Tuesday, 26 January 2010

patch!!!!!

24/1/10
i was keen on getting onto the patch today, with a new scope and on a high after the previous night's suprise..........
a kingfisher was on the aptly named kingfisher pool again( female this time, not as confiding), the stunning colours showed well in the scope.
then over to the northernmost field of lickhill, a pair of kestrel regularly hunt this field so i was hopeing to get them perched in their favorite tree, even from the other side of the field i picked out the male kestrel, and i slowly got closer, but a pair of mute swans were grazing the riverside fields, (juvs flying in pic)



i edged past them and eventually got close to the kestrel, i could see the yellow eye ring(something that usally i couldent see with my old scope), after some time watching the ketrel i went upriver
a pair of buzzards were showing well on posts but i didnt take many photos.



but the highlight was this:
where the female goosander was last week, the water had subsided but i quickly noticed a small, fluff ball with the moorhens on the river bank,
LITTLE GREBE
bloody hell, path first MEGA, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
i waited for the grebe to resurface and got a film of it with a fish(not totally in focus but still getting to grips with the scope)
(sorry once again blogger not letting me upload video)
BUT, that wasent all, after about 5 mins the bird floated out into the river and was joined by ANOTHER LITTLE GREBE. this bird (adult winter) came from under a load of overhanging willows, both birds joined up and swam under the willows and wernt seen again,
at the north end of the small lake a REED BUNTING was found, but no sign of the flock(remember this is still only the 3rd record)
back at moorhall a pair of green woodpeckers were showing well..

in the garden a female lesser redpoll was on the feeders for c5 mins before dissapearing, also siskin(m) and 15c goldfinch

video
but at dusk i decided to got for an owl watch and where better to go than the vismig point overlooking goose field, but it wasent the owl's, for the first time ever, i witnessed a duck roost at moorhall marsh, i can see the trees in the marsh from the site, and witnessed 326 mallard fly into roost and this also included 3 TEAL. this is a phenominon, i have never witnessed here so would be taking a huge intrest in it in the next few weeks........
a tawney owl was heard
MB
( videos uploading again now)

Monday, 25 January 2010

1ST TEST RUN

23/1/10
so now it was over to upton warren.
saw a flock of curlew in the A38 field on the way in so had a look at them, there was a flock of 18, every mark visible through the new scope.
had a quick check in the north moors, absolutly nothing, 3 reeds bunting perched on reed heads.

then down to the east hide, mat upton regular john belsey in the hide and we chatted, the usual species were presant, teal, pochard shoveler etc, but now they were in a whole new league, the images were so much better, brighter and sharper than my old scope, even while scanning the reeds at the northern end, it was sharp, the pochards were clearly defined and scopeing a drake teal was a dream, the fine vercumilation's standing out, a roosting flock of 8 snipe stood together in one scopeview showing their subtle beauty,
sure having a scope that can identify birds is one thing but to have a decent scope just increases the enjoyment you get from the pastime.
a female shelduck spent ages asleap on an island, but only awoke once and despite spending a lot of time scopeing her, she decided to wing-flap the only time i looked away,

after a bit we were left alone, and didnt see any more species than already mentioned, we packed away at 4:30, we walked up the path, a flock of redwing and a singe fieldfare fluttered along the bush, suddenly we noticed a raptor coming in from the north, GOSHAWK. a male goshawk flew quite low over the trees showing most of its jizz features, but the bird was slightly silouetted, the barred underwings could be seen though, it got lower and lower untill it seemed to drop into the education reserve. we quickly got the news out and then saw another birder, just up the causeway,
'did you see it'
'see what'
'the goshawk'
's**t' (variation of this last word quoted on birdfourum)
we quickly explained the bird had dropped into the ed reserve, and that he only missed it by 30 sec's'. he explained to us that he had been watching the bittern from the gap in the hedge to the west hide and then started coming over here, so we missed the bittern while packing up but got the goshawk. we got to the car park where we saw a pair of birders coming up from the west hide, we asked wheter they saw the goshawk but they too missed it, we told the story, with a lot of mentioning of the word 'unbelievable'. what a fitting end to a great day
MB

NEW SCOPE


and here it is!
picked it up from sherwoods optics near morton baggot, warks, the shop has an array of bird feeders and the range of birds on them was huge, tested out my scope on the feeders after i set it up, first bird i scoped with it was a marsh tit, then i moved onto one of the 2 great spotted woodpeckers. then onto the highight of the session, a WILLOW TIT, it was also heard calling backing up the identity.
species noted were:
WILLOW TIT 1
MARSH TIT 2
G S woodpecker 2
phesant 1 (f)
coal tit 3
chaffinch 30c
nuthatch 1
jay 1
not a bad haul for 10 mins of watching the feeders........
although just up the road was 2 little egrets and a green sandpiper, which we didnt know about untill later that evening, bummer
MB

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

goose-tastic

17/01/09

lickhill

nothing much to talk about really but lickhill is startingt o flood again with the snow melt. some of the river had spilt over its banks and has now created a current free flood and on this flood was a GOOSANDER, a female goosander...


video


a further 3 were noted at blacklstone(2 drake) but they were quite far upriver, and with the paths being very treturus i didnt want to risk falling over with my scope, so i got my dad to pick me up from blackstone car park, the first time this ha ever happened...........


MB

Sunday, 17 January 2010

SHOCK!!!!!!

16/01/09
or the first time in age's i acted upon 'preasant last few days' news, but if i did get the bird in question then it would be an area MEGA.
at bewdley in the AM had 5 goosander fly over all heading south.

then i popped into kidderminster to see if the collins bird guide was in stock but they didnt have it

SO, now to

HURCOTT POOL

this pool is a treasure trove, the habitats are diverse and looks amazing
for about 15 mins i scanned from the car park, but there was nothing on the almost frozen lake or in the reed's.

a rambler(with big birding interest) said that the best viewpoint was further up, so we follow him to the point, a good view of the surrounding reedbeds produced nothing, my dad had a brief wonder off to look around while i stopped and scanned.....

a further 5 mins passed and my dad reappeared, and stood about 50m down the path from me talking to the ramber, then i saw it BITTERN........., it flew for about a metre then dropped onto a patch of flattened reeds showing quite well as you could see its whole body. my dad and the rambler quickly appeared and i pointed out the bird, now slowly working its way left behind a tree. i quickly ran off to a closer viewpoint and scanned where the bird had come down, bugger, its gone back in........

about a minuite passed then i noticed the smallist movement right in front of me about 15 metres away. OH MY GOD

i immidiatly grabbd my camera and rested my bins on the fence, this is what i saw:



video


there stood the BITTERN, in full view just 15 metres away, the only thing i regret was not bringing my scope(not the best idea when you go into kiddie town centre). a dog walker went by and i asked him to tell the pair i left behind to come down......


they came down and were also gobsmacked, who could believe it, a bittern this close, and in kidderminster, WOW, for about 30 mins, the bird stayed in this location briefly moveing to get closer to the water, ive never seen one walking in the open before and now reaslise exacly how slow the birds are, they live in a slow mo in a fast paced world.

while we gawked at the bird i continued takeing videos of the bird as i dought i will get this close to another in some time...

video

i know this video isnt the sturdiest but ther bittern does move watch.....

video

i also heard a water rail, a nuthatch was seen and an amazing roosting flock of 60c magpie in trees opposite where i was stood, something to do with the weather maybe? never seen it before.

i am trying to get over there again next weekend, and with my new scope(should be getting it this saturday). cant wait for both.

MB


Thursday, 14 January 2010

PANIC!!!!!!!!

the grit has all gone, snow and ice is still around( the reason why at this moment i dont have my new scope) and IM OUT OF BIRD SEED, worse. we ran out last saturday, and the store we buy it from cant get any deliveries, we still have our niger seed but the sunflower seed feeder is empty, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
PLEASE LET THIS MAINIA END!!!!!!!!! ;)
MB

Monday, 11 January 2010

not much

7/1/10
a quick check of the local pool(park hall res, opposite the wrens nest nnr) produced 5 bullfinch(not bad for an urban area) and a showy buzzard, also a fox scurried away, a check of mons hill produced a very decent sized flock of LTT's (30c) and a goldcrest.

10/1/10
lickhill
after having 3 fieldfare in my nans garden the night before i was in a good mood( showing less than a metre away from the window), recent records of goosanders plastered on the rivers in north worcester made me have a look on lickhill, i know as a fact that the section of the river that passes through lickhill is wrong for goosander but an area south of the A456 bridge at blackstone rock is pritty much spot on, after a seemingly birdless walk up to blackstone i started climbing the steadily rising path, and a glimpse of a duck, DRAKE GOOSANDER, on the water, I WAS SPOT ON, this drake quickly floated downstream so i walk to the riverbank and had another scan, bloody hell, thats a lot of goosanders, from this viewpoint i counted 10 including a fair fed drakes, i knew there was a better viewpoint a little further on so i headed up there

within sight of the road bridge a superb flock of 19 GOOSANDER was feeding, less than 10 metres from me, i saw a goosander sized bird under the road bridge about 100-200 metres away, but what got me was its bill, the views were brief but i saw a diver/ grebe like bill and white face, it dived but didnt show again, despite staying in the area for a further 40 mins, i momenterilly thought diver but GC grebe seems possible as one was seen not far up the river at bewdley a few days previous, but like that possible water rail a few weeks ago, it remains to be confirmed
but back to the goosanders heres a video of some of the flock:

video

after leaving the goosanders i headed back downstream, in a weedy field just north of a small perminent flood/lake (should be visible on most maps) was a thrush flock but thats not what i was amazed by, FLOCK OF 30 REED BUNTING feeding on the seeds from the weeds, remember i only had my first sighting here last spring, so to get a flock of 30 is truily immense, i stayed for 30 mins searching through the flock but nothing different stood out, but im sure there could have been a brambling in there but deffinetly no snow bunting :( , there could even be a twite, or a serin, lapland bunting( longspur) or yellowhammer, corn bunting. if any locals have a look through the flock then report back please, things you may find normal might be mega's on lickhill

while watching the flock a snipe flew over, not the hoped for woodcock, but a year tick non the less

extra info for people wanting to look for the flock it is here,goosanders north of marker at bend in river........

i will tell you what though, i know where i'll be next sunday!!!!

MB

Thursday, 7 January 2010

GOOD OL' SLIMBRIDGE

no matter what anyone says, every time i visit here i enjoy my day, whether it be huge flocks of ducks and waders to bewick swans and pintail to all and out raretys, i have been 4 times now and every time i come away with something decent on the list, so heres how the day goes.......






1/1/10


ahh the first day of the decade, i kinda figured that the black redstart and glossy ibis in my own county would stay around for a bit so, i decided that a trip into gloucester would be my day plan,




finally got my dad out at something like 11am(not an early riser like me), all the way to slimbridge there were tons of buzzards(40c) so they wont be mentioned again, to the west of bredon hill there was a flock of lapwings(200c) and a few shakey bin's looks produced 20c golden plover, i was looking around for the canada flock by the river as a pink footed goose was seen there not long before, i only latched onto the flock as we just went by a bush so i couldent see if a pink foot was in there, from there almost every field we went past had a flock of lapwing in, at cheltnam a flock of 34 golden plover overflew the motorway as well as the lapwings, near stroud, 10 SKYLARK flew over and landed in a stubble field, also golden plover and lapwings here, another 50c lapwing flew over at frampton and a melaganistic(or however you spell it) buzzard was perched in a tree.




on arrival at slimbridge we headed towards the tack piece, as i know most birds concentrate here in the winter(didnt know the ruff's were on the south lake, BUGGER), a MASSIVE flock of WIGEON,TEAL AND PINTAIL grazed the tack piece with a few bewick swans at the back, and in the top corner near the sea wall, were the flock of WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, 314 of them, a massive flock, highlight of the day, in every aspect, or was it?




the dunlins were also here a splended flock of 400 odd,and 7 redshanks, 9 snipe and a load of lapwing












(sorry videos still not uploading)





moveing onto the holden tower produced a 1st winter YELLOW LEGGED GULL(also an adult presant somewhere) which i found, and was confirmed by other birders, more scope views of the white fronted geese and a decent flock of redshank on the river, an imensly huge flock of loafting gulls were further up the river near the middle point hide, which consisted of about 4000 gulls which i find unbelievable, meadow pipits and skylarks on the dumbles, the barnacle geese, greylag geese, canada geese and some bewick's were out there but scanning of the flocks didnt produce the hope for, pink feet, bean or brent geese, not even the egyption goose(it also was on south lake)



from the knot hide we saw a flock of 100c golden plover wheeling over near the zeiss hide briefly



a bittern was seen at the zeiss hide but didnt show, but a male fox spent time on the frozen water(which i also pointed out), but before we got there a superb WILD male teal was showing well in the captive eider pen.





also while here we watched the passing of hundreds of greylag geese:



nothing much of note from the zeiss hide as it was frozen, but there was the fox(which i have videos of but blogger still isnt letting me upload them)




a cettis warbler flew across the reeds



a treecreeper was seen in the woodland by the zeiss hide, a kingfisher and 3 water rail was seen at the south finger hides.


we then headed over to the rushy pen and the bewick's swans were comming into roost:


4 GADWALL were nice to see amongst the hoards of teal,pintail,pochard,tufties,mallards and shelducks and to a lesser extent wigeon, overall i counted 243 bewick's swans in the rushy pen, my dad didnt want to stop the extra 30 mins untill the starling roost, so we headed home, but wait there's more................



just as we were joining the motorway i spotted something amazing 3 ROE DEER, my first ever confirmed sighting of this species(always never been confident enough for more than deer sp), they looked so huge, but after about 10 seconds we had passed the fields and i lot the deer to view, what a fititng end to a great day................


MB


year list-77


site list-72

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

TEMPTATION

31/12/09

i couldent resist it......


i just couldent



had to go for the crossbills again


the light was much better today so i would have a better try at getting some half decent photos of the flock, we arrived at the top car park to find 3 birders already presant and 23 crossbills in trees and larches around the area, the views were absolutly immense, add together the light and the views the birds were giving and it equels some of the best views you've ever seen, quickly i started snapping away:























i also managed a fair few videos:
(videos not uploading)



after seeing a few siskin, coal tits and goldcrests we headed down the road to the bottom car park for the reservoir(got it again kerching), we heard a flock of crossbills calling a little down the road near the water works enterance, we walked over there and dropped under 2 silver birch trees and scanned the flock, at first i only counted 19 but soon after more and more birds piled in and flying around, we conservativly estimated 60 birds, at this point i heard some chittering from the trees above us, i looked up to find a superb flock of 31 lesser redpoll including a few paler birds, the crossbills started calling so i looked away briefly, then looked back at the redpolls and they were gone, not even a call to show they were about to fly, so bad manored, the crossbill flock then flew off back towards the top car park.


we went down the path towards the reservoir and had 3 more crossbills perched on pine trees there, we had a quick look on the raised bank between the 2 lakes, and i was outstanded by the gull flock that was down, 128 LBBG's and 3 herrings and about 50 BHG's(not including fly overs), i have never seen this much activity here before, not only by the birds but by the birders too, birders outnumbred general folk by 13-4, almost as mad as seeing half decent birds at trimpley, we then dropped onto the river and saw the flock of 21 mandarin which i also gladly got a video of:


(videos not uploading)


while watching these birds 4 more crossbills flew south over the river calling


back on the lakes there was 23 tufted duck and the obliguious mallards including a few dodgy hydrids/ escapiees.


will try and post videos in another post when blogger will let me upload them


MB

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

CROSSBILLS!!!!!!!!!!!

30/12/09
the lesser redpoll again briefly in the AM, also a coal tit, a nuthatch and 9 goldfinch, 37 canada's in the vismig field and a kingfisher on the small pool again

at about midday i heard news of a flock of 32 crossbill at eyemore wood which martyn found a few weeks previous, but had substancially increased, so my only reaction was to get up there,

on arrival it was raining( not heavy rain though) and the light was poor, we decided to walk along the road and listen for the birds( this is about 1:30pm) about 10 metres down the road, we found the flock,but now there was 42 of them.all plastered in the top of a tree( not a larch), but then flew onto a nearby larch to feed. they shown very well althogh the light was very poor. i took the opportunity to get a few crap photos and videos: here is a few:

a male bird.


video
while watching these bird i heard a call one which i found quite easy to recognise but of a species i have yet to see, my dad possibly saw a HAWFINCH fly over,i will not count a record like this, my dad wasent sure so the record is nothing.
and on the way out we stopped and had a scan over some adjoining fields near the villiage and wassel wood which looks over towards the clee hills, i very briefly saw a small raptor flying back towards the reservior( frikkin hell i spelt it, i think), my dad saw it with better views and said it was no less then a female merlin, what a fitting end to a good visit
MB

feeders

29/12/09
a bit of late afternoon activity on the feeders around 3:30pm
a adult male LESSER REDPOLL briefly perched on the seed feeder took a few seeds then dissapeared for the night
the wintering MARSH TIT visited the trees around he garden before it too dissapeared, also a nuthatch in the same tree as the marsh tit, and 5 goldcrest, a flock of 20c LTT's briefly visited my peanut feeder and then also flew away(presumably to roost), the LTT's have visited the feeder every day since
MB

Monday, 4 January 2010

short stop at upton warren

28/12/09
just a short visit to upton today
a check of the flashes had a scoped buzzard and a female bullfinch in the hedge.a bit of activity in the feeder hide, a few reed bunting,bullfinch and common feeder birds.

decided to walk through the ed reserve looking for a woodcock,allas non were seen but a small duck sp which we unintentionally flushed from a marshy ditch could possibly have proven to be a female mandarin, the view was only 2 secs and into the sun(it flushed into the sun) but was heard to give a call which i have heard from a female mandarin(at both trimply and dowles brook), but given that the record was nowhere near certain i am not counting it(not like i need it,apart from my upton list anyway), the duck was not seen again :(

a vey brief look at the moors produced 3 water rail along the path following the river,one of which started hideing in a bush, the west hide was jam packed so we left quickly, got the the car park and reallised the sun would be shining into the east hide so went into the north moors,a cettis was heard .

walking back to the car a kingfisher was on the river.
MB