Tuesday, 30 August 2011

28-8-11, Gailey Reservoir.

A summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe has been present here fo a few weeks now so I thought it was about time I got over there to see it. I was there nice and early, met up with a chap with a big lens on his camera and strolled in between the upper and lower reservoir. Ten minutes of scanning had produced nothing. Had it gone? I just wished I had read a certain blog as he describes the grebes pattern and we would have found it easier. It was soon relocated, resting with its head tucked into its wings and drifting towards the gull island. For some time it stayed resting but eventually it came to life and headed towards the south east corner feeding. Birds noted were Swallow, Green Woodpecker, Swifts, Black Headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Pochard, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Little Grebe, Robin, Cormorant, Red-necked Grebe, House Martin, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow and Blue Tit.

28-8-11, Belvide Reservoir.

I was in the area so I decided to check out Belvide. A walk around the site produced Robin, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, House Martin, Great Tit, Teal, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Nuthatch, Canada Geese, Grey Heron, Wren, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coot, Dunnock, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Greylag Geese, Jackdaw, Swallow, Magpie, Ruff, Greenshank, Shelduck, Little Ringed Plover, Starling, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Long-tailed Tit, Lapwing, Knot, Shoveler, Whinchat, Coal Tit, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Blackbird and Willow Tit.
Not a bad session and I rerally enjoyed a short while in the new hide overlooking the feeders in the plantation. Very good.

28-8-11, Whitemoor Haye

I wanted to be home for the grand prix at 13.00 so I managed a quick twenty minutes at the lake at Whitemoor Haye. Birds noted were Goldfinch, Swallow, Mute Swan, Black Headed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Great Crested Grebe, Greenshank, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Blue Tit, Lesser Black and Black Headed Gull, Great Tit, Stock Dove and Robin.
A bit rubbish really. The sun was very bright causing a heat haze so visibility was not brilliant. During the grand prix a phone message and pager message got me heading back to Whitemoor Haye "Black-necked Grebe on the pool at Whitemoor Haye". I was there in five minutes and met Steve Richards who had found the grebe and soon I was on it. Bloody superb but bloody annoying. Whilst I was feasting on my third Black-necked Grebe of the weekend, Steve found 2 Hobbies hunting over thegravel pits. Absolutely brilliant. Other birds noted were Greenshank and Common Sandpiper and I managed to get back for the end of the grand prix.

28-8-11, Alrewas GP.

After the grand prix and the 8-2 mauling of Arsenal by Man City (ouch) I decided to head out to Alrewas pit to see if I could find and waders or grebes. As some of you will be aware, this pit had a Red-necked Grebe a few years ago so you never now. Birds noted this evening were Woodpigeon, Robin, Carrion Crow, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Linnet, Sand Martin, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Mallard, Buzzard, Long-tailed Tit and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Rubbish really.

28-8-11, Junction Pit.

It was getting to late to bird the arboretum or Whitemoor Haye again so I pedalled over to Junction pits to see if anything was on it. Another waste of time. Birds noted were Magpie, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Black Headed Gull and Great Tit.

I went home.

27-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

I was covering on call for a couple of hours this evening so I headed to the quarry pool at Whitemoor Haye to see what was about. Birds noted were Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Swallow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Starling, Mallard, Greenshank, Pied Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, Wren, Robin, Sand Martin, Sparrowhawk and Stock Dove. A quick drive around the lanes and I added Little Owl, Grey Heron and Woodpigeon.

27-8-11, Blithfield Resevoir.

I decided to invade someone elses local patch today. A few decent waders had been seen the previous day so I thought I would be utterly rude and crash the party. Birds noted were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Wren, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Mallard, Black Headed Gull, Teal, Canada Geese, Cormorant, Shoveler, Greylag Geese, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe, Chiffchaff, Greenshank, Coot, Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Mute Swan, Barnacle Geese, Grey Heron, Swallow, Blackcap, Blackbird, Nuthatch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Little Gull, House Martin, Buzzard, Common Tern, Goldcrest, Gadwall, Redshank, Black-necked Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Tufted Duck, Swift, Yellow Wagtail, Magpie and a possible Yellow-legged Gull.
Not a bad four hours, proberbly my best session here covering Tad and Blithe Bay, the causeway and the dam. Unfortunately I missed a couple of Little Stints in Blithe Bay. I scanned as much as possible when I was there but no show. Later I was told they showed up after a heavy rain storm and then flew off again after another heavy shower. I was on the causeway at the time. Wrong place, wrong time.

27-8-11, Branston GP.

I had been at home minutes when the pager showed a Pectoral Sandpiper was present at Branston pits on a flash. I could not go straight away but I was available mid afternoon and made the short ride. Once at Branston pits I noted Chaffinch, Robin, House Sparrow, Pheasant, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Linnet, Coot, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Teal, Dunlin, Pied Wagtail, Oystercatcher, Moorhen, Ruff, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Reed Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Goldfinch, Shelduck, Curlew, Snipe and Stock Dove.
This visit was laden with mistakes. I had left my phone and pager at home and I headed off to Branston assuming the bird was on Sandy pit. Once at Sandy pit a couple of birders were present looking at what they thought was the Pectoral Sandpiper. It was pretty distant and views were not brilliant with it constantly feeding but it looked good. Another bad mistake. I headed off to Long-tailed Duck pit and then over the conveyor belt to check another pool, all the while unaware of the flash not far away. Whilst scanning the last pool I decided to head over to the two birders and query the sandpiper. Something was bugging me. I approached them and said I was not happy with the bird, I think its a Dunlin. Another wader turned up, a possible Wood Sandpiper but also views were distant so id was not confirmed.

26-8-11, Croxall GP

I was home at a nice time from work and with nothing planned, after tea me and the dog headed for Croxall hoping for some wader action, however I had not accounted for one factor, the recentg rain falls. Birds noted were House Martin, Carrion Crow, Long-tailed Tit, Woodpigeon, Coot, Tufted Duck, Robin, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Starling, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Blue Tit, Little Grebe, Pied Wagtail, Shoveler, Black Headed Gull, Great Tit, Canada Geese, Goldfinch, Magpie, Stock Dove, Rook, Chaffinch, Wren, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. A bit poor really and hopefully you will have noticed no waders. Unfortunately during some works at Croxall they connected the reserve to the river via a small stream opposite the main hide. This means when the river is in flood the pool floods. Not the best of ideas. With high water levels there was nowhere ideal for waders. I didnt hang around too long.

26-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

I decided to spend the last hour of sunlight at Whitemoor Haye and concentrate on the quarry pools. Birds noted were Swallow, Carrion Crow, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Canada Geese, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Greenshank, Robin, Tree Sparrow, Black Headed Gull and Common Sandpiper. Not bad I suppose but not brilliant. With not much else showing I had a quick drive arfound the lanes and added Blackbird, Magpie, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Dunnock, Common Whitethroat, Wheatear and Little Owl.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

23-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

No birding over the weekend due to fishing matches, Birdfair and beer drinking so as it was acracking evening weather wise I had no option but to go birding. The last few visits I have been keen to find Whinchat. They are returning from their breeding grounds to their wintering destinations and the last three years I have found Whinchat at Whitemoor. I started at the uarry lake and noted Robin, Greenfinch, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 30 Tufted Duck (one with two young, there was a discussion on Birdforum about breeding Tufties and for the first time they have been noted in several areas around Staffs, Whitemoor Haye can be added now), 14 Pochard, Yellow Wagtail, 23 Lapwing (+25 flew over later), Buzzard, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 32 Mallard, 3 Greenshank, Starling, Wren, Pied Wagtail and 2 Common Sandpiper. On to the lanes and I added Tree Sparrow, 2 Little Owl, Common Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat, Long-tailed Tit, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Pheasant and Grey Partridge calling. I was well made up with finding not one Whinchat but at least three. I saw 2 females/juveniles then another bird turned out to be a scruffy male. Cracking. I did manage a photo of one of the females through my phone, its not great but might try and upload it later.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

16-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Naff all on TV so I decided to grab the dog and go down to Whitemoor Haye. I decided to concentrate on the quarry pool only hoping for a bit of wader action. Birds noted were 25+ Grey Paretridge some flew over the main road as I turned up and then then was a party of birds which included adults and at least ten young, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, 3 Mute Swan, Swallow, 16 Mallard, Canada Geese, Pied Wagtail, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 10 Tufted Duck, 3 Greenshank, Linnet, circa 400 Black Headed Gulls, Great Tit, 40+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Greylag Geese, Wren, 3 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 3 Lapwing, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Sparrowhawk, Blue Tit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Buzzard and a couple of Common Tern.

16-8-11, News.

Just a couple of things to catch up on. Whilst in the office today I had a quick look at a blog where the blogger had gone to Branston pits to see the Wood Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank and found them. I now realise what pit they were on and its a bit of the pit I did not check for fear or frightening the birds. Never mind.
On the Bird forum front the thread to read is Birding in Staffordshire. Ive never had such a laugh, the next time a big un turns up in Staffs there will be fights galore between the birders.
All in all tragic but funny.

Monday, 15 August 2011

15-8-11, News.

I had to chuckle to myself whilst I was tucking into my ready brek this morning as I read bird forum. This blog is the most social I ever get, Ive just got rid of my facebook account as I really hated it, especially emails like someone has poked you. Never looked at twitter and never will and I signed up to Bird forum ages ago but Im not really one to get involved in a discussion. I checked the Staffs rare birds post and the arguments on there are laughable. there has been a heated discussion on there about putting up posts to entice the Ospreys to possibly nest there. this thread has now led to Staffs birders be being called all sorts of things, and this is from other Staffs readers. Well worth going on for a laugh. Get out birding I say, the long dark nights will be here soon, you can argue then and keep me entertained.

14-8-11, Branston GP.

I have not been here for ages and a couple of nice birds were noted here the previous day so it was worth a visit. Birds noted were Magpie, Chaffinch, Wren, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Robin, Common Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Hobby, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Chiffchaff, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Egret, Black Headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Blackbird, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mute Swan, Buzzard, Goldfinch, Kestral, Blackcap, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Teal, Shelduck, 7 Curlew, 3 Green Sandpiper, Moorhen, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Starling, Swallow, Greylag Geese, Grey Heron, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw and Long-tailed Tit.
The most observant of you would have noticed no sign of the reported Wood Sandpiper or Spotted Redshank. I spent a long time checking each pit and there was no sign of either bird and the Curlew and Green Sandpipers were on the sandy pit. I was on site for 06.00 to about 10.30, maybe they came in later on or Im just crap.

14-8-11, Undisclosed site.

I did visit a private gravel pit where there is no access (naughty boy) but apart from some music it was very poor in birds.

After here I went home to watch the footy and then planned on checking out Whitemoor after the Man Utd/West Brom match but I was called out all afternoon and early evening. Typical.

13-8-11, Croxall GP.

With several similar sites enjoying the return of ther waders I thought it would be worth an early visit to Croxall. Birds noted were Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Common Whitethroat, Cormorant, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mute Swan, Wren, Carrion Crow, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Magpie, Robin, Song Thrush, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Mallard, Little Egret, Canada Geese, Kestrel, Teal, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Kingfisher, Long-tailed Tit, Rook, Starling, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Riinged Plover, Moorhen, Black Headed Gull, Dunnock, Swallow, Barnacle Geese, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Linnet and Reed Warbler.

13-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Over the road to Whitemoor and birds noted were Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Mute Swan, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Long-tailed Tit, 5 Greenshank, Black Headed Gull, Canada Geese, Mallard, Common Tern, Tufted Duck, Swift, Tree Sparrow, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Robin, Starling, Pochard, Cormorant, Pheasant, House Martin, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Yellow Wagtail, Common Whitethroat, Linnet, Sand Martin, Little Owl, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, lesser Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Corn Bunting and Goldfinch.

12-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

With nothing to do Friday evening I grabbed the dog and headed down to Whitemoor to do some birding/dog walking. A visit to the quarry pool and I noted Blackbird, Magpie, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, 3 Greenshank, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Sparrowhawk, Common Tern, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldfinch, Cormorant and Starling. From here it was on to the lanes and I added Tree Sparrow, Robin, Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Buzzard, Little Owl, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Linnet, Rook, Greenfinch, Jackdaw, Stock Dove, Pheasant and Skylark.

12-8-11, Croxall GP.

An hour spare before sunset so I opted for Croxall nature reserve. Fortunately there was no one else on site so a nice time was had. Birds noted were Wren, Tufted Duck, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Canada Geese, Common Whitethroat, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Coot, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Rook, Dunnock, Magpie, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Common Tern, Redshank, Little Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Reed Warbler and Swallow. A nice evenings birdwatching.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

8-8-11, Croxall GP.

A nice Monday off and I kickstarted the day very early at Croxall, the best time by far as no public around this time. I walked up to the hide and birds noted were Blue Tit, Wren, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Willow Tit, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Willow Warbler, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Woodpigeon. I spent an hour in the hide and added Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Grey Heron, Sedge Warbler, Lapwing, Pochard, Black Headed Gull, Great Tit, Rook, Common Whitethroat, Redshank, Common Tern, Dunlin, Blackcap, Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, Moorhen and Robin. Not bad. On to the east side to see wehat I could add. Magpie, Chaffinch, Stock Dove, Garden Warbler, Kestrel, Starling, Green Sandpiper, Swallow, Sand Martin, Greenshank and a couple of fly over Skylark. Back to the main side and another half an hour in the main hide and I added Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Canada Geese and 3 Barnacle Geese. Now thats a good session.

Whitemoor Haye.

A quick drive over to Whitemoor and I decided to start at the quarry pool. Correct move. Birds noted were Swallow, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Robin, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Starling, Mallard, House Martin, Greylag Geese, Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Greenshank, Wren, Great Tit, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Buzzard. Blimey birds everywhere. Onto the lanes I there would be not many more I could get. Birds added were Rook, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sparrowhawk, Magpie, Little Owl, Linnet, Blackbird, Dunnock, Stock Dove, Pheasant, Corn Bunting and Yellow Wagtail. Not a bad session at all.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

7-8-11, Holyhead Harbour.

Finaaly a couple of days off and I really needed a visit to a certain island to get a couple of its specialist birds plus more year tick. The island...... Ynys Mon. After work on Saturday I drove up to North Wales to stay with some friends before an early start on Sunday to go to Anglesey (just in case you still did not know where I was going). First stop on Holyhead Wwas the harbour and birds noted were Herring Gull, Black Guillemot, Oystercatcher, Lesser Black Backed Gull and a couple of Magpies.

South Stack RSPB.

I love coming here, its not the biggest seabird colony but with Chough and Black Guillemot local plus crippling views of Peregrines and other birds such as Black Larks making an appearance I think this is a fantastic place to come to. I was on site nice and early and the weather was not bad either. A walk around the area and a seawatch and I noted Chough, Herring Gull, Stonechat, Fulmar, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Linnet, Gannet, Kittiwake, Wren, Peregrine, Manx Shearwater, Shag, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Great Black-backed Gull, Blackbird, House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow.

Arnefield Reservoir.

I was very unsure as to where to go next, drive around Anglesey doing a bit of sea watching but expecting not a lot, visit other reserves such as Conwy RSPB to get the regulars or something else. I went for Conwy as its a great place, lots of birds and also has a cafe. I was about ten minutes to getting to Conwy when I thought about the Western Bonelli's Warbler near Glossop. I changed my mind and an hour later I was in the rain at Arnefield reservoir. This bird has been here a few weeks now but as time has gone on it has been more difficult to see, the last time it was located was 09.00 on the Saturday. I was not expecting much. Birds noted were Swallow, Goldfinch, Swift, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Collared Dove, House Martin, Wren, Grey Heron, Willow Warbler, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Siskin, Dunnock, Woodpigeon and Lesser Black-backed Gull. No warbler and I was not bothered about it as I was not expecting to see it but it was worth a go apart from getting a soaking.

River Dane south of Flash.

From Arnefield reservoir I was unsure as to where to go, I knew I was heading home but I was not quite ready to finish my days birding. As I was just in Derbyshire I thought of a bird which is numerous around this county, the Dipper. I knew of a few sites in Derbyshire but after driving arouns, I ended up at an old favorite, the River Dane near Flash which is actually in Staffordshire. A walk along the river produced Swallow, Blue Tit, Grey Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Mallard, Buzzard and a Dipper. The Dipper was a bit tricky to find, nothing on the way down but on the way back to the car, just about leaving the river one appeared on the rocks before flying away. I was ready to go home now.

6-8-11, Croxall GP.

I was working today but I was up early and could spare a couple of hours for birding. As we are now in August the birding should start picking up with the return of breeding waders, migrants starting to leave and sea birds on the move. Exciting times. After the other night at Croxall being rather disappointing I fancied a morning session as no one would be up at a silly time. I was right but I was soon joined by another silly time birder. Birds noted during this much improved session were Wren, Mute Swan, Chaffinch, Mallard, Canada Geese, Dunnock, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blue Tit, Tufted Duck, Coot, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Great Crested Grebe, Garden Warbler, Magpie, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Black Headed Gull, Redshank, Teal, Lapwing, Goldfinch, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Pheasant, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Jay, Little Egret, Common Tern, Great Tit, Song Thrush, Greenshank, Swallow, Seock Dove and Greylag Geese.

5-8-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Another nice evening with not much to do so another visit to Whitemoor. Usually I park up to walk the track first but today I fancied a change.. Birds noted around the quarry pool were Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Lapwing, Song Thrush, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Canada Geese, Common Whitethroat, Greenshank, Tufted Duck, Magpie and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover. On to the lanes and it was a bit of a struggle. Birds noted were Goldfinch, Swallow, Robin, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Little Owl, Pheasant, Jackdaw, Rook, Kestrel, Chaffinch, Wren, Green Woodpecker and Starling. I decided to have a quick look over the pool on the way home and I added Grey Heron and Mute Swan.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

3-8-11, Whitemoor Haye

With utter rubbish on the TV I headed out with my dog for a bit of birding. I walked around the Whitemoor Haye lanes and noted Swallow, Greenfinch, Tree Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Rook, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blue Tit, Peregrine, Kestrel, Linnet, Mallard, Moorhen, Little Owl, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Magpie, Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting and Skylark. It was a real struggle with only the crows being showy and vocal, everything else was hiding. On to the quarry pool and it didnt improve at all. 16 Lapwing and a single Green Sandpiper to add, plus a Robin and a Black Headed Gull flying over. There was still an hour of light, no point staying here so it was off to Croxall.
Of note, work has really intensified at Whitemoor Haye quarry pool, the buildings must be nearly done, now a massive adventure playground is being built plus they have machine raked or ploughed the whole left hand side of the main lake. October sees the centre open so by then I am assuming a fence is going to be built around the site which will block views from the usual place. RIP Whitemoor Haye lake.

Croxall GP.

Jai deteste Croxall. A bit harsh you might say but it is horrible, so mistreated. This could be a cracking nature reserve if is wasn't for one thing, people. As I had the dog I walked up to the hide, birded for all of five minutes (see later) and the back to the car not even waiting for dusk (I spent dusk at home with a bat detector listening and watching up to 6 bats flying around the garden). Birds noted were Tufted Duck, Pochard, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Wren, Teal, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Mallard, Greenshank, Shelduck, Blue Tit, Dunnock and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Again it was very quiet and I suppose a chap walking his three dogs one of which was a small terrier which obviously had little man syndrome and just wouldn't shut up, then there was a foreign family with three noisy kids but the noisiest was the father constantly shouting, oh yes they were enjoying a barbeque (I doubt they took that home). And finally the reason I was in the hide for all of five minutes, a couple appeared out of nowhere, saw lots of little birdies on the water and thought they would go and look, oops theyv'e flown away silly birdies. I was scanning through about 100 Black Headed Gulls when they, plus the waders and ducks present up and went and didint come back. I swore, got my stuff and went home.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

2-8-11, Blacktoft Sands RSPB.

My first day off and I needed to catch up on some birds. My first plan was the Western Bonelli's Warbler but there had been no news of this bird for a couple of days so I decided to head to Blacktoft Sands for another lifer, the Marsh Sandpiper. I arrived just as the reserve opened and my target bird had been spotted from the Xerox Hide. No messing, I headed staight to the hide in search of my quarry. Birds noted were Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Hobby, Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant, Magpie, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Greylag Geese, Mallard, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Moorhen, Teal, Reed Warbler, Whinchat, MARSH SANDPIPER, Spotted Redshank, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Grey Heron and Lapwing. I found the bird quite easily in with the Godwits and the Spotshanks, even a couple of elderly chaps came in the hide and I pointed out the bird which was sleeping but they said it was too big and not the bird until it lifted its head up and the chaps looked a bit sly and slopped off. Around the rest of the reserve I added Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Black Headed Gull, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Knot, Shoveler, Snipe, Wren and Collared Dove. Time for another lifer.


Those of you who keep track of this blog will remeber my day out after three lifers and I missed them all, the next bird being one of them. For some reason a White-tailed Eagle has been present in east Lincolnshire for a few months now. I missed it the first time and so this time I was desperate, in fact I was nearly prepared to spend the rest of the day here, I mean without going to west Scotland when would I get a chance of anothe Sea Eagle? I arrived before mid day and hung out with another birder. It was very hot and the odd bird sung or showed but no sign of the eagle. The other chap was preparing to leave when a huge bird came from nowhere, flew across the fields and landed ina tree. It was miles away but it was huge. We both got good looks of the bird and were 90% sure due to size alone. We could see it in the tree and a Carrion Crow handly sat next to it, the eagle was three times the size, it was massive. Then to cap it off a Buzzard flew past and it too was tiny. The WHITE-TAILED EAGLE was in the bag. Unfortunately the heat haze and the tree leaves were making it almost impossible to see the plumage and markings. Other birds noted were Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Yellowhammer, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Canada Geese and Moorhen. Quality, two out of two. Time for a third.

Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint.

On the way home I could make a slight detour to this raptor watchpoint where Honey Buzzards have been showing quite often. I arrived just after three and one had showed very well an hour earlier. Doh. The chaps already there were very cherpy and helpful and within minutes one of the chaps came running over and put me on a HONEY BUZZARD. It was very high in the sky but when I got the scope onto the bird I could make out the markings and the small head. I kept the scope on it for several minutes when it started its dispaying movements in the shape of wing clapping above the birds body. For the next ten minutes we all watched the bird doing loads more wing claps before it disappeared behind a tree. Brilliant. Three out of three. Other birds noted were Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Swallow, Blue Tit, Black Headed Gull, Pheasant, House Martin and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

A brilliant day, ace to get a full house especially after dipping the last three birds I ventured out for.

2-8-11, Hello.

I am back and I have lots of stuff to catch up on. The last seven weeks has been incredibly busy with fishing and golf matches, festivals and weekend working but I am nearly through this and back to free days. My first free day in all that time was today which I will tell you about later. Now we will catch up on what I have been doing and I will just give you the place name and bird list to keep it simple.

11-6-11, circa Alrewas.

Blackbird, Magpie, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Black Headed Gull, Starling, Wren, Blue Tit, Swift, Chiffchaff, Mute Swan, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Cormorant, Coot, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap, House Martin, Canada Geese, Dunnock, Tufted Duck, Swallow, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Moorhen, Sedge Warbler, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Common Tern, Reed Bunting, Stock Dove, Linnet, Buzzard and Skylark.

17-6-11, Cannock Chase - Whitehouse Car Park.

Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Woodcock, Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Tree Pipit, Mallard, Nightjar, Tawny Owl.

18-6-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Pied Wagtail, Tree Sparrow, Swallow, Chaffinch, Wren, Swift, Skylark, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Oystercatcher, Dunnock, Corn Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Magpie, Jackdaw, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Buzzard, Pheasant, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Lapwing, Linnet, Greenfinch, Cormnorant, Kestrel, Black Headed Gull, Sand Martin and Robin.

3-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Swallow, Wren, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Rook, Dunnock, Swift, Jackdaw, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Mallard, Yellow Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Owl, Chaffinch, Common Whitethroat, Great Tit, Stock Dove, Buzzard, Black Headed Gull, Goldfinch, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant, Robin, kestrel, Grey Partridge, Greylag Geese, Lapwing, Canada Geese, Blackcap and Song Thrush.

10-7-11, Alrewas GP.

Black Headed Gull, Wren, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Mute Swan, Woodpigeon, Reed Warbler, Lapwing, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Robin, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Stock Dove, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Buzzard, Swift, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Canada Geese, Common Whitethroat and Common Tern.

10-7-11, National Arboretum.

Song Thrush, Blackcap, Woodpigeon, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Black Headed Gull, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Cormorant, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Oystercatcher, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Grey Heron, Wren, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

10-7-11, Junction Pit.

Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Black Headed Gull, Moorhen, Mallard, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Wren, Blackbird, Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck.

10-7-11, Croxall Wides.

Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Common Tern, Moorhen, Mallard, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin, Little Ringed Plover.

10-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Swallow, Yellowhammer, Carrion Crow, Linnet, GoldfinchGreenfinch, Grey Partridge, Skylark, Canada Geese, lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Tufted Duck, Sand Martin, Grey Heron, Wren, Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Corn Bunting, Rook, Common Whitethroat, Tree Sparrow, Little Owl, Swift, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Blackcap, Magpie, Yellow Wagtail and Mute Swan.

10-7-11, Home.

3 Ravens over.

12-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

18+ Grey Partridge.

13-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Black Headed Gull, Tree Sparrow, Swallow, Corn Bunting, Swift, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Rook, Sparrowhawk, Cormorant, Yellow Wagtail, Skylark, Common Whitethroat, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Owl, Blackbird, Yellowhammer, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Wren, Great Tit, Grey Partridge, Mallard, Dunnock, Pheasant, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Mute Swan, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Kestrel and Stock Dove.

22-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Swallow, Corn Bunting, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Linnet, Tree Sparrow, Jackdaw, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Common Whitethroat, Wren, Chaffinch, Little Owl, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Rook, Peregrine, Great Tit, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Cormorant, Robin, Pheasant, Magpie, Blackcap, Grey Partridge, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Tufted Duck, Starling, Mallard and Black Headed Gull.

29-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Carrion Crow, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Black Headed Gull, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Sedge Warbler, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Stock Dove, Blackbird, Little Owl, Chaffinch, Common Whitethroat, Great Tit, Rook, Pheasant, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Robin, Red-legged Partridge, Starling, Mallard, Mute Swan, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Lapwing, Tufted Duck and Pochard.

30-7-11, Boddington Reservoir.

Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Mute Swan, Goldfinch, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Woodpigeon, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blackbird, Little Tern, Little Egret, Canada Geese, Buzzard, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Heron and Carrion Crow.

31-7-11, Whitemoor Haye.

Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Corn Bunting, Woodpigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Rook, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Canada Geese, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Blue Tit, Little Owl, Jackdaw, Skylark, Common Whitethroat, Linnet, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Mallard, Grey Partridge, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Redshank, Snipe and Cormorant.

1-8-11, Rufford CP.

Common Crossbill - viewed from the 14th tee at Rufford Park Golf Club. Bonus.

Well thats me up to date. Not much but managed to add a couple of year ticks plus a nice inland Little Tern whilst I was fishing.