Tuesday, 26 January 2010
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,
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
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
( videos uploading again now)
Monday, 25 January 2010
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'
'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
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
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...
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...........
Sunday, 17 January 2010
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
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:
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...
i know this video isnt the sturdiest but ther bittern does move watch.....
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.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
PLEASE LET THIS MAINIA END!!!!!!!!! ;)
Monday, 11 January 2010
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.
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:
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!!!!
Thursday, 7 January 2010
(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.
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.
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................
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
had to go for the crossbills again
(videos not uploading)
(videos not uploading)
while watching these birds 4 more crossbills flew south over the river calling
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
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.
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
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
Monday, 4 January 2010
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.