Wednesday, 24 February 2010


quick post this one.......................................................................



(couldent think of a good name for the post)
moor's pool
a young birder was on site.......

i mean even younger than me.....


a bullfinch few over the path calling.
on entering the east hide, the little egret was still out in front and still showing superbly, but as i had over 200 photos from the previous visit, i was more intent on scanning for birds:

the egret was showing just outside the hide again, but i did notice it was spending MUCH more time to the left of the hide in the small area reeds along the bank....

then i started scanning the ducks in the lake........
shoveler, shoveler,shoveler,shoveler,teal,pochard,shoveler,pochard, WIGEON, ive got a drake WIGEON here. got the remaining 3 people in the hide onto the bird:

14 CURLEW were outside the hide again before flying off north, onto the fields to feed, 18 COMMON SNIPE were dotetd around the islands, and banks:

2 GC GREBES were displaying beind the islands being particularly vocal today.........

after a couple of hours, with the bittern still refusing to show we decided to leave as we were getting quite cold now......

in the trees opposite lifestyles, a male SISKIN was showing in a flock of goldfinch....

just as we were about to leave tim arrived(after a few txts from me earlier), a quite awkward moment followed, he and his dad asked if anything was seen and i told them wigeon, the egret and the siskin.

nice to meet you btw tim


Tuesday, 23 February 2010


on the way into brumingem, along stakenbridge lane, near hagley, and i was suprised to see a male MERLIN hunting just a few feet above the ground, hammering across the field, but again we didnt stop to watch, not even for a few minuites....

one day i will have a good view of a merlin........
fingers crossed

Back to the patch!

couldent resist
redpoll lake was calling........
gadwall looked so settled.........

lets GO..............

the day played out quite well. a visit to scan the regular chaffinch flock that frequents a hedgerow at the vismig field produced dividends.
a pair of reed buntings fed alongside the chaffinch and a lone male bullfinch, though a search for a brambling failed(more on this flock later, and my plans)
2 STOCK DOVE continue to hold teratory at an undisclosed area of lickhill........
a RAVERN flew over,
then i was at the redpoll lake and it was still there.......

the gadwall continued to show superbly, and now, with my tripod, i was able to take a sturdier film.......

a spent 20 mins watching the GADWALL and scanning the birches untill 7 LESSER REDPOLL flew in, landing for c1 min, than flew off north(ish)


and my plans for the edge of the vismig field, i am trying to get permission to 'bait' the edge of the field, perticularly in harsh conditions, to attract more finches/ buntings onto the site, and to help them survive the winter, the area is frequented by, goldfinch, greenfinch, stock dove, chaffinch, song and mistle thrush, as well as fieldfare and redwing.
scarce birds have in the past included- brambling- yellowhammer- tree sparrow and corn bunting
but this is still just an idea and needs to be confirmed, lets hope........

Monday, 22 February 2010

HERONS, HERONS, everywhere

upton warren
straight for the east hide at the moors pool, keeping a lookout on the tree's along the path, although nothing was there,

a little egret had been roosting on the sailing pool at dusk for a few days, so after a visit to the moors, then to the flashes to get the egret.
on entering the hide, THIS:

the LITTLE EGRET was right in front of the hide and with it was a grey heron (3), even coming close together

the bird sometimes was so close, i couldent get the whole bird in the picture, afeter about 15-20 mins looking at the egret, a shout from my dad got me onto the BITTERN, the bird quickly flew a few metres along the reedbed then ditched down into the reed's and wasent seen again. i continued photographing the egret, and it behaved impecibly, and summer plumage was just starting to come through, with lots of 'wispy' feathers flapping about in the breeze.

also just outside the hide was 12 CURLEW

7 GREYLAG GEESE spent some time on the islands before flying off south, 4 shelduck(2 pair) were on the lake, as were 30c shoveler:

we were joined by another photographer who had seen our report of the egret, and came down to look, luckily the bird stopped in the area, giving great photo opp's, 18 common snipe were along the usual banks, and 5 redwing flew over. after a good few hours the bird flew over onto the river, out of view and we decided to head for the flashes.




4 shelduck

1 cetti's warbler(so glad they have survived)

A pair of BULLFINCH were around near the steps, the flashes were quite devoid of birds, with only 50c lapwing coming down just priar to a rainstorm, to the north of the flashes a goose flock was just on the brow of the hill, though some birds were over the top of the hill, i counted 111+ canada goose and 7 greylag geese, we decided to run back to the car, just as the storm ended, but a quick scan of the masts produced a PEREGRINE.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Another rare anatini !!!!!!

vocab- anatini- dabbling duck

and back to the patch
my dad decided to join me for the second half of my patch trip today, so i was off to blackstone on my own, the buzzards were perched in the hedgeline again, giving great scope views.

the marsh tit didnt take too much finding, following me up 40m of path to the feeders, here i left the bird alone, the wigeon hadent lingered(as was expected), 4 skylark were singing in the riverside fields, and this beauty kept me company on the river:

female goosander

the stock doves were again on their perch in the vismig field and a bullfinch was with the chaffinch flock,

i stopped off to have a drink and pick up my dad and then we continued to the redpoll lake, hopeing for redpoll, and guess what, there wasent any redpoll, oh well.

we carried on around the small reed fringed pool and a duck swan out from the reeds 3 metres from us, fully expecting it to be a mallard, i raised my bins, and there sticking out like a sore thum was a black arse,



it swam into a channel leading to the main area of lake and we rushed over there, and this is what greeted us.

a full adult drake GADWALL, swimming and feeding blisfully, OMG, the second mega duck in 2 weeks, the bird was extremly relaxed in its setting and didnt showb any signs of being uncomfortable, it wasent even bothered by 5 noisy kids playing 10 m away on the park, after about 15 mins the bird swam back onto the small area and we decided to leave it to itself.

we lesurly walked all the way downriver to an area that looks over larford lakes, i had a quick scan, but nothing materialised, 3 stock doves were singing and nuthatches were calling, so with little else about we headed back up to the gadwall. and it was still there showing well about 3m away, though swimming away from us. we first located the bird at 12:30 and presuambly stayed for the rest of the day, and hopefully may stay for some time as the bird is relaxed


Saturday, 13 February 2010



at the sherwoods shop i noted a female bullfinch

we quickly found our destination, parked up and started walking. a finch flock of c 100 birds emerged from the field including chaffinch, linnet and greenfinch. they settled in a nearby tree and i had a quick sift through the flock, but my mind was set elsewhere....

we flushed yet more finches(mostly linnet) and proceded to a metal gate and joined a few other birders, nobody had seen it. we stood around scanning the fence lines, telephone/power lines and hedge lines/tree tops for the bird but it didnt show, a few birders were spread around the fields and the group we were with left, a finch flock landed in a tree top and on scopeing, revealed there to be 2 YELLOWHAMMER in the flock. a ravern was cronking nearby in a field and we could hear greylag geese, a party of stock dove(8) flew along a field line.

we were joined by a birder and 4 teal flew onto the flooded area in front of us...

we started chatting and strokeing his 2 dogs and we scanned. the other birder started talking to my dad when i saw a long tailed bird land upon a tree


i got my scope onto the GREAT GREY SHRIKE(lifer 202) and savered its beauty, what a bird!!!!

i imidiatly gotm my canera out and started takeing films/photos.

The bird showed upon this tree for about 10-15 mins and we were joined by another birder. the bird then flew off showing its white wing patches and its flight jizz~(quite direct but flappy), it flew to the other side of the field and landed on a bare tree where it stood for c 5 mins, and then again took flight and flew down the hedgerow. we lost it but i again refound the bird perched on an ivy covered tree a very long way off.

now we split from the other birders and statred walking towards the lakes, we got to the end of the field and i tured around and had a scan, a small bird was coming in


the female merlin flew in from a studly direction and dropped into trees along a field, but that was enough to get this year tick.

we walked back over to the birders who had walked further on, and they waved us over, at this point 3 more yellowhammer flew over calling.

we walked over and said had they seen the merlin, luckily they had seen the bird but only briefly, we scanned the hedgerows but the bird wasent seen again

the shrike then popped up on a pylon and i got a closer film:

after staying for another 10 mins, the bird again flew off, and for the last time i again relocated the bird on an oak on the other side of the field(some 100m away).

at this point, we headed back to the car as my dad was starting to feal unwell, we did want to check out upton warren, but we decided not to, but we have a whole week for upton...


patch quicky

a check of the vismig field produced 2 goosander, 2 stock dove, 2 g s wood, 1 ravern


the visit dawned to be rainy, but it held off for the entire visit.......

on the main lake we saw 2 goosander(1drk) but quickly left as i could hear a flock of goldfinches along the path, i quickly reallised that a huge chunk of the 80c finches was made up off LESSER REDPOLL(40c). we quickly pinned the flock down on the riverbank near the small reed pools by the tunnel to the mound... i eventually got quite close to some of them.

(in the last pic note the very red finch in the top left corner, any ideas, methinks odd lesserpoll, thats how it looked in the field??????)

after a check of the chemical pool(nothing) we headed back onto the main lake where we noted 11 pochard and 14 tufted duck, and a certain unmentionable thing(yes its a duck)..........

the goosander total was now on 4 and there was still only 1 drake


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bewick's swans

last year i sent off some pics of some bewick swans i had observed at slimbirdge and a few days ago, i recieved a reply, and 2 of the swans were identified:

this bewick swan is RIDDLER, an adult male(yellow ring, right leg, YXU)

and the bird in this photo is TEAPOT(also male)

teapot is the same age as me at 14!!!!!!!!!!!

and riddler is a good old 19 year old( like my friend tim)

riddler, being the oldest is the most traveled with records from estonia, the netherlands, germany, denmark, and of cause the UK,

teapot, is less traveled with all but 1 of 27 records being in the uk( welney wwt ,norfolk or at slimbridge gloucs......)

bit amazing isnt it, how much you learn from a few rings or in this case, bill paterns, i know i will submit any more rings i see in the future, and you should too, its great


Monday, 8 February 2010

YES, it's another patch bonanza

(this post will contain swear words, not like a normal post)


decided to do most of the patch today, from lickhill up to blackstone, then back to lickhill and to lincomb lock. and after it i was knackered. here's how this amazing patch day goes...........

the area around lickhill was pritty devoid of birds, so i went straight up to blackstone, the male buzzard was again on the hedgeline with the female on posts in the next field up(female MUCH larger), i stopped at the feeders at blackstone for the marsh tit which after 40 mins briefly visited feeders:

sorry thats all i got

also here was 3 nuthatch and 6 coal tit also the usual feeder birds....

last weeks little grebe wasent seen, so after a very long time looking at the feeders i walked up to the lake, it was nice to see the lake was defrosted and had 8 mallard and 3 coot on it, i walked around a line of willow trees(which crosses across the lake), i just got around and noticed a duck, 30 m from me, i noticed a brown head with a pale front, SHIT, the duck quickly flused before i got my bins onto it, but i was confused by the fact the bird lacked white patches on the upperwing. the bird settled not far away but behind another row of trees so ever so slowly i crept along the bush and stopped where i could view the lake, and waited, a few minuites passed and it then swam into view..

1st winter DRAKE WIGEON patch first......... BLOODY HELL, ANOTHER PATCH LIFER

i quickly got the confirmation video: and punched the air(strictly metaphorical(didnt expect that word did you)

i knew if i walked up the path the bird would flush, so being the kind, considerate person i am, i crept back and walked the long way along the river(where it would also be viewed from), i got the news out to a few locals (a significant record here), i scanned from the oposite bank(from where pic is taken

and looked through a gap in the willows, there he was a fine looking drake WIGEON, feeding blissfully at the edges of the lake, i had him in the scope when no less than 15 secs after i reofound him he became jumpy and withthe mallards took flight,


i saw the bird completly lacked the white patches of adult drakes, therefore showing the bird as a 1st winter male.

the bird looked to be flying out when it did a u-turn and headed back towards the lake dropping again, then the reason why the bird took flight appeard, A DOG,off its lead. the bird flew higher and missed the lake pulling my heart out of my chest, it repeated it over and over again for c5 mins reducing me to a blubbering wreck when it finally had enough and flew south.

BUT, the bird reappeared and again circled the lake, PLEASE, PRITTY PLEASE, PLEASE LAND, PLEASE, but again the bird just circled melting me into nothingness

the wigeon then flew off north, it reappeared yet agian to kill me off even more, but was very high at this point and quickly flew off east(there area few pools adjoining the safari park where it may of hopped to), and that was the last of the wigeon saga......(the sadist story you've heard in ages), the dog and its owners started walking up the path towards me, and said hi, i said hi and quickly looked away, not wanting to start a conversation, i couldent help it but just as they were out of hearing disatnce i muttered' fuckers'.

yes i know, not their fault, but would you do so different?

walking back to lickhill was a bit moody, only talking to the farmer about his land and what i had seen.i unintentionally brought up the partridges from earlier in the spring(09) and he said there was 2 CONVOYS. dont get me wrong but convoys means a group of them, he said, there had been 12 RL partridges on his land, he left and i continued.

quick stop off at home for a drink and i was off again.

a check of moorhall in the vain hope the wigeon located here was quickly squished, so i resumed my walk, a few BHG's and a LBBG on the basisin's,

a check of the repoll lake produced, well bar a load of pigeons and a few moorhan/coot nothing, so onwards, all the way down to lincomb lock was painstakeing, but the noise was immense. a kingfisher zoomed past and a cormorant was feeding just below the weir. i was going to walk further to see if i can view larford lakes but i can across a metal bridge, and i was shit scared, i was bricking it, i got a few steps into the bridge and saw the drop from the flimsy bridge below.

'fuck this' i quickly but carefully scrambled back and never looked back, dont get me wrong, hights im not bothered by, but that bridge looked like it was gonna go, and i mean any second.....

..... just by lincomb there is a chain of horse paddocks which could look good for wheater in a few weeks

back at the redpoll lake i saw a finch flock emerge from alders/birches on the opposite side of the river, they settled again and i had a scan with my bins, here's our redpoll. as they were in the top of the tree and i could see which were redpoll, goldfinch of siskin i counted the species, 68 lesser redpoll ,c20 siskin and similar amounts of goldfinch. i found a fence post to ballence my scope on(dropped tripod off at home) and started sifting the flock, nothing differnt was seen and no obvious pale 'mealy' repolls were in there, the males were very attractive to look at, and when you have a male lesserpoll, a male siskin and a male(presumably) goldfinch(very bright colours) in the same scopefully it is a very nice sight, i sifted the flocks for 20 mins and then headed home, with no other birds seen

also a partial albino carrian crow in stourport town centre recently, has entirely white wings, and it looks cool, a 'white-winger' on the patch LOL

i need a rest now


Sunday, 7 February 2010


dropped off at the top car park, from where i walked slowly down towards the lake, the crossbill's wernt on show, but 2 siskin and 5 coal tit were noted, a few GSW were drumming in the woodlands. 6 stock dove flew over NW
on the small lake a decent sized flock of LBBG's(71) with BHG's(33). a grey heron shown superbly on the small lake:

with no other birds around i headed up onto the big lake, but it was obvious that the lake was devoid..........

....... but a biker up the far end rode past and out came 65 coot(also 3 more on small lake), and a few seconds later a small party of tuftie ducks, and ven from this range i could pick out a female POCHARD in the flock. rather than following the bird i dropped onto the river for mandarins and goosanders,


not a single bird was on the river, i walked all the way along the river to the end of the resevoir, but only a male kestrel was noted.....

so climbing the bank back up onto the res.......

had a scan for the tuftie flock but they had disspaeared, then i heard them

CROSSBILL'S, i looked up to see a flock of 6 crossbill flying south calling(year tick). i watched them go over the hill and resumed my walk. the walk to the small res was birdless.

on the small lake the POCHARD was refound along with a female tufted duck with extensive white at the base of the bill.

another walk up and down the river was again birdless so back up to the car park.

at the entrance to the water works i again heard crossbills calling, i emerged out the woodland to see 3 crossbills briefly alight attop a larch, then fly south.

i spent 5 mins here but the crossbills didnt return

at the top car park a further 2 crossbill were seen, but this total quickly increased to 5 birds(1+ male). these birds were extremly skitish and were hard to pin down in the scope, therefore no videos but heres one from 31/12/09 anyway:

these birds then also flew south presumable to roost in the wyre forest....

and that concludes my visit to trimpley


Monday, 1 February 2010


god can you believe it, a month gone already..........

had planned to do most of the patch today(map coming soon)

at the riverside fields a singing stock dove, my first this year and very nice to have an inclin to come in a few weeks time, the return of spring.

a bit further up the path, a buzzard was perched on the hedgeline(as always):

now the day gets interesting, there was tons of activity at the feeding stations at the caravan park south of blackstone, so i stopped and scanned, and after a bit a call sneezed out 'pee-chooo'


yes you read right folks, 3 marsh tit, presumable the wintering bird that has dissapeared, the 2nd bird on the day of the discovery of the wintering bird and a 3rd from the woodland on the opposite side of the river

then a splashing sound got me spinning on my heels to see a adult little grebe scuttle across 2 areas of willow, yes there lingering.........(video of last weeks bird)

at this point 3 female goosander flew downriver.

a nuthatch also visited the feeders

then the temperatures dropped, well below freezing i would say, and it started snowing, i took a look at the buzzard through the scope and i couldent help but feel sorry for it, a quick stop off at home to warm up and have a quick drink and i was back on the patch but this time heading southwards hopeing for some gulls on the basins. NOT ONE BLOODY GULL

not even a f*****g BHG

but dissapointment turned into amazement........

I FOUND MECCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a medium sized pool, surrounded by 'pythags', ahhhhhhhhh, somewhere good, on my patch, and the highlights was a flock of these:

A flock of no less than 52 LESSER REDPOLLS in birch and willow/scrub on the south shore of the pool, i ended up spending 1 1/2 hours here scanning through the flock and trying to ID a raptor, which despite being around for a good 3 mins was distant, the 1st idea was goshawk, with the long neck and thickset wings showed well on the bird, i even passed the news out as goshawk, but around 40 mins after the sighting, i saw the bird again, closer this time, but it revealed something shocking, it wasent a goshawk, it wasent even a british falcon, it was an escapee or hydrid, dont you just hate escapies(yep dont know how to spell this either)

i the redpoll flock was 40c goldfinch and 5 siskin, a pair of bullfinch was also noted while here ......

back on lickhill a pair of stock dove were in the vismig field

ohhh, patch birding can be great


As cold as ICELAND!!!!!!!


felt a bit twitchy today, so where better to go than look through a few gulls

stubbers green here we come.........

well eventually............

finally got my dad out at about 1:30, about and hour later, we parked next to the road, a scan of the small pool produced a few common, herring and LBBG's in the numerous BHG's

there was about 5 birders on site and all at the grassy bank end. we asked had the iceland been seen, the expected NO followed.

so up the sailing club end me and my dad went, a minuite passed and then i got it


my dad looked though my scope and saw the bird which was a lifer for him, and here it is.......

we spent some time scanning the gulls up the top end, but no iceland up there, i went down to the others to say we had the capso, when i heard one of the birder's go 'is it a 2nd winter'

in my mind i though, they have the iceland, and as usual when i get something in my head i asked, have you got the iceland, they said yes, and i looked through this 'dude's' scope at a beautiful 'white' 2ND WINTER ICELAND GULL (lifer 201), i looked for about 10 secs then said the usual thanks and went off to collect my dad, for some reason, we stopped and scanned the gull's up the top end, and went down to the other's about 5-10 mins later, and they said 'it had flown'


and the morel of the story is, always go imidiatly when a good bird is found........

anyway here is a pic my friend jim almond sent for me, thanks jim

(the pic was taken at same location, earlier in the day)

his day can be viewed here

we spent the rest of the afternoon scaning the gulls, the caspo was picked out a few times but the iceland failed to reappear before my dad, but i was well and truily gutted when i heard news of a gloucous gull just up the road.

terry hinett arrived and said that the smew was showing on the swag pool at chasewater, he give directions to where it was. we told him that no iceland or caspo(had left earlier) were in the flock, so i presume he then went to the roost at either chasewater or bartly. despite knowing where the smew was showing from and with us having about an hour untill dusk(or something like that) we could easily make it. but my dad didnt want to go.......

so i had to miss the smew again, grrrrrrrrrrrrr

well on the brighter side, he will have to take me up there again to get it, whoop, whooop

what didnt help either was the gull's were extremly skitish and therfore were quite hard to work, and after an hour and a half looking at gull's, every herring seems to be an iceland LOL