Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Dusky Thrush - Beeley, Derbys.

Wednesday 7th December 2016

The lure of a Midlands tick and seeing another 'eastern' rarity was too strong. After a difficult journey in the fog and with a couple of changes of route because of accidents and heavy traffic I arrived at the village of Beeley in Derbyshire. Birders were strolling around the village which wasn't a good sign. I decided to join a group at THE orchard. There had been no sign of the Dusky Thrush for some time. I waited and waited, no sign. The best thing was an enterprising young lady selling punets of chips to very grateful Birders who had been waiting a good deal longer than I had. Eventually the call of nature and a need for a Coffee forced a retreat to the car. On the way back I joined another group on the playing field. To my amazement the people I was standing next to were actually 'on the bird' I'm sure other people just a few yards away had no idea the Dusky thrush was on view in the Hawthorns. I'm sure the info filtered through eventually and most people got on the bird.

Duskey Thrush, Beeley, Derbys.

Monday, 5 December 2016

'Masked Wagtail' - South Wales

Monday 5th December 2916
Travelled to South Wales today with Tony Shepard and Dave Abbott. Uneventful journey apart from seeing a couple of Red Kites overhead. We arrived at the village of Camrose and almost immediately were alerted to the Wagtail on the road by a concerned motorist. The bird continued to give excellent views both on the roofs of the houses and on the road where these photos were taken.

Masked Wagtail, Camrose, S.Wales

View from the car

'Masked Wagtail'

'Masked Wagtail'

'Masked wagtail'

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Redwings arrive in the Garden

Sunday 4th December 2016

Not much to report being preoccupied with domestic issues, but did get out for a walk around the fields near Mancetter. At the Woodford Lane sewage outfall there were 14 Teal, but apart from the usual pair of Grey wagtails and a flock of some 20 Yellowhammers on the stubble fields not much else. No sign of any Tree sparrows or Chiffchaffs in the riverside bushes yet.
Sunday saw a bit of Garden action with a small flock of 17 Redwings in neighbouring gardens with a couple taking a few Siberian Crabapples from my garden. Before a male Sparrowhawk arrived keeping tabs on the flock,

Redwing - garden

Friday, 2 December 2016

Timing is everything

Friday 2nd December 2016

The coldest spell of the year coincided with my Boiler playing up so in trying to get it sorted there hasnt been much time for birding this week, apart from a couple of visits to Bentley wood, near Atherstone. Today I had a walk round the Mancetter circuit. 50+ Redwings and a couple of Ravens were seen. I extended the walk by following the canal towpath south. There used to be a feeding station by the moorings which attracted Tree Sparrows in previous winters but no sign today. Further on the canal runs quite close to a small lake, part of which can be viewed from the towpath. As I scanned the bit of the lake I could see a few Mallards came into view followed by a drake Mandarin which in turn was followed by another male and a female Mandarin.
After a bit of shopping I carried on to Alvecote pools. As I drove to the Pretty pigs lake a Great white Egret flew over the road towards Mill pool. In all I saw 2 Great white Egrets, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Snipe, 94 Mute Swans,  Black Swan, 2 Shelduck, and 9 Meadow pipits.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Winter visitors

Monday 28th November 2015

A round up of the past few days including a rare out of County trip. Having failed to connect with the Napton Res.6 on my first attempt,  I had another go last Friday. This time I and managed to see 2 of the little gems.
 Popped into Draycote Water on the way back. Be rude not to really. With the sun shining the Great northern Diver showed well. Also seen were a Slavonian grebe, Scaup and a couple of Dunlin. A couple of visits to Bentley woods were unproductive. In desperation I opted for an out of County experience on Saturday. I hoped to see Hawfinch on the edge of Cannock Chase,Staffs., and luckily they we on show as I arrived on site. I saw 5 birds, there were 7 in total apparently. Also in the area near Upper Longdon were Crossbill, Brambling and flocks of Siskin.

Great northern Diver, Draycote Water

Great northern Diver

Slavonian Grebe

Hawfinch, Upper Longdon, Staffs.

Hawfinch

Hawfinch

Brambling

Little Egret, Alvecote

Stonechat, Alvecote