Sunday, 24 November 2013

Up to 24-11-13.

Birding these last few weekends has been a bit hit and miss and to add to injury I am only birding with my bins as whilst on holiday at Spurn the wind blew my scope over and it bent my eyepiece so that has gone in for repair, estimations are a four week turn round.  Ouch .  The weekend of 16th and 17th November was took up with work however I did finish decent on the Sunday and got down to WH for the last hour.  Birds of note were 5 Coot, 19 Tufties, 5 Pochard, 21 Wigeon, 1 Little owl and c220 Lapwing.   One count that was not good was 3 Mute Swan.  WH is an historic wintering area for swans, last year at this time we were in the 50's and the year before we were around the 100 mark.  Where are they?  Also where are the Goldeneye?  None yet!!!
With working the weekend I was given Monday and Tuesday off so I got out an about. 
circa Alrewas - biking up the A38 to the first pit I noted 400+ Lapwing and 66 Golden Plover in the field north of Alrewas.
Alrewas GP - 44 Lapwing, 72 Wigeon, 62 Tufties, 38 Coot, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Mallard, 3 Teal, 3 Pochard, 3 Snipe, 18 Fieldfare, 8+ Chiffchaff  and 35 Golden Plover.
Croxall Wides - 27 Mallard, 8 Teal, 1 Redshank and 1 Little Egret.
Junction Pit - 12 Mallard, several Redwing.
Whitemoor Haye - 1 Goldeneye (if you ask them, they will come!!!!), 26 Wigeon, 21 Tufties, 4 Pochard, 621 Lapwing, 436 Golden Plover.
Croxall GP - 42 Mallard, 243 Teal, 1 Little Egret, 10 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Wigeon, 92 Tufties, 5 Grey Heron, 4 Shoveler, 4 Goosander, 3 Snipe, 19 Mute Swan, 2 Coot, 6 Bullfinch.
Whitemoor Haye - 5 Tufties, 4 Pochard, 29 Wigeon, 2 Grey Partridge, c600 Lapwing, c 90 Golden Plover.
circa Alrewas - 4 Red-legged Partridge, 200+ Lapwing.
Alrewas GP - 4 Grey Heron, 55 Tufties, 14 Great Crested Grebe, 24 Mallard, 1 Gadwall, 68 Teal, 9 Wigeon, 30+ Redwing, 20+ Fieldfare, 1 Sparrowhawk.
National Arboretum - several Fieldfare and Redwing, 40+ Linnet, 19 Mallard, 3 Little Grebe, 2+ Goldcrest, 3+ Jay.
Croxall Wides - 64 Teal.
Whitemoor Haye - 18 Tufties, 25 Wigeon, 1 Green 'pecker, 40+ Tree Sparrow, c550 Lapwing, c200 Golden Plover, c250 Linnet.
Today I had organised a trip out on the bikes with a work colleague.  we had planned to do about 20 miles but after 6 we were in a cafĂ© feeling knackered.  After a short cup of tea we got back on the bikes and enjoyed a good ride covering just over 15 miles in the hour.  Once home I got showered, changed and got down to WH.
Whitemoor Haye - 8 Mallard, 2 drake Goldeneye, 36 Tufties, 9 Pochard, 23 Coot, 53 Wigeon, 13 Cormorant, 436 Lapwing, 2 only Golden Plover, 250+ Linnet, 160+ Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing.
Okay so finally the Goldeneye have started to drip in, I was informed that there were good numbers on a private pit not far away but no numbers of swans yet bar 17 that are feeding around Croxall.  The next three weekends I am working one day so that only on day so birding will be limited again however I do have a solid two weeks off for Christmas, I was planning a New Year visit to Norfolk however there have been a couple of issues with my house in Wales that could be costly before I try to sell it so I will be staying at home but I will definitely get there in the Spring.  

Sunday, 10 November 2013


After a good evening of fireworks and lots of beer I decided to take the bike out and check out the local pits.
Circa Alrewas.
Before I reached the first destination as I biked up the A38 in the fields north of Alrewas I photographed four Red-legged Partridge.
Alrewas GP.
29 Coot, 3 Mute Swan, 48 Tufted Duck, 2 Moorhen, several Redwing, 1 Grey Wagtail, 12 Teal, 10 Great Crested Grebe, 48 Wigeon, 2 Grey Heron, 3 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, and 3 Little Grebe.
National Arboretum.
Not a lot really, a few Fieldfare and Skylark,  5 Mallard on the river and a couple of Goldcrests.
Junction Pit.
3 Lapwing, 1 Kigfisher, 5 Mallard and 21 Teal.
Whitemoor Haye.
14 Mipits were on the grass outside the outdoor centre, 14 Tufted Duck, 16 Coot, 452 Lapwing, 1 Mute Swan, 3 Tree Sparrow, 55 Golden Plover, several Skylarks and 11 Mallard.


With a few things to do today including working and setting up fireworks for this evenings village display I was at Whitemoor Haye around 07.30 for a couple of hours.  Birds noted were 4 Tufted Duck, 64 Mallard (34 of them flew from a small hidden pool), 10 Coot, 13 Wigeon, 1 only Mute Swan (four years ago I was counting 130 plus daily!!!!), 1 Redshank, 86 Lapwing, 2 Fieldfare, 60+ Tree Sparrow, 30+ Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 male Merlin, 2 Buzzard, 210+ Golden Plover and a large flock of Chaffinch and Greenfinch.  A great visit with birds being very active.  Near the pig farm I watched a large flock of Greenfinch and Chaffinch, in the region of 300 birds.  I was hoping for a Brambling or two but none were found. 


With a full days work on the Saturday it left me just Sunday morning for a bit of birding. A Dusky warbler had been present at Marsh lane NR and was still present on the Saturday so as it was only a 40 minute drive I was off.  I had only been to here once before, when Stone Curlew was found and it was a lifer for me then, and I was surprised where it was as it is on the road I use to go to Hatton where we have offices and where I will be working from in my new job quite a bit, I will definitely be sorting out a permit for more visits in the longer days.
Back to today and I joined about six other birders looking for the bird and within one minute the bird was calling.  I had not done my homework and didn't have a clue of the call but a birder soon put me right and the bird was being quite vocal with lots of tick sounds.  The first hour was quite good, weather wise, with very little wind and as well as being vocal the bird was mobile but, at times, showy, enough for an ID but not a photo but who cares about that.  Dusky Warbler goes into my little book and Marsh Lane is a site I will hopefully be visiting a little more often.
Whitemoor Haye.
After the fun of a twitch I got back down to the nitty gritty and spent a couple of hours checking out the local patch.
Birds noted were 8 Mute Swan, 11 Wigeon, 31 Tufted Duck, 24 Coot, 211 Golden Plover. 679 Lapwing, 27 Stock Dove, 2 Sparrowhawks and several Tree Sparrows.