Monday, 26 August 2013

26-8-13, The bank holiday weekend.

Well it's been a bit of a mix of birding over the bank holiday, mostly the usual place, the odd twitch and also catching up on a few year birds.

23-8-13, Whitemoor Haye.
17 Mallard, 1 Greenshank, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Common Sand, 4 Great Crested Grebes inc 2 juvs, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker, juv Coot and a Little Egret.

24-8-13, Broomhead Reservoir.
This was a bit of a gamble as the forecast was pretty rubbish however when I to up at about 05.30 the weather was fine. No pain no gain, I was off. I turned off the M1 around 07.15 and that was when the weather turned for the worse, the very worse, it was biblical rain and the pads were horrendous. After a stop off at the Golden Arches I was on site about 15 minutes later and fortunately the rain had reduced o a strong drizzle. I was on the site or about 4 hours in total in various strengths of rain, plenty of Common Crossbills were seen but no sign of any two- barred crossbills. I was totally drenched and started to get cold so I gave up, this turned out not to be a bad idea as they were not seen until early evening and only very briefly.

Blithfield reservoir.
Black Terns were missing from my year list and a couple were present at a much drier Blithers so that was were I headed to next.
2 Black Terns, several Common Terns, 1 Curlew.

Whitemoor Haye.
3 Common Tern 1 juv, 30+ Mallard, 1 Common Sand, 2 Greenshank, 4+ Yellow Wags.

25-8-13, Whitemoor Haye.
After several beers the night before I opted for a couple of visits to Whitemoor Haye pool to see if anything had dropped in.
Errr, no. Nothing. 5 Great Crested Grebe inc 3 juvs, 18+ Yellow Wags, several Common Whitethroats and Tree Sparrows and that's about it.

A quiet  night in was needed tonight so I thought I would catch up on my year total and all of my records. I was surprised to find out I had so far. Seen 198 birds for the year, I was happy about that and I reckoned I could get another 15 without any twitching.

After yesterday's poor effort I fancied a few sites to catch up on some missing birds as well as local sites.
Croxall GP.
What can I say about this site? It's excellent, er no, we'll worth the visit, er no, don't bother coming er yep. It was pretty much lifeless. As I sat in the hide looking at 6 Tufties and 2 Great Crested Grebes I thought of other things that Croxall could be used for because it is rubbish a a birding destination.
1. A new local tip. Come and tip rubbish for free, no need to separate it out just throw it out of the window in the car park to add to the several bags that have started to congregate.
2. Illegal fishing. Why buy an EA licence and fish on a proper commercial fishery or canal when you can, as other are, and turn up and fish off the banks with no hassle.
3. Dog walking. Don't bother with the chase or parks or quiet lanes come to Croxall and let your dogs run free with all of the others.
4. A dog dump. Whilst doing three your dog can do a two and it can be left there with all of the others  to help fertilise the land.
5. A brothel hide. We can let out the hide where people can go and love (this is already popular looking at the litter in the hide??????
Just a handful of ideas that Croxall can be used for.
Anyway I did see a few Chiffchaffs, 15 Mallard, 6 Tufies, 150+ Lapwing, a few Great Crested Grebes, 4 Shoveler, 20 + Teal, 4 Little Egrets, 1 Kingfisher, 7 Snipe, and 3 Yellow Wags over.

Whitemoor Haye.
30+ Mallard, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 7 Great Crested Grebe including 3 juvs, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Common Tern, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Sand heard, 1 Raven over and a Chiffchaff.

Uttoxeter Quarry.
I have only birded here once when the Lesser Yellowlegs turned up and have driven past on many occasions and wondered where people parked.  Anyway after getting directions to park from Mr Powell I still failed so I parked on the main roadand hiked over the fields.  Again thanks to Richard I found the pool and was soon on a nice juvenile Curlew Sand (bird no 199 for the year) along with a Dunlin.  Also seen were 2 Green Sands, plenty of wildfowl (mostly Mallard and geese however it is nice to see after a barren Whitemoor Haye), and a calling Chiffchaff.

Just down the road from Utch is Blithers and a bird amazingly missing from my year list was a Ruff, slightly embarrasing.  several had been seen at Blithers over the last few weeks so I was almost certain to get my 200th for the year.  Birds noted were Hobby flying over on arrival, 1 female Goldeneye, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff (yippee), 2 Osprey, 2 juvenile Black Terns, 2 Greenshank and a Raven over.

Not a bad bank holiday.  I would have loved to be on the east coast this weekend though, never mind.

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