Sunday, 31 May 2009

im back

hi everbody im back from my trip to wales and have a bit to talk about and i have some good photos for a change.this post is only about on the way there.the main target bird for the journey was red kite.and did they show.
they did i counted 25 on the way there and got a pic of one flying over the road(note the car was moving at 50mph when i took this)

but the highlihght of the trip was a superb male RING OUZEL(lifer 185) which perched on a roadside hedge somewhere near the black mountains.but i only saw it for 2 seconds as we drove past and no matter how much pleading i did my dad wouldent stop :(

i also saw a goshalk soring around high above us near Llandovery on the outscirts of brecon beacons national park

highlights are:

1 ring ouzel

25 red kites

28 buzzard

2 kestrel

1 perigrine

1 hobby(in england somewhere not sureexacly where)

1 sparrowhalk

1 goshalk

2 yellowhammer

1 teal(bizarly flew along road near camarthen)

and i have to pay respect to the beautiful scenery in wales

next post on stackpole head and a large number of painted ladies.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

lifer at the warren


the hirudine flock from yesterday over my nans was very much gone,just a few swifts and house martins to keep me earlswood we had 5 goldcrest (m+f+3 juvs) indicating local breeding in one of the conifers and judging by the restlesness of the female a second brood might be on the way so watch out matt and reg.little else again but i spent most of the time trying to get a pic of the goldcrests(didnt happen though).

upton warren will surly raise my spirit though.

well it did after a txt informing me of a turnstone,2 sanderling+a pair of gargany i was there as soon as i could(which turned out to be after the gardening job).well to the moors.1st bird i notice while there masses of swifts,and i mean loads.i said to my dad it looked good for hobbys.i moved towaards the info board where there is a gap in the headge.from here i saw 2 common terns,then a car started coming down the the driver drove past i recognised the driver as terry hinnet and his wife(i think its his wife)i have met him a few times before eg my waxie twitch,yay, and the beautiful blue headed wagtail that he found.he stopped the car and we had a quick chat.we talked about local raretys where breden's hardwick turned up a lot(and i wonder why theres been a spoonbill there recently and a little stint now,shame i cant get down there)we then switched to what he saw at the warren.he said the sanderlings and the garganyswere still there(the latter giving views in front of the hide).with a massive black cloud coming in i decided to get to the hide quick.we got there just in time as it started raining a bit when we got in.again noticed the massive amount of swifts and it wasent long before i shouted hobby as one flew over the other side of the lake(from lapwing hide priviously known a east hide)i saw the sitting oystercatcher but couldent find the sanderling or the gargany a worryingly long time in fact.after 20 mins in the hide i finally clocked onto the sanderlings not where i was looking for them but on the front of the i spring plumage and the other in winter,and they do run as fast as some people videos arnt the same quality as blurred birders pics of one at chasewater but there exeptible:

it wasent long after the garganys came out but at some distance.(hence the crap quality,no comments about how there always crap).

fter getting this life tick(sanderling) and year tick (gargany)highlights here were

1 shelduck

3 gadwall

2 gargany(year tick)

1 hobby

2 oystercatcher

2 sanderling(lifer)

6 common tern

150c swift(came down it heavy rain,so bad rain came in through the gaps under the windows)

1 whitethroat

2 sedge warbler

5 cettis warbler

15c reed warbler

1 coal tit

2 reed buntings

now to the flashes to try to repeat last weeks sucsess.on the sailing pool got a few photos of hirudines on the wires:

got onto the female avocet which has young to the right of the hide.they came out and gave cute views in the ditch in front of the hide:

this video shows all 3 babies,soooooooooooo cute.i love the way they have learned their feeding technique so quickly.another year tick in the form of 7 dunlin(also my first for the warren)just the regulars were here.the highlights are:

3 greylag geese(7 young)all together

2 shelduck

2 gadwall

1 hobby

3 oystercatcher

10 avocet(3 young)


7 dunlin(year tick)

2 redshank

5 common terns (4 on sailing)

2 stock doves)

again 150c swift in heavy rain

1 lesser whitethroat

3 sedge warbler

2 cettis warbler

5c reed warbler

2 bullfinch

2 reed buntings

soz for the wierd format today somethins gone spaz,itll be fixed by next post


Monday, 18 May 2009

my nans again

i dont really like spending much time regular readers will know i had a glaucous gull over here earlier in the i was out watching the hirudines flying around and there was quite a few.around a hundred birds were flying up there.nothin unusual was up there to start with but at 5:35pm i saw a roptor aproaching from the flew directly up the road towards habberly valley but remained flying attacking the swifts and martins for around 5 took a swallow and flew off towards habberly valley and i managed a few crap images
as soon as i saw it i ran in to tell my dad.he saw the bird and got his best ever views.i got the news out then.
spurred on by this discovery(a new garden bird) i watched on in case it flew dad went back into the house.
then not 3 minuites after the hobby i saw a long tailed bird(well kinda) flying over a house a few houses down.but it was in the emerged at the other side and tilted its wing showing white wing patches then it tilted its whole body and showed a forked tail.
jesus god.
its a red kite.
i took the decision to get my dad to see it as 2 observers are better than one.i ran in,grabbed him and yanked him outside.he got onto the bird and we watched it flying back towards wassel wood(where it flew in from).it flew over the house and was lost to view.i ran to the front on the roadside.and we watched it fly around.then it hit a thermal and flew towards trimply.i have a lot to thank red kite is THE BIRD that got me interested in birds while in wales in 2004 when one nearly flew into my grandads car chasing a magpie.
im going to wales next week and will be seeing red kites and most of the stuff mentioned at stackpole head(see a few posts ago),does anybody know any good birding spots on the mainland of pembrokeshire as i dont know many(i know stackpole,marlous and the ofshore islands).
does anybody know where the dartford warblers are in pembroke or a good place to look for little egrets(i am vary bad at catching up with them)
if anybody knows any of the answers to these questions please leave a post.
it will be much apreciated.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

mega on the patch

highlight of the day
only the second ive seen.
i first heard it at around 9:30am while watching garden warblers along river.but it did not show till about 10am.was seen very well at times but as the day got on as more rafts,boats,dog walkers and the like got out, the waryer the bird got and was last seen at 11:30am(by my dad),i showed the bird to a few interested people walking along the riverthis bird is certinaly a year tick and a first for the site(but a few were claimed to sing from the same area in 2007 by a camper)i got the news out as soon as possible and was in the evening joined by geoff laight(nice to meet a local birder)
highlights were:
1 nightingale
3 sedge warblers
6 garden warblers
2 blackcap
20c sand martin
6 swift
29 canada geese(11 babies)
1 siskin
2 goldfinch
1 common whitethroat
1 lesser whitethroat
i did have the best ever pics i have ever got on my camera but i acsidently deleted them,soz

Monday, 11 May 2009

another lifer


going to go stright to the warren in this post but a large hirudine flock over bewdley was noteworthy,the goldcrest(s) is still at earlswood.arrived at the warren at around 6:15 pm.on the bord walk we had a tern over which looked like an arctic(i now have enough evidence to claim an arctic)which was followed by a common tern shortly after for comparison.we decided to drop into the hen pool hide to get onto some warblers.cettis,reed and sedge were heard at first.the first warbler to show was a reed just a few metres from the hide and in the open(altough very brief,you could see the primarys had pale fringes with a naked eye(this pic was taken when one appered in front of the hide for a long time but didnt show well

in and around the hen pool we had 7 species of warbler including a showy sedge(which flew off as i got my camera onto it) while waiting for the reeds warblers to show we saw an oystercatcher fly over the sailing pool and a marsh/willow tit that flew by towards the feeder hide but was not relocated.there was a couple of bullfinches on the feeders and a reed bunting but little at the tower hide.the reported ringed plover was showing very well on the islands to the left of the hide

hink this bird has a totaly different feeding action than little ringed which is run,stop,bow,peck,run ect but ringed plovers is like jog,stop,peck,peck,peck,peck,shuffle,peck,peck,peck,jog ect.this is why i think it is different and the video shows this(what am i doing with my life)i only couted 8 avocets today:(

2 redshank showed well

and the normals were around(a lesser whitethroat was feeding in the bush below the hide as was a common whitethroat).another birder came in the hide and we startedtalkng.he mentioned a pair of common terns at the moors(which were dismissed as being my birds as they were presant at the same time)at 8:02 a curlew flew in from the north.before it got 4 metres off the ground i had shouted whimbrel due to its obvious small size and all dark hand unlike curlew which has a slightly pale patch at the rear edge of the wing on the primarys(get hitting the books confused people)

warning this next section contains strong and confusing birding terminology,anybody that suffers with mental problams may want to look away now

the bird came into land on the peninsular in front of the hide where i checked through my scope clasic whimbrel(lifer 183).te head was the most significantly differant area of the showed a dark eye-stripe which was a lot more distinct that showed a prominent median crown stripe on a dark crown(again unlike curlew)the bill was a lot shorter and straighter than curlew (which joined it at 8:45pm) and overall showed an almost black and white coulering with little buff colouring(but the videos give a more buff colour than was observed in the field,but even then you can tell it is a whimbrel)i was also struck by the small size of the bird(a little bigger than a b h gull,see my most recent lifer for pic.highlights were

1 little grebe

1 greylag goose(sailing pool no young seen)

2 shelduck

2 gadwall

22 tufties

1 oyc

8 avocets

8 l r p

1 ringed plover

1 green sand briefly

2 common sand

2 redshank

2 curlew

1 whimbrel

1 common tern

1 arctic tern

1 garden warbler

2 blackcap

1 lesser throat

1 common throat

3 sedge warbler

2 cettis warbler

6 reed warbler

1 willow warbler

1 chiffie

1 spot flycatcher(year tick)

1 marsh/willow tit

1 h sparrow( sp car park,quite unusual on the reserve)

2 bullfinch

2 reed bunts

ill finish the post with some films from the flashes(most of whimbrel)

and the first video of the whimbrel

more videos will be put on if asked but now i have a date with south park(older reader turn on commody central at 9pm)

next post from lickhill will leave you speachless,i promoese,and a bird i havent seen or heard in ages

the bin baby

not much going to do with birding on the bank holiday,did go in to kidiminster,not much around but i did find this a feral pigeon under a bin and when the pigeon moved i saw this a not fleged feral pigeon,i took a few shots and left

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

woods in the wyre

in the entire 5 years i have been birding lickhill(with nearly 500 hours spent there) i was not a few of you may know i usually bird around lickhill on my own but today i was joined by my dad.
wow another patch tick a COMMON SANDPIPER,wow,out of all the birds would expect,this is one that i didnt.the whole patch has no suitable habitat for them but one turned up on the river north of lickhill towards the next caravan park.not knowing it was there we were striding up the river when we haerd a call that we both recognised for the day before at the warren,we glanced at the river to see a small wader with pulsating wings flying downriver towards lickhill.after this the bird wasent seen again(proberbly due to the few ignorant dogwalkers that let their pets jump in the river while you are obviously watching something there,one time at lickhill i was watching a pair of escaped mandarins on the river some idiot dog walker lobs a stick near the ducks and flushed them after a rampaging dog jumps next to them,this was the last time i them saw them after a few months of residence)well over with that rant.even the blackcaps had disapeared and we only saw 2 i must admit there was little else and it was very quiet(a typicle lickhill day)4 skylark and 2 cormorant were to the main focous of the day
wyre forest
this is the first time ive visited the brook for ages, we had 2 wood warblers(year tick)their hearts out but no photos as they were deep in leaves and just viewable.i must admit it was quieter than i thought it would be but we did note a lot of grey wags (counted 7 along the brook),just as we were getting out the car at dry mill lane we had 10+ swift over,near the meadow at knowles coppice we had a grey heron in the brook(the forst ive seen here)

at the other end of the meadow we had a male redstart in the bushes that boarder the main path,but the view was brief.
we walked all the way to the road north of lodge hill farm,and at the top of the hill we sat on a logged tree and watched garden warbler,chiffchaff,blackcap,willow warbler and goldcrest hopping about in bushesup to this point we had logged(highlights):
2 stock dove
10+ swift
3-5 kingfishers
7 grey wags
2 dipper that only my dad saw as they flew off upstream
2 redstart
1 garden warbler
2 blackcap
1 whitethroat
3 willow warbler
2 wood warbler
4 chiffchaffs
2 goldcrest in very tall pine trees(looks good for crossbill)
again we gave lodge hill farm a miss and walked along the brook but to little reward although 2 baby tree rats(squirrals-grey for normal people) at a nest site was cute:

at the very moment i said it was quiet my dad pointed down to a pair of mandarin below us2 meters away.they posed well but it was quite dark under the trees.i do know a lot of birders overlook them as being plastic but nobody can deny there amazing beauty.ill end the post with pics and videos of the manders.highlights(including things already mentioned)
2 mandarin
3 stock doves
10+ swift
3-5 kingfishers
7 grey wags
3 dipper and i saw one crap photo
3 redstart
1 garden warbler
2 blackcap
1 whitethroat
3 willow warbler
2 wood warbler
4 chiffchaff
2 goldcrest

i just love the way they can change the shape of the eye stripe(watch later in film)

and in a tree(30ft up)


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

sub buteo

some may recignise the title as a popular childs table football game.but i remember it for a whole different reason.
was told of 3 hobbys over the moors at the warren and i craved a better view than last week.went for the west hide as i really couldent be bothered to walk to the east hide(although you would get better views of the waders on the islands).the first bird i saw on entering the hide was a reed bunting on the ground feeder:

i then scanned the area for the hobbys but i couldent see one i decided to scan the islands instead of having a look at a pair of mallards on the rail.on the islands there was a lot of activity.

3 oystertcatcher

2 shelduck

1 wigeon

1 shoveler

2 gadwall(amys marsh in front of hide)

2 lrp(yes you can see them from the west hide,helps to look for the metal cage covering the nest)

2 lapwing

a lot of breeding b h gulls

then i looked towards the car park to see a compact falcon with sickle shaped wings flapping over the reeds.HOBBY was my shout(again to the only person in there,my dad)just as my dad rushed to look it took a sharp left into the hedge along the path not to appear again(but i saw another flying over north).just as i looked away i saw a raptor perched on the disabled hide.hoping to be the hobby,it turned out to be a male sparowhalk sitting there and not flying as just stood there.(no pics because it was in an awquard angle looking through the tree).2 ruddy duck males appeared next to the reeds in front of the dissabled hide.

only now did i decide to look at the rails and on these was a tern,after looking through my bins it looked to have a all one colour bill.but just as i looked through my scope it flew north gaining hight.then over the north moors it suddenly dived from a hight into the pool.after about 15 mins it came back landed on the other rail where,through my scope was able to see a small black tip

highlights here were:

1 little grebe

7+ g c grebe

2 shelduck

2 gadwall

1 shoveler

1 wigeon

2 ruddies

1 spazzahalk

2 hobby



2 lapwings

1 common tern

1 garden warbler

4/5 cetts

4 reed warbler

1 bullfinch

3 reed bunt

the flashes:

ive got to get this done quickly now as ive just looked at the time and know ive got english H/W to do so here goes.

on the sailing pool the greylags were there again and i said they would proberbly breed get to the other side of the sailing centre and what do you know 2 greylags with 8 goslings in trail i just had to get a video:

another greylag flew over the flashes calling.there were 4 shelducks down here(2 from moors).another couple of gadwall were down here(not the moors ones).the avocet tally has risen to 10 yes 10 birds.there was 5 lrp's scuttling around.5 lapwings were tumbing with one almost crasshing into the hide.a common sand was still here as was the pair of redshank.and there was a curlew/whimbral type bird at the back of the flash which we decided to leave un-id'ed given the crap light and views.a sedge warbler poped out the reeds briefly again.a cettis warbler gave close,clear,prolonged views in the reeds on the way back.we counted 4 reed warblers.and also a chiffchaff as near the boudwalk.also another reed bunt noted post the wader at lickhill and the wyre.dont miss it(doesent compare to kays holliday in bonnie scotand thought,sounds like you had a good time)



i have noticed over the last few weeks that there have been a few blackcap knocking about around lickhill and decided to have a thourough count of them from blackstone-moorhall marsh(my local patch to non readers)i was amazaed at how many the final count showed were around.
the highest density was at the lake near blackstone at the north end in the i counted no less that 8 singing male(all at one time)
the next highest density was 4 in moorhall wood(previously known as blackcap wood) but these were less showy than ther blackstone ones.the other 4 i saw were pairs in the wood behind the lake at lickhill caravan site and in the wood on the right of the entrance road.
not much else to report but had the 2 regulary returning common whitethroats halfway up the river at the skylark fields(which i counted 5 of) and the pair of red legged partridge that have been resident on lickhill farm for months(in fields that cant be viewed from normal paths,only venturing further afield occasionaly)the patch produced another tick last sunday in the form of a wader.also visited thw wyre forest that day.ive got a bit to catch up on.