Sunday, 18 March 2018

Woodlark in North Warwickshire

Sunday 18th March 2018

When the weather is bad - get out there. Haven't been too adventurous but quickly moving weather systems often bring in some unexpected birds with some more regular visitors in early spring.
A summer plummaged Black necked Grebe was good to see at Draycote Water.

Black necked Grebe, Draycote Water

A visit to Shustoke Res. looking for an early Sand Martin or even a Kittiwake was fruitless, but a stop at nearby Hurley did produce a decent flock of 108 Golden Plover. Other local sites: Caldecote, Mancetter and Legion Wood saw the usual Skylarks, Raven and Siskin respectively.On today's walk at Mancetter, however, there was something different. I had almost completed my usual circuit when I noticed a lark feeding along the edge of the track leading to Rothern's farm and some small holdings. Skylark? Most likely but a bit small and with a broad supercilium. I tried to get a few photographs, it was only when I enlarged the images that I was able to confirm my suspicions. A Woodlark. Bit of a rarity in Warwickshire. Wrong time, Wrong place, Wrong habitat - the joy of Birding.

 Woodlark, Nr Mancetter, N. Warks.





Thursday, 8 March 2018

Not much to report

Thursday 8th March 2018

The on going search for local birds of interest continues. Not particularly successfully I might add. At a site near Grendon there were up to 20 + Yellowhammer and 3 Tree sparrows, while the Webs count at a part flooded Alvecote pools today produced 3 Pintail (2 males) although apart from Tufted duck, Canada goose and Coot, Wildfowl numbers were low.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Some you win........

Tuesday 6th March 2018

After a few days of nothing much happening Warwickshire birding burst into life. Draycote Water led the way with 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Black tailed Godwit.

Red - breasted Merganser, Draycote Water

3 Red-breasted Mergansers

Another good County bird turned up the following day just outside Bretford, in the form of a Berwick's Swan with the resident winter flock/herd of Mute Swans. Unfortunately I dipped on the Curlew which had dropped in at Brandon Marsh as it dropped out just before I got to the East Marsh hide. A Dunlin was little compensation.

Berwick's Swan, Nr Bretford

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Snow Patrol

Saturday 4th March 2018

Couple of short local walks today starting with a stroll along the River Anker from Woodford Lane. No sign of the Firecrest and only a couple of Chiffchaff but interesting concentrations of some species such as Moorhen,(20) and Snipe (11) also Water Rail. At Caldecote there was a Stonechat, 2 Sparrowhawks one of which was seen to take a small bird, 11 Linnets and 10 or so Song Thrushes as well as the scattering of Redwing and Fieldfare.

Sunday 5th March 2018

Just a short walk in the slush today at Mancetter Quarry. Again there were a few Song thrushes on the hill where the snow had disappeared and there were also 2 Meadow pipits which I hadn't seen for some time.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Birding in the snow

Wednesday 28th February 2018

Walks in the 'white stuff' have not yet produced the sought after Nutcracker, in fact they have not produced many birds at all. There has been an increase in the numbers of Song thrush seen on the Mancetter walk but little else apart from the regular Raven. A visit to Ladywalk Reserve did produce good views of Cetti's warbler but its been a week for not hanging about anywhere too long.
     Thursday saw an up turn in fortunes, the snow hadn't abated but a visit to Mill pool, Alvecote did produce a pair of Pintail (always a pleasure to see) and a solitary Dunlin which seemed to find a few square inches of sand in Warwickshire preferable to the miles of beach along the east coast.

Dunlin, Alvecote pools


Today, Friday, I managed to get in a walk near Mancetter Quarry before the snow came in. Sad to see birds struggling in the wind and sub- zero temperatures. Thrushes in particularly seemed to be badly affected. Several Redwing were seen on the roads and kerbs trying to find whatever food they could and narrowly avoiding traffic.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Reservoir Birds.

Monday 19th February 2018

Blogs are rather more irregular than I would like but I'll try to catch up with the more interesting bits but not necessarily in the right order. A visit to Draycote Water was rewarding with fairly distant views of the Red necked Grebe ( thanks to Dennis Woodward) and my first encounter with the Draycote Hawfinch. Further visits to the river Anker have proved fruitless in terms of Firecrest but there are several Chiffchaff and a few Siskin. A walk up the hill at Mancetter was interesting as I managed the circular tour for the first , up the hill, shirt round the 'Hayes' and back along the canal towpath. The only unusual bird action was a stand-off between 3 R L Partridges in a close huddle and a Buzzard standing just 3 metres away. A case of safety in numbers. Ravens are becoming more active with their characteristic rolling flights.
An out of County visit to Albert village Lake produced good views (but not good photos) of the over-wintering juv. Black throated Diver.

Black throated Diver, Albert village Lake, Leics.

A couple of visits to Draycote Water for the Gull roost were very enjoyable. First time up I viewed from the Dam, not the ideal spot apparently so found myself all alone. Nevertheless still found a juvenile Glaucous Gull which I was chuffed with. Having spoken to John Judge I learned that the windsurfing shore was the favoured viewing area. The following day I positioned myself early and sure enough was joined by Theo and Martin, two Draycote regulars. It wasn't long before they picked out 2 Mediterranean Gulls, one in full breeding plummage. Two Iceland Gulls were also found as well as the juv. Glaucous Gull again. With Arctic conditions forecast for the next week further visits to Draycote may be interesting.