Monday, 23 April 2012

BIG Staff's day out

6/04/12 A Planned trip to Cannock Chase on the Friday turned out to be a very good decision!
A Common Crane was found nearby in Stafford, and the temptation was quickly forfilled.

We chose to visit the COMMON CRANE first as they have abit of a habit of flying off in the early morning, so we got there, walked the Canel towpath down to the crowd, and there it was, a magnificent, stunning Common Crane!
The bird was showing well, although abit far away for photos (for me anyway), but Scope views were amazing!
The bird fed unpreturbed at the back of the Field for the entire visit.

Unfortunatly, i did have a minuite long video of the Crane, however, it seems i have deleted it, and after many attempts to try and refind/Regain it, everything has failed, so you'll have to do with the 11 Second video (However, a Hare runs across at the end)

My attention then turned onto the pair of garganey that had been seen. Amazingly, they had chosen a small water filled ditch that ran through the field, hardly 'prime' Garganey habitat. And viewing was proving difficult as there was ony a couple of area's where the bank dropped low enough to be able to see into the ditch.
After abit however, the birds appeared at the edge of the Reeds, coming to the near edge, giving stunning views!
A stunning pair of GARGANEY, the best views ive ever had!

Then we moved to Cannock Chase, prime targets looking for Deer.
In one of the Valleys it was immensly quiet, as the weather by now had turned pritty shite, clouds rolled in and you could feel rain in the air, however, a pair of STONECHAT were giving decent views, and i was able to get some Photo's

We did end up seeing 16 Fallow Deer on exiting the car park!

As it was still quite early, we then decided to have a quick check of the south end of Chasewater, which produced a year tick in the form of a flock of 30c SAND MARTIN, However, highlight by far was seeing a gathering of 6 RED DEER feeding out on the exposed shore at the north end through thr scope, magnificent creatures!

As it was 'on the way home' we dropped into Stubbers Green, where there was still a fair few large gull's perched up on thr shoreline (400c!), this even supprised me, within the flock, there was 10 GBBG. A single Oystercather stood asleap on the bank throughout, leaving me with my last tick of the day.


South Staffs


Another day in search of Lesserpeckers at the 'secret' Staffs site, needless to say, 4 hours later, and we didnt have a wiff of a bird, no drumming, no calling, and no sightings, however a male Green Woodpecker was showing well.
We also saw the Tawney Owl again, however the Little Owls seemed to be roosting inside the tree where they usually are.

After this, We then moved onto Penn common, so we could check the Paddocks, A single male Wheatear was showing in fields adjacent to a main road, but otherwhys it was generally quiet.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Entering spring

I have never got to April without having seen a Hirudine, Every year in the past i have seen either of the 3 by this time, usually Sand Martin, however, this year i hadnt caught up with any up untill this point.
I Started my walk by checking to see if the Barnacle Goose was still there, and it was. I took a few photos with the new camera that im using temporeraly:
I then moved onto the river, and while just walking up to it at the Sand Martin field, a flock of 3 Mandarin (2 Drk) flew north upriver, my first of the year on the patch.
Moving further north, i stopped at the riverside fields to watch Skylarks when suddenly 2 Hirudines flew across my view.
A pair of SWALLOW, my first for the year, they quickly flew north however, without stopping.
A little bit of movement today resulted in a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks overflying the patch.
I had hoped Blackstone would have held something good, but after giving it much time scanning the hedges and the rockface, i didnt find anything.
Although this Wren had me baffled untill i saw it singing, Has anyone heard this song variation before?

Blackcaps were now back in very good numbers at the northen area of the patch, and i got this photo of a stunning male!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Upton Warren

A start to my evening visits to Upton on a saturday night were rewarded with stunning views of a couple of my favorite Waders.
The LRP's have returned, and were represented by 4 birds, not in full breeding plumage yet, but its great to see them back for another year, and to watch their skirmishes as they chase each other around the flashes.
Also showing 'In close' was this gorgeous male Lapwing, a stunning bird, and a great bird to watch, and it remains with us throughout the year, however, at this time of year, the birds are getting frisky, and its great to watch their ariel acrobatics as they swoop and flap around the flashes, wheazing as they go!
Also, a nice suprise was that the Barnacle Goose remained on the patch.


To start off my run on blog posts over the coming days, i appologise for my lack of posting over the last few month's, and a complete ending over the last couple of weeks.
Anyone who has been and done that whole 'higher education' thing, or indeed anyone who is induring it, will know that time can be abit scarce between Homework, Essays and Exams, and of the limited time i have had avaliable, i have been getting out as much as i can, and spending the remaining time with loved ones. Therefore Blogging has taken abit of a back seat, and it will continue for the next month or so untill i complete my Exams at the end of may.

Hopefully you guys will still keep coming back and keep commenting, its you that keeps me running this blog (as well as a personal note on my birding adventures that i will proberbly forget in the future), and i hope you can last the time untill i can post regularly again.

Remember, good things come to those who wait :P

Cheers all

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

When we go down to the wood's today?

Me and the 'Gornal Birder' had decided a trip to a woodland was in order. S we went to secret site in Staffordshire.
We knew about the roosting Tawney Owl, and he was quickly seen, photographed, admired, then left alone.

We then moved onto another section of the wood, where a pair of LITTLE OWL's have recently taken up residence, the views were decent, but into the sun. GB manadged to get this shot of the pair together, lucky B#**&*d
However, despite the Owly destractions, we had more elusive things to locate!
We quickly got 2 species of Woodpecker, Green and GSW. and unusually, a female Green Woodpecker decided to stay perched on a branch while we got some photo's.

We moved to another area our target had been seen in, and as luck would have it, a hour or so after, we had a drumming male LESSER-SPOTTED WOODPECKER, however, only very briefly, and within 10 seconds, it had gone, just as quick as it arrived!
After waiting for longer, the LSW wasnt seen or heard again, so we moved to Penn common, to see if the Firecrest (s) were still around, we didnt see them, but a calling Tawney owl was the 2nd for the day, and then something caught my eye out in the horse paddocks.
A stunning male WHEATEAR!
My earliest bird BY FAR! A whole month earlier infact!, the bird strutted around, flashing its 'White Arse' (where the birds name originates from) shamelessly, a nice find, that just topped off the day!

All in all a good day, a few year ticks, including one that is getting harder to get!

Monday, 2 April 2012

'Barnie' still with us

A check of the pool reveled the BARNACLE GOOSE was still with us, and showing as well as always, which was stunningly.
Rather than blabbing on, i'll just let the photo's talk for themselves.