Saturday, 13 August 2016

Thursday 11th August

Joy and I took a walk around the Reservoir in the evening and a juvenile LRP was on the western shore, whilst we were watching it a Wheatear flew in and joined it. Then to round off a magical few minutes a Hobby flew through. After months of nothing a few good birds all at once.

We continued round until when scanning through the Lapwing I picked up four smaller waders, two were definite Common Sandpiper but it was too far away to be sure of the other two. I made my way along the south shore the waist high grass but unfortunately the Lapwing flock went up and all I could find were three Common Sandpiper. Although it was too far away to be sure the one bird looked good for Green Sandpiper but that is just an educated guess.

I went over early Friday morning, this time armed with a scope but apart from an adult LRP and three Common Sandpiper I saw little else.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Wednesday 10th August

On Tuesday, I cycled into Birmingham along the canals in search of Black Redstarts,  checking out all the sites we found held the species when the WMBC carried out the Black Redstart survey over 25 years ago. All bar one have now been developed, unfortunately it is the wrong time of year for singing birds but in four trips I have not come across the species. I did however, see a cracking Lesser Whitethroat in the Aston area about a mile from the city centre. I cycled through Birmingham to Edgbaston Reservoir where there were a couple of areas that looked promising, but again I saw none.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I went over the Reservoir and picked up a Great Black-backed Gull coming into 2nd Winter plumage. I carried on around and it was obvious that there were a lot more birds around with Warblers feeding with the tit flocks. In the north-west corner in the bushes by the river there was a Lesser Whitethroat my first for the site this year, as was the GBBG.

There were also c.400 hirundines with around a dozen Swift high over the fields to the south. Again the area between the two pools held a few warblers as well. Severn Trent have had to put up a high fence to stop people messing with the controls on the weir! It looks awful and a potential death sentence for Kingfisher using the river, it must be eight foot high.

I checked out the small pool on the other side of the Railway where there were a couple of Raven but not much else. Then on my way back I saw a Hobby making its way to the Reservoir for lunch!

In the evening Joy and I went to Middleton RSPB where there was still a single Wood Sandpiper, we also saw Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, Ringer Plover and 4 Little Ringed Plover.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Early August

The Reservoir has been quiet yet again with just a couple of Common Sandpiper to hold any interest. A Kingfisher was observed carrying food, so it would be reasonable to assume they have bred on-site, there have been a scattering of common Warblers but it has been really quiet. Today saw two Common Terns fly through but they didn’t linger.

Tuesday I visited Middleton RSPB where there was Garganey, Dunlin and two Willow Tit which were seen near the Canal Scrape but I later saw them over the border in Warwickshire at Fishers Mill Pool.

Wednesday saw me at Ladywalk where a Green Sandpiper and Dunlin were the highlights as well as a ride to Riverwalk hide in the Wardens four-wheel drive!

Friday saw Joy and I travel to Minsmere on the Suffolk coast where we had an interesting day which included seeing the Western Purple Swamp Hen a potential first for the UK. Perhaps more interestingly we saw Honey Buzzard, Spotted Redshank, Stone Curlew along with a host of waders. Also I bumped into Lee Johnson who used to run this blog, he has recently become a father – that will be a reality check if there ever was one. Good luck with the twitching in the future Lee – oh and all the best!

Purple Swamp Hen, Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk

video

Whilst we were making our way to the Purple Swamp Monster we observed a dragonfly lying on the ground with its wings flapping, we couldn’t make out what was wrong, that was until we saw it had caught a Wasp! The Wasp was in the Dragonflies jaws but the Wasp had managed to deploy its sting and both were locked in a macabre embrace.

There were a lot of Butterflies at Minsmere and I saw my first Grayling. At Shustoke today I had eight species with a Brimstone a little unexpected.