail at Whitemoor this year. The farmer has been busy planting this years crop and the majority is potato with at least one field of rape. I was also disappointed to see the tractors starting work in the field between Sittles Farm and the rough track. In here there must be at least 20 pairs of Lapwings and several pairs of Skylarks looking to set up nests. One tractor was starting to lime yesterday and another was driving around the edge but I couldn't see what he was doing. 1-4-11, Croxall GP. I then headed for Croxall and as I had my dog with me I could only bird the main pool. From the car park it was straight up to the hide and then back again. Birds noted were Goldfinch, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Redshank, Mallard, Teal, Goldeneye, Shelduck, Lapwing, Snipe, Canada Geese, Oystercatcher, Gadwall, Dunnock, Ringed Plover, Caffinch, Pheasant, Moorhen, Wren, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Cormorant, Greylag Geese, Great Crested Grebe and Long-tailed Tit. I was on site until at least 19.50 and had good numbers of Swallow flying through including several groups of 30-40 birds chirping away as they flew along. Welcome back.