Monday, 16 November 2015

Monday 16th November

A Hen Harrier was seen locally on a couple of occasions last week close to Coleshill Quarry I made a couple of visits but only saw Barn Owl and a Stonechat.

Today I spent the morning at the Reservoir adding Goldeneye to my year total which now stands at 110. That is probably the poorest I have accumulated in recent years despite a lot more visits!

There were a good number of birds around today which was in part due to the wind dropping no doubt. There were a few Redpoll which were the first of the winter, also seen were 20+ Siskin and a lot of winter thrushes. There was a fly over Raven as well.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wednesday 11th November

Again I have been birding most mornings, Monday saw me at Draycote Water where I walked the whole way around, it was rather poor until the last mile or so – I will walk the other way round next time. The wind was howling but it was quite mild for the time of year. Highlights included Scaup, 4 Red-crested Pochard, Pintail and @6 Tree Sparrows.

Tuesday saw me spending the morning at the Reservoir, the wind wasn’t quite as strong but most of the passerines were keeping their heads down. I saw over 50 Fieldfare and a lesser number of Redwing but the numbers of wildfowl were low apart, or course for Coot there were over 500 of those. The highlight was a Common Sandpiper normally unusual for this time of year, but with one wintering last winter, maybe we are due a repeat experience.

Wednesday I spent at Middleton Lakes RSPB and whilst I quiet enjoyed myself (I always do) there was little in the way of Avian interest.

In the afternoons I have been walking my sons dog as he and his partner are very busy. I have been taking him along the trail on the River Cole in Shard End. I have to say the footpath heading towards Babs Mill looks fantastic and whilst I haven’t seen that much it has potential, a calling Tawny Owl is my best so far.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Tuesday 3rd November

I spent the end of the week and the weekend in Norfolk where I finally beat my record year total for the UK. I added Water Pipit, Red-necked Grebe, Firecrest, Spotted REDSHANK, Velvet Scoter and Bewick Swan to my year list.

In Norfolk we only spread our wings as far as Titchwell and Holkham and as usual we did a fair bit of walking other good birds seen were Rough-legged Buzzard and Black Redstart.

I haven’t been to the Reservoir much in recent weeks but when I have it has been rather poor. I dragged myself over yesterday and the most eventful thing that happened was that I was set upon by a dog! The couple had been walking behind me for a while and I could hear them shouting at a dog most of the way, I was rather miffed as it had been a pleasant quiet day to that point. Then I heard a louder shout then this bloody mutt tried to take a chunk out of my leg. It was snarling and showing is teeth and trying to get at me. The couple said hysterially “He doesn’t normally do that!” I retorted with “well if he was on a lead it wouldn’t be a problem” It would appear that remarked upset them a little, as there was a lot of puffing out of shoulders and aggressive mumbling as they went past, the dog then went off to harass someone else who had there dog on a lead – some people!

Bird wise there was a good scattering of wildfowl with around 15 Pochard, 8 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall and single Wigeon and Teal.

I’m sitting here and the fogs lifted so I’m off out – the hounds are hungry.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday 20th October

Spent the morning at the Reservoir and the water levels have dropped a bit during the last week. There was a dearth of wildfowl on the main pool apart from Coot, Little and Great Crested Grebe. However, there was a Common Sandpiper and a single Swallow plus two Raven flew overhead.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Monday 19th October

Spend the morning at Middleton Lakes RSPB saw 63 species the highlights included 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Green Sandpiper, Ruff, 12 Golden Plover but that was about it.

Shustoke hasn’t turned up much in the last week although I did have my first Pochard of the winter last week.

Going to give it a go tomorrow but it doesn’t look promising.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Friday 9th October

Joy and I spent a pleasant morning at Middleton Lakes RSPB, the weather was gorgeous way too good for any decent birds. In short the best bird was a presumed feral Blue phase Snow Goose, I’m pretty sure this bird has been knocking around the Midlands recently.

Other birds were a single Dunlin and four Stonechat. Wildfowl numbers are starting to build up but I think the vegetation needs to die back a bit.

We decided to go back over the Middleton Lakes this evening and we witnessed a bit of weird behaviour. Three lads probably late teens early twenties (all had full beards) were on the lower path at the Southern Meadows, they were rather loud but out of sight behind the trees. As we walked further up and looked back they were actually in the field with the horses.

To cut a short story shorter they were trying to – well to be honest I don’t know what they were trying to do. They appeared to be trying to catch a horse, they were chasing them around the field with lots of arm waving with one of them armed with a tennis racket! They may have been the same three I saw earlier in the year using Fishers Mill Lake as a Coconut Shy, lobbing rocks at the Swans!

Needless to say they didn’t catch any horses, they were obviously the wrong colour Indians!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Wednesday 7th October

Firstly, I set up my winter feeding station yesterday and within 5 minutes I had two Nuthatch stealing all the nuts! I didn’t see 1 last year, strange! But better was to follow, a Little Egret flew over the house at about 5.30pm only the second I have seen the other was a few years back and was closer to Ladywalk than my place.

I am lazily trying to beat my rather modest years best total of 240, after Shetland I am three species short, so with a potential new species for the year at Middleton Lakes RSPB in the form of a Great White Egret I headed out after dropping Joy off at work. There was a Siskin on the feeders there and I played it cool checking out the southern meadows first where I saw 5 Little Egret together, there was also Chiffchaff and three Swallow. I arrived at Jubilee Wetland at the same time as a work party, so I moved on – as did most of the birds. There was no sign of any GWE and the north pit didn’t look promising as it is rather overgrown, great for birds but not for bird watching.

I had a pleasant morning and on my way back there was a Spotted Flycatcher near the first bench which was showing really well.

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

I did a few hours gardening later finding out that Bittern and the Great White Egret had both been seen so I decided to go back before dark to have another look. Joy decided to come with me and we made our way out towards Jubilee Wetland. There was no sign of the GWE but a Ruff flew in and landed in front of us. We checked out the other side of the river – Dosthill Pits, I was surprised just how much this area has changed, and not for the better.

With no sign of the bird here so we checked out North Pit, I had just about given up when the Great White Egret flew over the hide and dropped down onto one of the small pools behind the bund. As we made our way around the bird took flight and headed south towards Kingsbury Water Park.