Wednesday, 2 April 2014

1-4-14, Coppiceside, Brownhills.

It was another day in South Wales for me so I was pretty knackered heading home but I decided to pop to see the Glossy Ibis once again as I was passing.  This great bird had been present through January, Disappeared shortly after but surprisingly turned up again a few days ago.  When it was present before I failed to get any decent images, this time I managed a few better photos than before.  A cracking bird. Photos to follow you'll be happy to now.


With a nice evening in prospect I loaded up the bike with all my gear and set off for the pits.

Alrewas GP.
No sign of the Long-tailed Duck this evening but 9 Coot, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Mute Swan, 4 Moorhen, 65 Wigeon, 25+ Mallard, 50+ Tufties, 12 Gadwall, 3+ Chiffchaff and 20+ Teal.  Guess who, once again, did not look at the weather forecast!!!!!  At least half an hour hiding in a tunnel from the rain.

Whitemoor Haye.
Hooray, No people messing around on the lake so quite a few wildfowl present there and around the lanes.  21 Coot, 8 Gadwall, 3 Oystercatchers, 69 Tufties, 33 Mallard, 3 Redshank, 10 Wigeon, 2 Egyptian Geese, 40+ Mute SwanChiffchaff, 3 Fieldfare over, 2 Tree Sparrow and 7 Yellowhammer.

31-3-14, Kemerton, Worcesteshire

Today I had a site meeting in South Wales and I had a bit of time to get there.  There had also been two Taiga Bean Geese frequenting a small reserve near Kemerton in Worcesteshire, I just had to go.  I was on site early, walked up to the hide, scanned the lake but nothing obvious then on the way back a few geese I a field.  Bins up, lock on BOOM, Taiga Bean Geese.  I have only had Tundra Bean Geese so I was made up with this.
\that's half of the story though.  Looking at the geese I thought I ponly had one and it was associating itself with a Greylag Geese, even flying off with it.  It was only when a birder said they were both Bean Geese I learnt that the Taiga have variations of the orange colour on the beak and the Tundra types have the dark bill with an orangy pink tip as sometimes do Taigas.  Confused, me too.   


Belvide Res.
Saturday was a non-birding day as I was training for a hilly bike ride I have been suckered in to do:(  With a good forecast I was thinking of the chase to get some specialised heath birds however a very showy Firecrest was present at Belvide on the Saturday so I decided to get there early and hopefully tick that off before popping to the chase. 
You probably know by now the Firecrest did not show again after Saturday, I thought I got a quick call from it early morning but nope, not seen at all.  Rubbish.  I did do a bit of photography in the woodland hide and added a few Brambling to my year list, one target for on the chase, bonus.  Also the Tawny owl was in its owl box and the Long-tailed Duck on the water.  

Rifle Range.
After Belvide I popped up to the rifle range to see what was about.  Not a bad short session with birds such as Green Woodpecker and Siskin showing.

A new site.
With the slow demise of Whitemoor Haye I have been thinking of some new sites to check regularly.  I have decided to tackle Alrewas gravel pit more often as this has great potential but there is a site not far from home which I have always thought could be quite good, possibly only birded by a couple of people I know that do not live too close and has quite some potential with a range of habitats.  Not a bad list of birds was drawn up for the first visit.  Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Lapwing, Tufted Duck, Pochard and Gadwall all noted. 

Whitemoor Haye.

With time getting on and my energy levels rapidly lowering I had a quick look around Whitemoor Haye.  Birds noted 10 Mallard, 5 Coot, 19 Tufties, Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow and Reed Bunting

28-3-14, Middleton Hall RSPB

Having not been here since it became an open RSPB site I decided to head over straight after work but guess who never checked the forecast.  As I arrived I could hear thunder in the distance and many people were heading for the car park as I was heading the other way.  If you have not yet been to this reserve well you have to enjoy walking.  There is a bit of birding on the way with birds such as Lesser Redpolls and regular birds visiting the feeders and then  the chance of anything on the good walk along the woods.  Over the canal and bang, wetland, reeds and muddy areas galore, this has great potential and I was looking forward to a bit of decent birding however that thunder was following me along with some dark clouds.  Eventually In came across a screen over looking scrapes and muddy islands with plenty of bird species.  This is where I spent most of my time keeping as dry as possible and trying not to get hit by some fantastic lightening.  Birdwise nothing special, plenty of wildfowl - Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck plus a handful of waders.  Little Ringed Plover and Jack Snipe had been recently reported but nothing seen, just Redshank, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.  Not a bad site but the only hide is miles away and the screens not very tripod friendly and of course no toilets.  Why do RSPB not like toilets?  Compost toilets are a brilliant green way to provide relief and friendly for the environment.  I doubt I will be bringing my mother, walk all of the way to the pools and then have to pop back for the loo.  Rubbish.
A site I will definitely try again though.