Tuesday, 30 June 2009

my family

local patch.after on the privious friday finding a family of whitethroat in the nettley area where the nightingale was(another namedropper)
the nightingale area
i decided to come back on sunday to get some shots.i couldent take my bins(as the strap broke at upton the day before and the bins crasshed onto the bourdwalk and broke something internilaly,so now i have no bins,my dad has an identical pair that i might 'borrow').so i took my scope and headed up river.i had no intention to lug my scope up to blackstone so i just stayed watching one of my favorite warblers.i put my scope down in the grass and heard one of the whitethroats calling.(i counted 1 adult male and 2 young on friday)not long after i picked up one of the juvaniles right at the bottom of the bush.i got my scope onto it and got a few decent shots

the male was initially wary of me being there but after about 5 mins he resumed his fartherly duties.he eventually gave superb out in the open views at the end of a branch.

overall i counted 6 whitethroats(pair and 4 young)after getting decent views of all the juvaniles/female birds i was able to single the adult female out by the lack of a gape as well as a few other small fetures.but apart from this family there was little else around apart from a lesser whitethroat(still holding teritory on moorhall meadow) and 4 garden warbler and 2 coal tits on feeders.my other focous was to see some insects the ones i identified were:

2 small tortoiseshell

3 ringlet

20c meadow brown

1 red admiral

1 peacock

20c small coppers

10c speckled woods

and this unidentified moth(or butterfly)

didnt do much exploring over the patch this weekend and just concintrated in a few areas.back to normal next week.


Monday, 29 June 2009

return of the sandpipers

at earlswood the goldcrests were back in the pine tree but always stayed all the way at the top.at the bottom of the garden there is a apple tree and in this tree there was a male feeding a juvinile bullfinch.not a bad bird with the only area i regulary record them been upton warren where i will now go.....
upton warren
straight to the flashes today.the greylag family is still on the sailing pool and giving great views.but as usual not much else was there but we did count 4 g c grebes.
at the hen pool there was a family of l t tits.at the feeder hide a bullfinch called but did not show.the first bird i noted was the green sandpipers.a stunning flock of 11 already,this early in the year.but this is what upton warren is known for.

2 black tailed godwits were feeding at the back of ther flash near where the phalarope was(bit of a name dropper for the godwit i think)the views were good but distant.both the birds are in bright brick red summer plumage(almost on the verge of the icelantic race)
the bright red things behind the mallard are the godwits:

after asking if anything else was about i was greeted with the amazing news that 3 little ringed plovers had hatched only 40 mins before we arived(well 2 hatched then and one earlier in the day)and were already scurrying around,but they were sooooooooooo tiny.they were about half the size of the adults.thats even cuter than a newly hatched mallard.no pics were good(but atempted)and they are just a blury fuzz.
the curlews were back in force this week with a maximum count of 30 at around 10:10 pm.
so were the lapwings with a count of 36.much higher than the last few months.
a pair of common terns were giving good views on the nest with a prospective pair visiting a nearby island.

the avocets are still going strong and giving great views:

quite good for me aint it

and this video that ive named 'were all young'

highlights are:

10 greylag

2 gadwall

7 teal

13 avocet

7 lrp+3 young

36 lapwing

11 green sandpiper

2 black-tailed godwit

30 curlew

4 common tern(nest pair+prospective pair)

10c stock dove(there everwhere)

1 lesser whitethroat

4 sedge warbler

10c reed warbler

2 linnet

1 bullfinch

3 reed bunts

i met the person from the day i saw the ruff again and we had a long conversation about random stuff like the youtube video called spiders on drugs' which is quite funny but not for anybody above the age of 40(thats my guess anyway).this bloke is proppa safe and a plessure to meet again.he told me about when one time he made a huge mistake and identified a redshank.but when showing it to sombody he realised it was a bottle,gulp.huge bummer.i think if he reads this blog then i could be in some serious harsh words for mentioning this but,im sorry it is funny.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

...but phalarope stops the show

upton warren flashes

got up a around 9:10ate my breakfast then brusshed my teeth.then i started to do a few sit-ups as usual for my mounings then suddanly had an urge to check my phone.i had a txt.it was from brian stretch.i thought it was just saying thks for the txts i sent him the night before.i open the message and almost died.RED NECKED PHALEROPE,UPTON WARREN FLASHES.right lets move.run to my dad who was lying in bed and just said 'halerope at upton can we go please' after a bit he agreed to take me and at about 9:40 we were on our way.i must say that i delt with the twitching pressure quite well(for all non birders-the fear that the bird will fly away during the time for you to get there therefore 'dippping the bird').

the first 'real' bird i encountered was acouple of spotted flycatchers on overhead wires at chaddsley corbert opposite the hotel on the a448(now know the hotel is called brockencote house).we pulled into the outdoor centre and imidiatly noted the carpark was chock full.we found a space and i jumped out.i pulled on my lucky anorack(dark blue with a rip under the left arm,a good way to tell me in a twitch,more on the coat later).3 birders were chatting near the small pool,i didnt recognise any but later found out one was brain stretch.i might be good at id ing birds but when it comes to peope im hopeless,unless your a friend i know well.

decided to skip all the other hides and jumped in the last hide.the door was open and i walked in and was squeezed back out.there was more people in the hide than in a chinesse express train at rush hour.i squezed in near the door and asked where the bird was in a polite manor to the birder next to me.he told me it was behind the sticks.after a few minuites he asked if i had it and i said no.he let me look thorough his scope and i saw the bird swimming around in a casual manor.it was a RED-NECKED PHALEROPE(lifer 186).i said thanks and then went back to my scope and got it straight away(funny how that always happens isnt it).i went straight for photos but all my efforts were laughable.the bird was at a long range at means as it is smaller than a starling it was had for all the people trying to get photos and the weather wasent acting well for photos either but even though all my images are bad i will put my best one in to show i have seen it:

this video shows just how far the bird was even with a scope(i really feel sorry for all those birders with only bins)

better images were got by other photographers as the bird came closer later in the day and a few can be seen here at worcester birding(and dont forget the one on birdguides)

andy shaw was in the hide and we had a quick chat about how it is a lifer for me and a worcs tick for him having missed 3 others(a lot of bad luck then).i must admit i did stop talking to him very suddenly because i wanted to get a decent pic of the bird(at very least a recognisable one).so i will say now i am sorry for that.i paid little attention to the other birds presant but saw 2 green sands including one which in the photo shows a very bold eyestripe(but it is a green sand)

soz not the cropped version

and the usual avocet pic:

highlight i know from here are:

10 greylag on sailing

2 gadwall

13 avocet

7 lrp

2 green sand(although 3 were seen)

1 redshank

1 RED NECKED PHALEROPE(amazing county bird,possibly best bird of year,but waxies wtill my favorite)

1 common tern on sailing

2 sedge warbler

1 cettis

2 reed warbler

2 reed bunts


black tailed gets the party started......

upton warren moors pool.
got news early mouning of my friend andy about a black tailed godwit at upton moors so after the regular earlswood routine(absolutly dead only 1 goldcrest shown briefly) we got to the moors.again dropped into the north moors hide and again the common tern came but only stayed for a short amount of time but a drake shoveler was unexpected in the middle of summer

a few reed warblers were on show but none gave a good photo oprotunity.as well as a few sedge warblers.there was little else on the north moors.walked down to east hide again.i checked the log book to find that the godwit had not been reported since the mouning.i checked on the sitting oystercatcher and saw that she had a young baby underneath her.this video only shows her and the nest but you cant see the baby...

a curlew flew by going south and looked like it landed at the flashes.but the godwit still hadent shown.we were getting to the stage where we were thinking it had left.i sat down at the one end of the hide and my dad sat at the other end(i helps for noting more species and there was nobody in the hide so it doesent matter does it.sitting at the door end of the hide i noticed the godwit ever so briefly through a small gap in the reeds/scrub/weeds stuff on the back of the east islands near some gulls.i called my dad but when he got over the bird had moved back behind the reeds(the bird would be a lifer for him but the 2nd ive seen after 1 at sandwell valley about 4 years ago.yes i know a 4 year gap between black-tailed godwts but between that time i didnt do any birding at good wader sites).after a 15 min gap the godwit appeared in the gap once again and showed to my dad but i missed it this time and it dissapeared back behind the reeds.at this point i hadent got a video or a photo.but luckily it reappeared there again and stood in the gap preening giving me the oprotunity to film it(bad light at about 8:40pm)

and the moment the godwit was spooked:

at 8:47 the bird was flusshed by a moorhen and flew south reaching a very high height in only a few seconds and becoming a distant speck.just as i was txting brian stretch the bird had flew i got a shout from my dad that the bird had dived at a 90 degree angle and looked to land at the flashes.i txt this and not long after left for home without visiting the flashes.

can anybody tell me what happened next?

highlights here are:

2 little grebe

5 g c grebe

5 gadwall

1 shoveler

1 OYC+1 chick

3 lapwing

1 black-tailed godwit(year tick)

1 curlew

7 common tern

1 stock dove

2 garden warbler

4 sedge warbler

3 cettis

8 reed warbler

7 reed bunting(1 singing male showing very well in a bush along the causway and got to around 1 metre from the bird)


Monday, 22 June 2009


got onto a bragonfly i thought was a broad-bodied libellula(i cant even pronounce that) and got a few photos(it was found at the lake by blackstone) but please feel free to correct me if i get it wrong on any insect.
and 3 chimney sweeper moths
2 cinembar moths
i really like these moths with their bright red bottom wing(not the underwing the part that folds away when landed)
6 banded demoiselleand a few other dragonflys.one looked in basic apperarence to banded demoiselle but lacked the dark wing patches but no photos so i cant id it,any help apriciated.

record to be broken

upton warren
the moors was first and we decided to drop into the north moors hide as we have been paying little attention to it and this is where a common tern often fishes giving great views.while waiting for the tern to show we were entertained by a family party of reed warlers showing well in front of the hide

the tern did come but none of the photos got were good.

over at the east(lapwing) hide we were treated to great views of sedge warblers with at least 5 showing constantly but were very flighty and teritorial but i still managed a recognisable shot(thats all i ask)

nothing much more to mention really but a family of mute swans had 4 cygnets on the north moors.

highlights here are:

1 little grebe

8 mute swans(inc.young)

2 gadwall


1 lrp

4 lapwing

9 common tern

10c sedge warbler

6 cettis warbler(5 singing males)

20c reed warbler

6 reed bunting

at the flashes we got a reserve record.18 greylag geese.the 10 (3 adult 7 young) were still on the sailing pool and i got a few photos

all 10 are shown in this pic.then as we got into the main hide we saw 8 more greylags out in the middle of the flashall the front geese are greylags.

nothing much was there apart from the usual stuff but 3 common terns gave good views doing fly-bys on the hide.

highlights are:

18 greylags

2 shelduck

3 gadwall

3 oystercatcher

11 avocet

7 lrp

6 lapwing

4 curlew

5 common tern

2 stock dove

4 sedge warbler

1 cettis

3 reed bunts

i must mention i did visit sheepwash on 12/05/09 and spent most of the time photographing ruddy ducks and counting baby plastic waterfowl.it was that bad.must say 2 bullfinch and 2 reed buntings were nice to see in an urban park


another kite

yet another red kite apeared for me on the patch.i was gobsmacked to see this.found while on moorhall meadow(remember the meadow pipit) i watched it drift over the wood at lickhill.while i was still watching the bird i phoned geoff laight and told him about my find(well his wife actually).i txt the news to my dad,brian stretch and andy shaw.even though i had seen over 50 in the last few weeks i still find a kite in worcester a pretty big bird(but not red necked phalarope big).
other highlights are mostly of me finding nests and juvinile birds:
2 willow warbler and nest
2 whitethroat+nest
2 phesant+2 young(1st confirmed breedingon site for this ultiamte plastic)

1 kingfisher
2 coal tit+1 babie
that mouning the swallows and martins were very low in the pouring rain and came super close.one got so tired and wet it landed on a tree.
and a random baby mallard pic

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

stackpole day 2

even though visibility out at sea was bad but with just 15 mins of seawatching(too restless to search the area) we had both 2 manx searwater and 2 sandwich terns.both are the second record ive ever had.both a biot distant though and little plumage detail could be seen through the fog.i must say though it was pritty much the same stuff as mentioned before.a flaged juvernile kitiwake flew past the head.
i have 4 highlights for this trip though the 2 mentioned above and 1 whinchat which gave close but brief views over the hike around the head,and 9 yes 9 chough.that was a proppa sight and got some quite good pics(well come on it is me your talking about)
the fulmars were perticulary photogenic and came verrrry close
the painted ladys i mentioned in the last post were still pasing through and we counted about the same number as last time

a random great black an one of the many beaches

and a rock pipit

over the whole 2 trips to the head we counted only 2 male wheatear and both were super flighty and we found one of their nests in a hole in the ground.i managed 1 video of the male

the pipits and larks were scurrying around my feet again and while doing this we stumbled upon a skylark nest which we were guided away from by the adult(m or f god knows)

the razorbills gave close views at a nest hole/ledge/crack thing.

a pair of choughs

highlights are

fulmar 15+

2 manxies

3 gannet

2 shag

3 oyc

6 g b b gull


2 sandwich tern

same totals as last time 4 guillemot and razorbill

9 skylark

15c rock pipit

4 meadow pipit

5 wheatear

1 whinchat

1 lesserthroat

9 chough

13 linnet

i didnt go birding again during the holiday spending most of my time playing footie or in the pub(not that good for a 14 year old to say that)it was a good holiday and i will do one last post showing the best pics and videos of the holiday.

im goin to make a small poll.

what do you think is the best bird i saw on the holiday.for me it is the ring ouzel on the way there.but its up to you


sorry for the recent lack of posts,had a lot of school stuff to do.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

stackpole head

from our usual parking place at stackpole quey we decided to walk to bosherman lakes to see if the gargany was still presant then past broad haven beech,past stackpole warren onto the head then over barafundle beech back to the car.
in the woods surrounding the lily ponds we heard a pied flycatcher but despite a lot of effort to see it we failed.very little else here because of the constant desturbance to the site.and we also didnt see the garganey.at broadhaven and stackpole warren we found our first rock pipit and both whitethroats.from here on it was constant rock,meadow and skylark song so i wont mention them again.heres a video of a rock pipit anyway:

we also found a few fulmar nest along this and all the strech we covered and we counted at least 15.a few gannets were flying ofshore but non came close enough for a pic.2 each of cormorant and shag were seen.on one of the many inexesible beeches along the cliff we saw an oystercatcher(later 2 more joined it making 3)there was a few wheatear around but none were perticulary showy(unlike the birds here)and we only saw females,which we found a bit odd.and i managed a bad video of one feeding.then that sound came again and i was thriled to see 2 chuffs(chough) flying in but dropped into some thick grass and i couldent pick them out with my scope.there was a large raft of common seabirds on the water just off the cliff edge.i did notice one thing with these flocks they are only one species flocks(in the video guilemots)and the razorbills always stayed a lot further off but you saw them flying too and from the cliff.(watch the video theres a lot of bird in it,in this raft there was about 100 birds)

and while watching these what flys off the cliff but a PUFFIN its squat body and massive bill making it stand out from the other rushing parents.i watched it all the way untill it fles around the next headland in the vaige direction of skomer island(where there is a large amount this year,around 17,000 birds,normally 10,000,this is the largest amount for almost a decade and posibly longer,there are also SEO,S giving good daily views on there so now would be a great time to visit for a day or overnight to witness the huge number of 250,00 manxies,almost a quarter of the worlds population,coming back to their nests)was it me or did that sound like an advert in a panflet telling you to go

heres a nest ledge:





1 perigrine falcon


2 common gull(very odd record that one)

6 g b b gull





8 skylark( only 8)


6 meadow pipit


2 garden warbler

1 blackcap

2 lesser whitethroat

1 whitethroat



5 linnet