Friday, 10 April 2015

Friday 10th April

Again not much around but I heard Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch are nesting. There were good numbers of Chiffchaff singing with nine birds heard. There were also a pair of Oystercatcher on the south shore but it was really quiet in both senses of the word with very little singing.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Thursday 9th April

It has been really quiet of late, that coupled with the fact that I have been rather busy. I have been over the Reservoir a few times but there has been very little. I have seen the occasional Sand Martin but I haven’t seen Swallow there yet. My first was a bird that flew over my Conservatory about a week ago.

I have been to Middleton Lakes a couple of times meeting an old friend for the first time in years. I first met him when myself and a friend met him in the Sandwell Valley (before it was called that) and we found a remote controlled plane in the top of a Silver Birch, that must have been back in about 1970!!! Anyway Steve what happened to that plane?

Bird wise there were a couple of Avocet on Monday. I spent the morning at Middleton again today and the day got off to a good start with five Swallow over the car park and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming. It was generally quiet on the Reserve but at the North Pit hide a distant Curlew on closer inspection turned out to be a Whimbrel. I never learn I am going to have to start taking my scope with me. On the way back I saw my first Blackcap of the year.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Saturday 21st March

I took a good walk around today. The Reservoir was quite quiet apart one couple and their three dogs who never stopped barking the whole time they were there, I was glad to get to the quieter area to give my ears a rest. There wasn’t too much on the main reservoir but last night in a brief visit there had been two Shoveler and five Teal both first for the year for me at the Reservoir.

There were obviously good numbers of Chiffchaff as I counted at least 12 in the sheltered areas out of the cold north wind. I did see two Sand Martin but they went straight through.

In the Sheep Paddock there were two Tree Sparrow and around a dozen Yellowhammer and four Reed Bunting. Although, last night there were at least 20 Yellowhammer and I saw three Linnet.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Thursday 19th March

At a loose end for a couple of hours the Captain and I decided to pay a albeit brief visit to Ladywalk. It proved to be an inspired choice of venue. From the main hide the Curlew was still present with good numbers of Goosander and a Water Rail.

We made our way towards Hide B where we saw a Willow Tit as we were watching that a Woodcock flew overhead! We then searched the area where I had seen a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker earlier in the week. Before long the bird started drumming and I picked it up as it drummed on a small stump. The guy we were with (apologies for not introducing myself) put his scope on it and offered us a sighter. The he started to film the bird, cheekily I asked if I could drop my phone on it for a record shot of sorts. He agreed (see results).

All in all a very good hours birding.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (male)


I cannot remember ever seeing three different Lesser Spots on consecutive days!


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wednesday 18 March

I though with the sun up and the temperatures on the rise I would take a break from painting a 15 bloody, glass panelled door, which after two coats looks worse than it did when I started, I did tell her, but she wouldn’t listen!

Anyway, there was a report of Lesser Spot at the reservoir yesterday, and feeling lucky after seeing said species yesterday at Ladwalk I took my time. There was a good variety of birds with pairs of Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest and Nuthatch all looking like they might grace the reservoir with breeding attempts.

Around the back of the small pool I dallied and amazingly a female Lesser Spot gave itself up and I got good views before it disappeared deeper into the small copse. I have had high hopes for what I call the “Sheep Paddock” which lies north-east of the reservoir on the other side of the river. At first glance it seemed quiet. As I made my way up the field I picked up a Wheatear in the top of the hedge off too my left, it quickly dropped from view but I was well chuffed. Then at the top of the field off to the right was another Wheatear atop a fence post, I was surprised to say the least when a male Stonechat landed next to it.

As I was walking I started to make my way home seeing Skylark then a pair of Raven. So all in all a good day.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Tuesday 17 March

Exactly five months since I joined the ranks of the unemployed/retired and it has flown by. Yesterday (Monday) I arrived early at Middleton Lakes RSPB. It was good but bloody cold, we might not have had much of a winter but the shorts are staying pack away at the moment.

Bird wise it was good with a smattering of waders, not major but not to be sniffed at. A distant Godwit I found on Jubilee Wetland turned out to be a Black-tailed when someone dropped a scope on it. It was feeding in deep water so the leg length wasn’t obvious. There was also Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatcher and 4 Redshank.

Today I had to drop the car at the garage and so I walked along the river and spent the day at Ladywalk. There were good numbers of Chiffchaff singing with at least ten birds, but they may well have been the birds that have been there all winter.

On the Reserve there was a Curlew, Redshank and two Oystercatcher. I also saw a Willow Tit outside B hide and I then made my way to Riverwalk hide where I met Bob Duckhouse. Another gentleman in the hide said he could hear Lesser Spot drumming. I found out that Bob and I have something in common – we are both deaf! I already knew that I was! I could vaguely make out something distantly so after spending a further five minutes discussing what car or cars to get in Shetland we both decided that we had better check out this drumming! As we made our way around, it started again this time two things 1. We were closer, I could hear it; and 2. It was Lesser Spotted Woodpecker as species I hadn’t seen so far this year.

Another 100 yards and the drumming was really close it could only be coming from a couple of trees then I picked up a female as it flew from one perch to another. The drumming continued but I just could not connect with the male, but with time pressing I had to move on, but left satisfied.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Sunday 15th March

A couple of walks around the Reservoir today, there were still five Sand Martin and a couple of Chiffchaff. The Wigeon flock this winter has peaked at one! It is still there. Most of the Pochard have started to disperse but the dozen or so Gadwall that have been present most of the winter are still there.