Tuesday, 31 May 2011

31-5-11, Lesbos birding.

Hi. As 99% of my birding is done on my own I have been rather reluctant about going abroad. However, a recent chat with a fellow blogger has got me thinking about taking the plunge and booking a week in Lesbos next early May. I have been doing a bit of homework but if anyone has got any tips/hints/books/spare cash/anything which could help me on this epic voyage then it will be most appreciated.

Monday, 30 May 2011

30-5-11, Wet yet Wonderful.

After a great afternoon and evening out in Lichfield on the beer I was going to use Monday to catch up with blogs and other birding stuff. That was until I woke up, had a look at birdguides (pager is not working right at the moment) and noticed a Lesser Yellowlegs had been found at Uttoxeter gravel pits, a site I have never been to. There was no way I could drive in the morning so I caught up with this blog the about 12.30 I headed off to the quarry. I parked up, was given directions on where the footpath was and soon I was on site with a few other birders with the rain gently falling. Birds noted were Sand Martin, Shelduck, Mallard, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wren, Chiffchaff, Goosander, Mute Swan, Goldfinch and Song Thrush. A cracking bird, well worth getting a bit wet for.

29-5-11, Croxall GP.

I was not going to bird today but the dog needed walking so off we went. I decided to check out Croxall first. Birds noted were Garden Warbler, Swift, Canada Geese, Mallard, Skylark, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Blackbird, Moorhen, Chiffchaff, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Reed Warbler, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Rook, Woodpigeon, Common Whitethroat, Greylag Geese, Carrion Crow, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Sand Martin, Common Sandpiper, Mute Swan, Lapwing, House Martin, Gadwall, Little Ringed Plover, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Whitemoor Haye.

Onto Whitemoor and a walk around the lanes produced Starling, Woodpigeon, Tree Sparrow, Magpie, Wren, Corn Bunting, Swallow, Rook, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Skylark, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Little Owl, Stock Dove, Mallard, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Buzzard, Pheasant, Jackdaw, Grey Partridge and Blue Tit. On to the pool and I added Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, House Martin and Sand Martin.

28-5-11, Croxall GP.

Back to the grind and local patch birding. I headed to Croxall first thing to sit in the hide and see what was about. Birds noted were Common Whitethroat, Canada Geese, Blackcap, Swift, Shelduck, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Sand Martin, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Lapwing, Common Tern, House Martin, Ringed Plover, Mallard, Pied Wagtail, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Starling, Magpie, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Great Tit, Stock Dove, Goldfinch, Swallow, Rook, Song Thrush, Skylark, Dunnock, Little Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Linnet, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Garden Warbler. Not a bad session but not too much activity on the mud.

Whitemoor Haye.

Just down the road to Whitemoor and a look over the quarry pool produced Stock Dove, Gadwall, Oystercatcher, Buzzard, Swift, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Black Headed Gull, Lapwing, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Redshank, Linnet, Skylark, Chiffchaff, Canada Geese and Wren. Pretty quiet and a walk around the lanes did not produce much either. I added Tree Sparrow, Rook, Woodpigeon, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Common Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Owl, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Kestrel and Pheasant.

Friday, 27 May 2011

27-5-11, Swanton Novers NNR.

It was time to head home so I deicded to visit a couple of sites on the way home but first I wanted another go at looking for Honey Buzzards. Swanton Novers raptop watchpoint is near to Great Ryburgh but the birds here are a lot trickier to see however they had been seen the previous day in the morning so I was slightly optomistic. Birds noted during two hours here were Pheasant, Skylark, Common Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellowhammer, Swift, Linnet, Swallow and Black Headed Gull. Again another no show but thats birding I'm afraid.

Welney Wildfowl Trust.

I decided to have a look around this reserve. For sometime now a cracking White-spotted Bluethroat had been present. I had no news of this bird for sometime but I wasn't getting much news out of my pager anyway but it was worth a look. Birds noted were Goldfinch, Pheasant, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Swallow, Wren, Mallard, Lapwing, Avocet, Woodpigeon, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Great Tit, House Martin, Shelduck, Coot, Pochard, Little Ringed Plover, Pied Wagtail, Swift, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Starling, Black-tailed Godwit, Jackdaw, Mute Swan, Snipe, Whooper Swan, Little Egret, Corn Bunting, Blue Tit, Cuckoo and Grey Heron. Although I was not expecting to see the Bluethroat, I actually missed it by twenty seconds. I was walking up the path and was twenty metres from a small group when they started looking through their bins and then started waving me. A quick look through my bins got me nothing so I broke into a small jog but as I reached the group the bird flew away. Thats not the end of the story though as yet another caravan on the way to Welnet drove at 35 miles an hour along the roads and wouldnt let cars get passed. Thats two birds this year that I have missed due to caravans. Nuff said.

Rutland Water.

I didnt want to get stuck in bank holiday traffic so I headed to Rutland Water to spend a few hours before heading home early evening. I started in the Lyndon reserve with the main aim being seeing Osprey. Birds noted were Swift, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Dunnock, Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackbird, Mute Swan, Coot, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Red-legged Partridge, Robin, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Hobby, Woodpigeon, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Lapwing, Osprey, Swallow, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, House Martin, Egyptian Geese, Jackdaw, Black Headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Common Tern, Pied Wagtail, Goldeneye, Gadwall and Moorhen. From Lyndon it was on to theEgleton reserve and I added Rook, Ringed Plover, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunlin, Wigeon, Sanderling, Greylag Geese, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Wren, Magpie, Song Thrush, Shoveler, Little Egret, Canada Geese, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Long-tailed Tit. Not bad but I was dissapointed not to have seen the Temminks Stint that was on Lagoon 4 from the Dunlin hide. I was in there ages but failed to connect with it. After Rutland it was home time and the end of my mini trip to Norflok and back. It was a good trip with lots of good birds and I managed plenty of photos too. Nice.

26-5-11, Choseley Barns.

I have never birded in Norfolk during the spring/summer months and so not used to long hours of daylight for birding. I skipped breakfast and decided to be at Choseley really early. I hung around for a bit and birds noted were Woodpigeon, Red-legged Partridge, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Wren, Common Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Pied Wagtail, Black Headed Gull and Pheasant.

Titchwell RSPB.

Down the road a little and I was at Titchwell RSPB reserve. I really enjoy coming here and was on site for about 07.00 and I was the only one in the car park!! In fact I was on site until about 09.30 before I saw anyone else around, amazing. Birds noted were Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Avocet, Pheasant, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Jay, Blue Tit, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Black Headed Gull, Reed Warbler, Redshank, Swift, Swallow, Mute Swan, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Sedge Warbler, Canada Geese, Coot, Canada Geese, Pochard, Tufed Duck, Marsh Harrier, Linnet, Brent Geese, Black-tailed Godwit, Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, Herring Gull, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Starling, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Moorhen, Skylark, House Martin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Ringed Plover, Wigeon, Lapwing, Dunlin, Greenshank, Sand Martin, Curlew Sandpiper, Turnstone, Little Egret, Curlew, Knot, Sanderling, Cormorant, Common Scoter, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Fulmar, Yellow Wagtail, Blackcap, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Cettis Warbler, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, magpie, Red-crested Pochard, Pintail, Kestrel and Eider. Bucket loads of birds and great fun.

Cley NR.

It was mid afternoon by the time I got to Cley, payed up then headed off to the hides before doing the east bank. Birds noted were Jackdaw, Black Headed Gull, Dunnock, Swift, Woodpigeon, Oystercatcher, Sedge Warbler, Starling, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Greylag Geese, Mallard, Pheasant, Little Egret, House Sparrow, Swallow, Marsh Harrier, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin, Gadwall, Reed Warbler, Shelduck, Avocet, Great Black-backed Gull, Greenshank, Redshank, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Stint, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Moorhen, Skylark, Goldfinch, Little Ringed Plover, Little Gull, Coot, Common Gull, House Martin, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Great Tit, Linnet, Common Sandpiper, Blue Tit, magpie, Wren, Tufted Duck, Hobby, Curlew, Bearded Tit, Whinchat and a cracking male it was too, Sandwich Tern, Knot, Fulmar, Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Spoonbill and Knot. Another great session here. I was in the small hide on Pats Pool (sorry, dont know the name of the hide) at about 18.30 when I wondered if there was a time I needed to be off the reserve. I popped out the door and my car was the only one in the car park. Ooops, would I be locked in?? It was too late so I went back in the hide and carried on. Five minutes later a chap came in, no gates are on the car park. I asked where everyone was and he said "proberbly sitting at home next to their pagers". I was quite amazed, one of if not the best reserves in the country and void of birders by 18.00!!! I hung around for a while more before heading off.

25-5-11, Paxton Pits NR

I had a week off work however I had to pop in on Tuesday afternoon to attend a training session but Wednesday morning, very early, I was on the way to Cambridgeshire before having a couple of days in North Norfolk. Paxton Pits was my early destination for one thing only, and a very shameful one thing too. I have never seen a Nightingale before, heard them but not seen them. A bit embarrising really but I have just never been anywhere where they existed before. On arrival I was quite excited at finally nailing the bird and I was told I would definately see one here. I headed along the path and immediately heard two sing but couldnt see anything. Then I arrived at a rustic fence which was to prevent people walking around the bushes where the Nightingales favoured. I hung around for about half an hour but no sign. Was I going to dip this bird? The shame. Nothing was showing and the singing had stopped so I headed on along the path. Good idea. In a small gap three NIGHTINGALES were chasing each other for half a minute before flying off. Walking further on and I soon realised there were Nighingales everywhere and I even managed to get a record photo too, great fun. Other birds noted were Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Dunnock, Black Headed Gull, Cormorant, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Wren, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Mute Swan, Song Thrush, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Tern, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Rook, Blue Tit, Tufted Duck and Collared Dove.

Weeting Heath.

Next site was about three quarters along the road however my timing was awful and it took about two hours with the morning rush hour traffic around Cambridge. As most will know, Weeting Heath is one of or the best sites to see Stone Curlew and having only ever seen one at Marsh lane NR on the 5th of May, 2007 I wanted to see one on its breeding ground. On arrival there was no-one around and just guessed on going to the hide to the right of the centre. Only a couple of minutes in the hide and a Stone Curlew was in the distance and in the heat haze, no photo oppurtunities here. Other birds noted were Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Pied Wagtail, Rook, Lapwing, Mistle Thrush and Woodpigeon.

Lakenheath RSPB.

Just down the road is Lakenheath RSPB reserve, home to the Golden Oriole. I came here in July 2007and saw my first one bringing food to the nest. From the car park I headced along the river to the back of the reserve before walking back down the track through the middle hoping for any sight or sound of the Orioles. Birds noted were Chaffinch, Shelduck, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Mute Swan, Coot, Mallard, Cuckoo, Garganey, Wigeon, Gadwall, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Wren, Pheasant, Black Headed Gull, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Skylark, Hobby, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Egyptian Geese, Cormorant, Chiffchaff, Canada Geese, Swift, Blackcap, Bittern and Great Spotted Woodpecker. No Orioles but a male was doing his contact calls through the poplars. I hung around for about an hour to see if the bird showed but with no success but fun listening to the calls.

Great Ryburgh.

Another bird I have never seen is a Honey Buzzard, well apart from a bird I saw at Flamborough Head a few years ago when I saw the back end of a bird flying away being mobbed by other birds, Buzzard size with flat wings. I got on it before it glided out of view and couldnt make a positive identification but I was sure, from the jiss, that it was a Honey Buzzard but not sure enough to claim it. Great Ryburgh is a raptor watchpoint, and very good for Honey Buzzards. It was early afternoon so I decided to hang around for a couple of hours here. Birds noted were Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Gadwall over, Common Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Lapwing, Greylag Geese, Pheasant, Wren, Rook, Greenfinch, Swallow, Cuckoo, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Black Headed Gull, Skylark, Grey Heron, Egyptian Geese, Swift, Marsh Harrier and Lesser Black-backed Gull. No show on the Honey Buzzard front but not expecting to see one so not too bothered.

Stiffkey Marsh

It was late afternoon and I was tired now after an early start so I had a walk along the marshes at Stiffkey, not expecting much but you never know. Birds noted were Black Headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Jackdaw, Wren, Blackbird, Dunnock, Redshank, Herring Gull, Blue Tit, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Shelduck, Little Egret, Chaffinch, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Linnet, Chiffchaff, Avocet, Common Whitethroat, Skylark, Red-legged Partridge, Greylag Geese, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Swallow and Greenfinch.

Stiffkey Fen.

Last site of the day and I decided to pop down to the fen just down the road from the marshes. Birds noted were Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Oystercatcher, Chiffchaff, Avocet, Black Headed Gull, Shelduck, Mallard, Jay, Cettis Warbler, Redshank, Moorhen, Wigeon, Ringed Plover, Woodpigeon, Garden Warbler, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Common Tern, Pied Wagtail, Greylag Geese, Lapwing, House Martin, Sedge Warbler and Yellowhammer.

A great day out, very long but lots of birds. Time for some Woodfordes Werry.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

24-5-11, Croxall GP.

This wasn't the plan for today. I was going to take my mother to Middleton RSPB, had a quick look on tinternet to see if there was an opening time orf new car park etc. To begin with the website says the site is opening at the end of the month, I thought it opened mid May, and no access till 10am. Whats that all about?? I had to be at work for 12.00 so we knocked the idea on the head and I came to Croxall instead. A walk upto the hide and a scan produced Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Canada Geese, Swift, Oystercatcher, Coot, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Black Headed Gull, Reed Bunting, Mallard, Great Tit, Cormorant, House Martin, Mute Swan, 17 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, Grey Heron, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Little Ringed Plover, Stock Dove, Starling and Magpie. Through to the east side and a quick look in the hide and I added Buzzard, Rook, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Gadwall and a single Common Tern along the river. Back towards the car and I added Pied Wagtail, Blackbird and a very showy Garden Warbler. Nice.

Whitemoor Haye.

On to the patch and I had a look at the pool from the Tamworth road as I could look along the pool. I noted Stock Dove, Carrion Crow, Wren, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot, Greenfinch, Black Headed Gull, Lapwing and plenty of Swifts. A drive around thge corner, park up the car and then off around the lanes and I added Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Shelduck, Skylark, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Kestrel, Blackbird, Linnet, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Long-tailed Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mallard and Magpie. Onto the pool and I couldnt add anything else. Off to work for a couple of hours now:-(

Blithfield Reservoir.

During the training I had my pager on and I was suddenly awoken with news of a Red-necked Phalarope at Blithfield. Cracking. It would bve a welcome addition to my Staffs and year list. As soon as the van was parked up the car was motoring through Kings Bromley, Hamstell Ridware, Abbots Bromley then on to Blithers. The bird was in Tad Bay so I headed through the gate and past the feeder station full to a, I assumed, full hide. I opened the doors and it was empty!!!! Then I remembered there is another hide to the right. I decided to have a scan from this hide as I could see the majority of the shoreline. Birds noted to this point were Chiffchaff, Hobby over the car park area, Robin, Great Tit, Mute Swan, Black Headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Yellow Wagtail, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Blackcap, Pheasant, Cormorant, Garden Warbler, Gadwall, Shoveler and Shelduck. There was no sign of the Phalarope along the shoreline then I noticed a slack bit of water. A quick scan and there was the Red-necked Phalarope. Distant but superb and by looking at the plumage it was a smart female but I could be very wrong. Superb. After feasting on then bird in the hide all on my own I headed around the point and into Blithe Bay before heading home. Other birds noted were Buzzard, Swift, Teal, Wren, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Spotted Flycatcher (year tick), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Lesser Black-backed Gull and a couple of Long-tailed Tits. Quality. Then it was back home to get the car ready and pack for a couple of days in Norfolk. Come on.

Monday, 23 May 2011

23-5-11, Night Heron.

This bird has left me with a bit of a dilemma. I have been reading about this bird on the pager and internet and at first it was looking good. My fishing match on Saturday was only ten minutes away so I planned to go on Saturday but as the week got on the bird was only using the area to roost and it came in and left the roost at erratic times. Having never seen one, did I want only brief views of one flying over??? During the fishing match I had my pager and it was very quiet for a Saturday, with very little news anywhere. I decided to head over to Earlswood Lake after the fishing, a quick chat with some birders who said no sign today so I carried on home. It was seen later about 20.15. A bit of a tricky decision as it is a bit of a drive through lots of traffic then a good walk from where you park the car to where the birders are congregating. I was going this morning early but something stopped me and with no news it was proberbly the right decision.

Kingsbury Water Park.

I am on holiday for a week but on Friday I left my mobile phone at work. To be honest it was quite nice not to have to worry about always having it. I picked it up first thing this morning and then decided to head to Kingsbury Water Park as I need a Turtle Dove for the year and I had one here a couple of years ago. Worth a go anyway. Agood couple of hours birding got me Mallard, Moorhen, Starling, Canada Geese, Black Headed Gull, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Tufted Duck, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Mute Swan, Swallow, Wren, Garden Warbler, Swift, Robin, Blue Tit, Sand Martin, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Reed Warbler, Skylark, Willow Warbler, Common Tern, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Shelduck, Gadwall, Sedge Warbler, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Magpie and Cuckoo. Good couple of hours but no Turtle Dove. It was very windy and if any were present I wouldnt have heard them.

Some of you might think why Kingsbury and not the new RSPB reserve. Well I am taking my mother there on Tuesday for the morning. Really looking forward to it.

Whitemoor Haye .

After some breakfast I collected the dog and we headed around the lanes at Whitemoor Haye. It was incredibly windy around here and, as it turned out, the birding was going to prove a bit tough. Birds noted around the lanes were Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Swift, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Corn Bunting, Skylark, lapwing, Linnet, Stock Dove, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Pheasant, Black Headed Gull, Common Whitethroat, Mallard, Hobby, Yellowhammer, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Shelduck and a Kestrel. The Hobby was first picked up by another birder who tried to shout me as I was listening out for Quail in the winds with no success. I couldnt hear him but he told me a couple of minutes later as he drove past and then the bird appeared over the pits before flying past the microlight sheds. Great views. On to the pool and I added Redshank, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck and Coot. Not brilliant and it was almost impossible due to the very strong cross wind, I couldnt hold the scope still.

Croxall GP.

I couldnt ignore this place after recent weeks although the weekend reports were not too promising. The reported Temminks Stint would have been a great bird for the site and county but no reports of it since it was see (or imagined!!!). Anyway as I had the dog I could only do main side so it was up the track to the hide, a brief look over the gate then back to the car. Birds noted were 7 Oystercatcher, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Swift, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Reed Warbler, Black Headed Gull, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Mallard, 11 summer plumaged Dunlin, Gadwall, 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Redshank, Shelduck, Cormorant, Pheasant, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Linnet, Rook, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Sedge Warbler and Great Tit. Same as Whitemoor number wise, with the wind making the birds keeping there heads down and as I walked back to the car the rains came. Good timing.

Just booked myself into a pub in Norfolk for a couple of nights so heading down to Camebridge on Wednesday moring for a few birds before heading to the pub.. Mmmm, Woodfordes Wherry straight out of the barrel, superb.

22-5-11, circa Alrewas

A bit of a busy weekend so very little birding done. Saturday was the first British Waterways fishing match, did rubbish. Sunday I was working but I was up very early, dog needed walking so we had a good walk around Alrewas and the fields. Birds noted were Wren, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Robin, Magpie, Skylark, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Moorhen, Pheasant, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Common Tern, Coot, Sedge Warbler, Cormorant, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Grey Heron, Blackcap, Greenfinch, House Martin, Swift, Swallow and Dunnock. Not bad for a couple of hours first thing before work.

Monday, 16 May 2011

15-5-11, Alrewas GP.

It was WeBS count today but it was a bit of a struggle after consuming a few pints of Pedigree the previous evening. The bike was loaded with all my stuff, a quick ride down the A38 and I was on the pits. Birds noted were Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Coot, mallard, Mute Swan, Swift, Wren, Common Whitethroat, Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Swallow, Lesser Whitethroat, Black Headed Gull, Stock Dove, Sand Martin, Canada Geese and a couple of House Martins. Pretty quiet here and the WeBS numbers were low too.

National Arboretum.

Although only passing through I did note a few birds. Cuckoo, Swallow, Swift, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Pheasant, Chaffinch, Black Headed Gull, Canada Geese, Swallow, Reed Bunting, Grey Heron, Sand Martin, Mute Swan, Wren, Great Crested Grebe, Common Tern, Linnet, Mallard, Coot, Blackbird andBold Pied Wagtail were all noted.

Junction Pit.

A quick look on here produced Coot, Oystercatcher, Greylag Geese, Mallard, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Wren, Great Tit, Common Whitethroat and Blackbird.

Croxall GP.

Croxall was next but to check the wides I looked from the arboretum. Birds noted here were Mute Swan, Cuckoo, Canada Geese, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Little Ringed Plover, Kingfisher, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Swift and Reed Bunting. Round to the entrance and then check the rest of Croxall I added Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Moorhen with 4 chicks, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Linnet, Magpie, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Common Whitethroat, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Shoveler, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Rook, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sand Martin, Cormorant, Blackbird, Dunnock.

Whitemoor Haye.

14-5-11, Croxall GP

I was up decently early today but couldnt get my act together quick enough and didnt get down to Croxall to way after sunrise. I was, again, beaten to the hide from a regular visitor and he had scared anything decent away. Birds noted were Sedge Warbler, Reed warbler, Common Whitethroat, Teal, Pheasant, Canada Geese, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Tufted Duck, Coot, Chiffchaff, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Common Tern, Blackbird, Buzzard, Sand Martin, Woodpigeon, Black Headed Gull, Swift, Redshank, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mute Swan, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Dunlin, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Jay, House Martin, Greenshank and Shelduck. Not a bad few hours in the hide but with the winds from the west (ish), there was small chancer of anything decent showing up.

Whitemoor Haye.

I was planning to do more birding through the day but after popping home for breakfast/lunch and doing a few jobs I felt a bit knackered so I decided to have a rest and watch Man Utd become champions and Man City win the cup. After that I headed off to Whitemoor Haye with the dog and we walked the lanes. That was the plan anyway but as I arrived it started to hammer down so I had a scan of the pool whilst it rained and noted Swift, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Swallow, Greylag Geese and Pied Wagtail. After the rain lapsed it was off round the lanes. Birds noted were Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Starling, Blackbird, Lapwing, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, Rook, Magpie, Wren, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Collared Dove, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Corn Bunting, Goldfinch and Robin. Back at the quarry pool I added Common Tern, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, House Martin, 2 summer plumaged Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, Gadwall, Blackcap, Tufted Duck and a solitary Yellow Wagtail.

Friday, 13 May 2011

12-5-11, Coombes Valley RSPB.

A bit of a brucey bonus today, I had a meeting with RSPB and others at Coombes Valley, a place I have never been to. as I dipped on Pied Flycatcher on Cannock Chase last weekend I was quite excited as they were present here too. After a fruitful meeting (about Himalayan Balsam if you are interested), I had time for a small walk and was pointed out where to go for this cracking beauty. Within ten minutes I was staring at a nest box and another ten minutes passed a male Pied Flycatcher perched on a branch before heading to the nest box. result. I even managed a couple of photos though nothing special, another first. Double result. Then it was back to the van and home. Other birds noted on this very brief visit were Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Wren, Carrion Crow and Blackbird.

11-5-11, Whitemoor Haye.

With nothing much doing and a recent report of a Quail present I decided to head around Whitemoor Haye lanes and then attack the quarry pool. Birds noted were Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Common Whitethroat, Long-tailed Tit, Carrion Crow, Stock Dove, Mallard, Skylark, Goldfinch, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Greenfinch, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Robin, Grey Partridge, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rook, MNagpie, Moorhen, Greylag Geese and Starling. No sight nor sound of any Quail, proberbly passing through. Onto ther quarry poolo I added Chiffchaff, Oystercatcher, Canada Geese, Little Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Greenshank, Willow Warbler and Gadwall.

Croxall GP.

With nabout an hours light left I headed to Croxall, hoping that water would have receeded to show a bit more mud and maybe some waders. Birds noted were Chaffinch, Reed Warbler, Wren, Goldfinch, Canada Geese, Mallard, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mute Swan, Sedge Warbler, Starling, Tufted Duck, Blackcap, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Coot, Chiffchaff, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler couple showing quite niceley, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Blackbird, Dunnock, Black Headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Gadwall, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Cormorant, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Swift, Grey Heron, Skylark, Song Thrush, Pheasant, Ringed Plover, Greenfinch and Blackcap. A nice haul of bird species but nothing special. One gull had me getting a tad excited but this was well and truly extinguished by a fellow blogger. You never know.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

10-5-11, A couple of photos from the weekend.

A cracking Willow Warbler

Garden Warbler on Cannock Chase

Redstart, distant but quite nice.

Another Garden Warbler, this one at Croxall.

A cracking Spotted Redshank in summer plumage. My best effort!!!!!!!!!!!!

9-5-11, Moan, moan, moan.

After the weekends birding at Croxall I could take it no more. I emailed Staffs Wildlife Trust with a list of moans that I and others have been pointing out. Im not going to mention them on here but I am not the only one to whinge about what I was whinging about. I think if we have a mass email blast to SWT then maybe they will listen but I know what will happen about my email, not a lot. I will let you know their reply in due course.

9-5-11, Croxall GP

Another Monday off so it was to Croxall GP at 06.00. Was hoping for a bit more wader action (to myself hopefully) but forgot about the rising waters from Sunday. The water was up about 18 inches covering all of the shallows so no waders showing. Birds noted were Common Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo, Lapwing, Great Tit, Canada Geese, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Tufted Duck, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Wren, Cormorant, Blackbirds, Willow Warbler, Gadwall, Reed Bunting, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Black Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Common Tern, Swallow, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Magpie, Greylag Geese, Blue Tit, Rook and Starling. I was present at Croxall between 06.00 and 07.30 and I was suprised to hear of a Bar-tailed Godwit only because the water levels were high and rising. Anyway!!!!

Cannock Chase - Punch Bowl & Sheerbrook Valley.

After me and the dog had our brecky it was off to Cannock Chase to hopefully nail a nice year tick, a Pied Flycatcher. Not too tricky, I thought, as I know a couple of places where they are usually seen. Ha ha, doesnt work like that in the animal kingdom does it. I parked at the Punch bowl car park walked down to the stepping stones then into Sheerbrook Valley where I walk upto where there is the remains of a concrete bridge and weir, a place where I had great views of Pied Flycatcher last year. Birds noted around Punch bowl were Willow Warbler, Wren, Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Chaffinch, Tree Pipit, Robin, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush. Around Sheerbrook Valley I noted Redstart, Wren, Woodpigeon, Cuckoo, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, Green Woodpecker, Pheasant, Jay, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Magpie and Great Spotted Woodpecker. No, no Pied Flycatcher today. I will have to return. It was a very enjoyable walk, the Tree Pipits were in full song and doing their flights then parachuting back to the trees, ace.

Blithfield Reservoir.

I had the dog with me so I couldnt go around the bays but as I was near I thought I would walk the causeway and maybe land on a Black Tern. As it happens there was no white ones let alone black ones. From the causeway I noted Starling, Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Buzzard, Blackbird and Black Headed Gull. Not very stunning so I drove around to the dam and had a scan from the sailing club car park and only added a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Whoooopeeeeee.

Whitemoor Haye.

It was back to the good old local patch and I decided to walk around the lanes first and then check out the pool, however it didnt all go to plan. birds noted around the lanes were Swifts in their hundreds - the southerleys over the weekend must have helped them finally arrive in numbers, Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Skylark, Starling, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Corn Bunting, Kestrel, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Blue Tit, Magpie, Blackbird, Robin, Stock Dove, Buzzard, Mallard, Mute Swan, Goldfinch and Pied Wagtail. I was only about two hundred yards from the car when the dark clouds above unleashed hell in the form of huge blobs of rain along with thunder and lightening. The dog legged it and I just managed to get her back and into the car. The rain worsened as I parked up by the lake. I appeared to get better for a short time enough for me to add Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Black Headed Gull to the site list. I was going to sit out the rain but half an hour later and mine and the dogs bellies rumbling I went home and ate.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

8-5-11, Croxall GP.

After a busy week and a very early start and long day yesterday, it was a couple of sites today and then grand prix and football. First site was Croxall and I was there nice and early only to be greeted by a couple of fisherman opposite the hide. Rubbish. Anyway I perserveared and birds noted were Chaffinch, Canada Geese, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Magpie, Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Song Thrush, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Gadwall, Oystercatcher, Blackbird, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Swallow, Starling, Redshank, Spotted Redshank which flew off just before 09.00, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Tufted Duck, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Cormorant, Sand Martin, Buzzard, Swift, Woodpigeon, Mistle Thrush, Rook, Robin and Wren. Not a bad session and it could have been better if we had spotted an Osprey which someone had spotted flying along the river nearby.

Whitemoor Haye.

After a nice couple of comfortable hours on a bench in a hide it was time for a slog around Whitemoor but first the lake and birds noted were Swift, Cormorant, Corn Bunting, Woodpigeon, Mute Swan, Mallard, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Swallow, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Carrion Crow, Grey Heron, Wren, Starling, Gadwall, Lapwing, Redshank, Tree Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Common Whitethroat, Collared Dove, Black-headed Gull, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Great Tit. On to the and I added Skylark, Dunnock, Buzzard, magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Pheasant, Reed Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Jackdaw and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Nothing special but plenty of birds around.

7-5-11, circa Findern.

I have a volunteer group who are based around Findern and they wanted me to do a dawn chorus walk but a bit later. I agreed and we all met up at 05.00 in Findern village. We did a walk down to the canal, along the canal and then back to the village. I was expecrting the worse, weather wise, when as I got into my van to get to Findern there was a bright flash followed very quickly by and imense rumble, thunder and lightening. Fortunately that was the first and last of it and we got around the walk in lovely warm sunshine. Birds noted were Chiffchaff, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Buzzard, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Common Whitethroat, Skylark, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Mallard, Grey Partridge, Collared Dove, Peregrine, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Starling, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Garden Warbler, Reed Bunting and Blackcap. A very pleasant early morning walk followed by a nice breakfast put on by the group. Whilst eating the breakfast a text message had me eating up and heading to Croxall pits.

Croxall GP.

I was working all day and a very interesting text gave me ten minutes in the hide before I had to go to work. A Spotted Redshank in full summer plumage had been located from the main hide. I hgave seen a few Spotshanks before but only in winter or partial summer plumage so I was keen to get a look. It would also be a nice year tick too. With a little speed I was soon on site and in the hide. The Spotshank was still present and was a cracker. Other birds noted were Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Little Ringed Plover, Great Crested Grebe, Black-headed Gull, Dunlin, Cormorant, Ringed Plover, Magpie, Grey Heron and Blackcap. A nice bonus for the day but its work time now.

4-5-11, Whitemoor Haye.

After feasting on delicious views of the Dotteral in the previous evening I was up early to see if I could relocate it before work. Birds noted were Skylark, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Common Whitethroat, Corn Bunting, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove and Blackbird. No Dotteral this morning but it was again relocated in the evening.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

3-5-11, Whitemoor Haye

Bloomin eck. A phonecall just before 17.00 hours had me zooming through the village to Whitemoor Haye. Just as I got to the rough track it came on the pager Dotteral at Whitemoor Haye. A quick scan followed by another drive and I was with a group of birders looking at a cracking female Dotteral. It was found by a lady dog walker in one of the potato fields. A brilliant record for Whitemoor Haye and Staffs.

Monday, 2 May 2011

2-5-11, Mystery gull.

Whilst in the hide I was checking through the birds on the shallows when I came across a gull which looked a bit different. It was slightly smaller than the Black Headed Gulls and had a completely white head with no markings at all, thin black beak, light grey mantle and black wing tips. Once I got these details (I didn't look at the legs), I got another observer in the hide onto the bird. Once I had done that he was puzzled so I tried to get a photo and as I got the camera out the bird took off with a few Black Headed Gulls. I never observed the bird flying as I was standing up but I got a quick glimpse of the birds flying away and they headed in a north east direction but it was not flying high. I searched the east side at Croxall but there was no sign of the bird. It definately was not a Little Gull as I only saw one of these last week and they are easy to pick out. Speaking to other birders Bonapartes Gull was looking good except for the lack of black on the head. I will go out later to see if it returns but anyone visiting the general area keep a good eye out, you never know.

2-5-11, Croxall GP.

As soon as I was up I planned to get straight to Croxall to see if the winds would bring anything in. I planned to stick it out in the hide for a few hours before heading off elsewhere although somnetime today I planned to sit down and do not a lot (which is what I am doing now, writing this blog). Around the main side at Croxall I noted Reed Warbler, Woodpigoen, Coot, Canada Geese, Common Whitethroat, Blackbird, Pheasant, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Carrion Crow, Sedge Warbler, Oystercatcher, .Rook, Wren, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Kingfisher, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, lapwing, Cuckoo, Black-headed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Ruff, Mute Swan, Ringed Plover, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Magpie, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Peregrine, Buzzard, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Geese, Yellow Wagtail, Sand Martin, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Skylark, Grey Heron and Wigeon. A great morning but now time to chill out before work tomorrow.

1-5-11, Fradley Junction NR.

I was up at 03.00 for a dawn chorus bird walk which I was leading. 6 people turned up for what was a slow start but a nice morning. Birds heard and seen were Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Skylark, Mallard, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Moorhen, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Willow Warbler, Swallow, Canada Geese, Common Tern, carrion Crow, Long-tailed Tit, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Black-headed Gull, House Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, Common Whitethroat, Greenfinch and Grey Wagtail.

Whitemoor Haye.

After getting up early, if I sat down I wouldnt get up again so it was straight out to Whitemoor. First of all I checked out the main pool and noted Magpie, Pheasant, Chiffchaff, Mute Swan, Yellowhammer, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Chaffinch, Common Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Linnet, lapwing, Skylark, Canada Geese, Oystercatcher, Blackcap, Great Crested Grebe, Carrion Crow and Blue Tit. After parking up I started walking along the lanes before a phone call made up my mind to turn around and back to the car. Birds added were Wren, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Swallow, redshank, green Sandpiper, Corn Bunting, Robin, Buzzard and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Croxall GP.

The phone call was to tell me three Bar-tailed Godwits had just settled on the shallows on the main pool. These would be nice for a county tick for the year so as Whitemoor was quiet I quickly turned up at Croxall. Walking up to the hide, a phone call told me they were flushed by a Buzzard. Typical. Never mind, I was here now, the easterly wind was blowing well so we will sit and see what turns up. For the first hour it was highly productive before dropping off a little. Birds seen were Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Coot, Blue Tit, Woodpigeon, Wren, Chaffinch, Mallard, Gadwall, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Black-headed Gull, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Shoveler, Common Tern, Starling, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Shelduck, Swift, Starling, Teal, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock, Arctic Tern, Swallow, Grey Heron, Black-tailed Godwit, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Common Sandpiper and Kestrel. A great few hours here.

Whitemoor Haye.

After doing something else I headed for Whitemoor Haye as another Bar-tailed Godwit had been found on the main lake so it was a quick look over here before heading home and then too the pub. Birds noted were Robin, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Greenfinch, Lapwing, Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Mallard, Buzzard, Swallow, Black-headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Linnet, Dunnock, Blackbird, Magpie and Chaffinch. Bit tired now so chill out time at a pub.

30-4-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Just the one trip out today as I am planning to have a bit of a rest so it was off to Whitemoor Haye for a bit of birding. Unfortunately my legs have been giving me a bit of hassle so I stopped at the main pool before having a drive around to see what else I could find. At the main pit I noted Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Mallard, a small raptor which I only saw at the last minute before it flew into the sun then out of sight, Wren, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Common Whitethroat, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Mute Swan, Redshank, Carrion Crow, Greenshank, Starling, Wheatear, Skylark, Treecreeper, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Oystercatcher, Stock Dove, Sand Martin, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Black-headed Gull and Coot. Onto the the drive around the square I added Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant, Robin, Magpie, Grey Partridge, Greylag Geese, Pied Wagtail and I saw a Hobby flying towards the pits. Was that the bird which I lost in the sun? maybe.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

29-4-11, Croxall GP.

After the dissapointment of yesterday it was back to good old local patch work. First place was Croxall quite early. A good walk around got me Sedge Warbler, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gull, Coot, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Mute Swan, Starling on the main side. Going through to the east side and spending a bit of time in the east hide I added Rook, Buzzard, Greylag Geese, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Cormorant, Swallow, Little Egret, Gadwall, Pheasant, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Cuckoo flying over and a seemingly rare Kingfisher. Back towards the car and I added Dunnock, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Ringed Plover, Tufted Duck, Green Woodpecker, Reed Warbler and a Herring Gull.

29-4-11. Whitemoor Haye.

Over to olf faithful and before I left for there, there was a phonecall about the presence of Arctic Terns. A nice year tick so it was check the quarry pool first and then park up and head around the lanes to see what was about. Birds noted at the pool were Chiffchaff, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Greenshank, Coot, Swallow, Mallard, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Oystercatcher, Mute Swan, Robin, Tufted Duck, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Pied Wagtail, Redshank, Magpie, Chaffinch, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, Tree Sparrow, Collared Dove, Great Crested Grebe, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat and my first Swift of the year. Not a bad list by just standing in one place by the pool. A quick drive to park the car at the house then a walk around the lanes produced Buzzard, Linnet, Skylark, Wren, Corn Bunting, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Wheatear, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull, Stock Dove and Woodpigen. A great few hours with plenty of birds around.

29-4-11, Branston GP.

After a quick visit home to get some brecky/lunch I decided to head towards Branston to see what was around this active quarry. It was very windy but I persevered. Birds noted were Wren, Stock Dove, Linnet, Carrion Crow, Yellowhammer, Pheasant, Common Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Skylark, House Martin, Swallow, Sparrowhawk, Robin, Mallard, Coot, Tufted Duck, Litle Grebe, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Greatr Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Gadwall, Wigeon, Long-tailed Tit, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Rook, Moorhen, Chiffchaff, Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck, Teal, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Greylag Geese, Jackdaw, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap, Coal Tit and Blackbird. A good days birding all in all, a tad warm and very windy mind.