Friday, 27 January 2012
Monday, 23 January 2012
After a bit of shopping I headed again for a bit of punishment and targeted the gulls at the sailing pool. When I arrived there was a fair few cars around and things were looking promising. Birds noted were Mallard, Canada Geese, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Moorhen, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Gull, Starling, Dunnock, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove and a couple of pairs of Shoveler.
As soon as I arrived on site I joined a few other birders who were on a possible Caspian Gull. As this is a nightmare bird for me I had bought along the gull bible (written by the Swedish or Danish people but cannot remeber as book still in the car) to try and find one. I fetched the book and we pondered over the bird for some time and to us it ticked all of the boxes. Sloping forehead, flat head, cigar looking bill and small dark eye. We couldn't see the legs as the bird was always in the water. The group of us were very happy but then a birder came along who was not sure as it just didn't look right, he thought it was a possible Yellow-legged Gull. I did take some photos but only with a 500mm slr and the bird cannot be seen good enough. After coming back home and looking at the bird on the Chasewater wildlife website I am convinced this is the bird we were watching.
Whitemoor Haye has been short of Pochard recently but it looks like Croxall has them all.
First stop was by the pool and there was actually some life on there but I then noticed some trigger happy shooters walking around the pool blasting anything that flew past them and the worse thing is not picking anything up to be cooked or given away. Im not against shooting and my fridge has its fair share of Pheasant and Mallard breast meat ready for a nice casserole but to shoot and leave it to rot or for the fox, I don't understand it. Anyway they had driven the ducks to the road end of the pool and in the area I noted Starling, Magpie, about 25 Mallard, about 40 Pochard, about 20 Wigeon, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Wren and Woodpigeon. Onto the lanes and I added Pied Wagtail, Tree Sparrow, about 1000 Lapwing, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, 1 Buzzard, 358 Mute Swan, 1 Goosander flying over, 14 Grey Partridge, Dunnock, Blackbird, Stock Dove, Robin, 1 Song Thrush, a single Golden Plover flying over and a few Meadow Pipits.
A new year, a new list and gulls are needed so it was off to the gull Mecca of the West Midlands to try and fill some gaps however my timing was absolutely awful. I arrived just after 11.00 and noted Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Magpie, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Starling, Lesser Blacl-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Cormorant and Jackdaw. I left just before midday and later on when I was at home cutting up more logs news came through of Iceland, Glaucous and Caspian Gull present at 12.00. Arrggggghhhhhhhhhhh
Saturday, 21 January 2012
It turns out now the bird has a ring and was originally from Holland. I rang Twycross Zoo on the Thursday night as I thought the bird could have escaped from there but they have no records of Night Herons at there zoo. I wonder where this one has come from????
Monday, 16 January 2012
Although this is not a proper counting area I have to pass through here for the other sites so I noted down what I saw plus any wildfowl/waders on the river. Birds noted were Bullfinch, Dunnock, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Blue Tit, Robin, Canada Geese, Blackbird, Wren, Cormorant, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Lesser Redpoll, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldeneye, Buzzard, Magpie, Tufted Duck, Coot and Greenfinch.
Once again not a lot to report on here. Grey Heron, Canada Geese, Mallard, Blue Tit, Kingfisher, Blackbird, Wren and Bullfinch were all I could find with Mallard being the most numerous with a single pair. Say no more really.
During the walk around Junction Pit I walked along the river to pass through the arboretum and here I could view the wides a lot easier than spooking everything from the reserve side and I noted Redshank, Canada Geese, Mute Swan and Little Egret. From the arboretum I could see that duck numbers were pretty high on here so walking upto the hide I concentrated on counting the ducks then the other birds on the way back. I added Lesser Redpoll, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Grey Heron, Wren, Gadwall, Moorhen, Goldeneye, Mute Swan, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Snipe, Dunnock, Black Headed Gull, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Robin.
Apart from a quick trip to Barton marina pool that was the count done so I had a steady walk around the usual patch to see what was about. Unortunately the pool was very unproductive, the birds have been well frightened off from the boats. Is this the end of this pool for birding??? A nice find was feeding in the small wood by the quarry entrance but it was back to earth with a bump with some quiet lanes. Birds noted were Grey Partridge, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Robin, Wren, Stock Dove, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Willow Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Black Headed Gull, Buzzard, Mute Swan, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Little Owl, Lapwing, Skylark, Golden Plover, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Wigeon and Bullfinch.
Fradley Junction NR.
After Barton pool to count ducks it was the last visit of the day to the reserve I work on in work and I fancied doing a bit of photography. I have set up a feeding station in the reserve and I regularly get Nuthatch on the bird table and this was my main target but a decent photo of anything would have done. Infortunately rsults were pretty poor but I might put my best ones up. Birds noted whilst there were Mallard, Black Headed Gull, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Blackbird and Chaffinch. Nothing stunning but was nice just sitting watching the birds feed away pretty close.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
13th - Blackbird, 329 Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Robin, Lapwing, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Carrion Crow, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant, Rook, Grey Heron and Fieldfare down the lanes and 7 Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck, a single gobby Wren and a couple of noisy Jackdaw. The pool was ammazingly empty, dunno whats occuring.
14th - Blackbird, 337 Mute Swan, Black Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Tree Sparrow, Lapwing, Fieldfare, Magpie, Starling, Dunnuck, Little Owl, Canada Geese and quite a few Blue Tits around.Onto the pool and I added a single Tufted Duck, Robin, Great Tit, Wren, 2 Mallard, 2 Red-legged Partridge and a few Pheasants.
A quick chat with Eric Clare and I discovered the reason why the quarry pool had been so quiet, there have been boats on there from the outdoor centre, rubbish. Whilst I was wasting my time at the pool I noticed lots of gulls coming from the other pool at Whitemoor Haye. These gulls are treating Whitemoor Haye as a pre roost and as we were losing light they took off heading for either Foremark or Blithfield but I was amazed by the numbers. I guess at least 600 to 700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and at least 1000 Black Headed Gulls. There was a conszytant drip feed of larger gulls for about ten minutes before the smaller gulls got up on mass. Impressive.
Whilst working today at Fradley I managed to see a Treecreeper whilst topping up my feeders. Bonus.
Thursday, 12 January 2012
I had to visit the sailing club at Blithfield on work business, that and missing the Black Redstart on Christmas Day, I decided to make the trip worth while.......hopefully. Having sorted out what was needed to be sorted out it was hunting a small blackish bird, I headed towards the usual bay but having read other blogs and also the fact that somebody was having a mooch around the newly dug drains and looking gloomy, I concentrated on the shoreline and within minutes I saw a small bird fly from the shoreline into a small tree but by the time I trained my scope on the bird it had disappeared. I was soon joined by the other chap and after a while around where I saw said tiny bird with no luck we walked adjacent to the shore up to the dam but nothing so returned. A bit further on was a taller tree and after having a look the Black Redstart soon showed itself. Cracking. I must add the conditions were immensely windy so birding on the water was minimal. Other birds noted were Mute Swan, Cormorant, Wigeon, Lapwing, Greylag Geese, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Coot, Mallard, Fieldfare, Carrion Crow and Wren.
After going home for a bite to eat and look at any FA cup footry, I decided to head to a private gravel pit. Of interest there were plenty of usual wilfowl (Mallard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Gadwall) plus a good numbers of Goldeneye, Shoveler and Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Pintail which was a nice bonus. A half decent gull roost was gathering as dusk was approaching and I was interested as to whether theis was a proper roost or just a pre-roost but unfortunately three gun toting people were walking the shoreline and the gulls didn't hang about, and after a few shots neither did I.
Dusk was upon me by the time I arrived here but I fancied hanging around looking for any owls that I coulkd add to the year list. Soon enough the Little Owl wasout on the edge of the tree before flying off but no sign of any other owls. I went home.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Other birds noted were Great Tit, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon and Redwing. With the cold slowly winning we werte about to head off when a chap mentioned he had seen a few Bramblings in a flock of about 100 Chaffinches. I decided to get a bit colder and go and look for them and a quick walk up thje road and the flock showed itself with at least 3 male and 2 female Bramblings. Superb.
I decided to head off for a heathland specialist so it was off to a very busy car park before a decent walk to the spot. Ubfortunately the bird in question did not give itself up today but other birds noted were Blue Tit, Wren, Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Redwing, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch. Deep Joy!!!
As it was work the next day I decided to go home and rest.
Heading off to my first site and I added Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Magpie, Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellohammer, Fieldfare, Cormorant and Song Thrush.
Onto the first main site of the day and I had a slow walk to the far side of the lake. Birds noted on the way were Woodpigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wren, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Blue Tit, Lapwing, Blackbird, Great Tit, Robin, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Black Headed Gull, Redwing, Carrion Crow, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot, Canada Geese, Pochard, Pheasant, Wigeon, Stock Dove, Little Egret, Goosander, Teal and a Sparrowhawk. Not too much wildfowl on the water, dont know if the fireworks had scared them off.
A bit of hunting and I have found a way from the pits to the back of the Junction Pit then I have the choice of entering the arboretum or walking around to the other side of the pit hopefully adding more birds. Birds noted were Pheasant, Wren, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Grey Heron. Still rubbish.
Naturally it is on through the arboretum as Junction Pit lies within its boundaries and birds noted here were Cormorant, Long-tailed Tit, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Wren, Grey Heron, Redwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant, Canada Gees, Black Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Goosander, Tufted Duck, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Coot, Blackbird, Lapwing, Magpie, Little Egret, Fieldfare and a Little Grebe on the river.
Onto good old Whitemoor Haye, hopefully the first of many visits this year and I started off around the lake. Birds noted were Dunnock, Robin, Fieldfare, Carrion Crow, 2 Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Lapwing, Redshank, Starling, Mallard, Black Headed Gull, Goldeneye, Wigeon and Lesser Black-backed Gull. On to the lanes and I added Magpie, Redwing, Wren, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Pheasant, 5 Corn Buntings including 3 calling males, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Goosander and Chaffinch. Rather quiet around the patch but it was quite breezy and very chilly so I suppose the birds were taking shelter.
With Whitemoor not giving up much I decided to have a drive around the lanes hoping to pick up the odd year tick. I only managed Stock Dove, Carrion Crow and Kestrel, the latter one going towards the year list.
With Catton not being too fruitful I headed off to Croxall but as I got to the car park i noticed there was no room to park. Was there a mega in town?? Nope just loads of dog walkers!!!!!!!
I headed home, picked up my computer from my girlfriends house and saw a Coal Tit on her feeder in the back garden. Bonus. Then I went home.
Monday, 2 January 2012
27-12-11, Whitemoor Haye - Magpie, Fieldfare, Carrion Crow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Robin, Wren, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, 10 Tufted Duck, 44 Pochard, 9 Mallard, 336 Mute Swan, 23 Wigeon, Cormorant, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Pheasant, Redwing, Starling, Tree Sparrow, Black Headed Gull, Reed Bunting and Chaffinch.
28-12-11, Whitemoor Haye - Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Greylag Geese, Starling, Black Headed Gull, 31 Mallard, 18 Pochard, Canada Geese, 43 Wigeon, 3 Goldeneye, Grey Heron, 12 Tufted Duck, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Robin, Goldfinch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Woodpigeon, Wren, 328 Mute Swan, Lesser Black-backed Gull, 14 Grey Partridge, Dunnock, Tree Sparrow, Magpie, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Bullfinch, Skylark, Cormorant and Pied Wagtail.
29-12-11, Whitemoor Haye - Carrion Crow, Redwing, Wren, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Mallard, Lapwing, Starling, Black Headed Gull, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Golden Plover, 3 Goldeneye, 5 Pochard, 23 Wigeon, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Robin, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Great Tit, 318 Mute Swan, Dunnock, Magpie, Yelloiwhammer, Pied Wagtail.
29-12-11, Croxall GP - Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Redwing, Coot, Teal, Kestrel, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Black Headed Gull, Canada Geese, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Wren, Robin, Kingfisher, Goldeneye, Shoveler, Rook, Little Egret, Great Tit and Moorhen.
30-12-11, Whitemoor Haye - Magpie, Tufted Duck, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Mallard, Wigeon, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Teal, Canada Geese, Goldeneye, Wren, Redwing, Pheasant, Tree Sparrow, Grey Heron, Song Thrush, Lapwing, 330 Mute Swan, Great Black-backed Gull, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Buzzard, Starling, Linnet and Pied Wagtail.
31-12-11, Branston GP - Lapwing, Great Tit, Robin, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Black Headed Gull, House Sparrow, Starling, Teal, Pheasant, Wigeon, Gadwall, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mute Swan, 13 Curlew, 1 Peregrine, Stock Dove, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Redwing, Golden Plover, 8 Siskin, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, Bullfinch, Moorhen, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Jackdaw, Goldcrest, Dunnock and Magpie.
31-12-11, Whitemoor Haye - 52 Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, Fieldfare, Blue Tit, Wren, Buzzard, Woodpigeon, Lapwing, Robin, 1 Pochard, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mallard, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, 3 Goldeneye, Blackbird, Starling, 1 Shoveler, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Great Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, 304 Mute Swan, Fieldfare, Magpie, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Pied Wagtail, Canada Geese and Redwing.
That wraps up the birding for 2011 and as it turns out my best year ever with 223 species seen yet I had a pretty crap summer to be honest. One aim I did have was to cover Whitemoor Haye 100 times, I actually managed 103 so happy with that. 2012 I would love to do more. If I was at school I think it will be a C- for this year, bags of room for improvement but not bad.