Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Moving on

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

A few images out and about the Tame valley today
Garganey, Ladywalk N.R.


Pied Flycatcher, Middleton Hall

Sedge Warbler, Ladywalk N.R.

Whinchat, Caldecote


Monday, 2 May 2016

The Seeker

Saturday 2nd May 2016

Just like the lyrics of the hit by The Who, I've been searching. And a fat lot of good its done me. Explored some likely new habitat but its been very quiet. The 'circuit' has seen a few more Yellow wagtails a lot more Whitethroats and the odd Lesser Whitethroat. Tree sparrows have been seen again on the Mancetter walk but after the excitement of the previous week there has been little of note. Took a look round Burton Hastings and then news of a Pied Flycatcher saw me heading for Ladywalk where the bird showed well after a frustrating and persistent downpour. In fact the heavy rain was to have a significant impact on my birding in the next few days. Today was a good example. started out with a daily walk around Caldecote. At last there was a Whinchat on the docks in the Anker flood valley. The rain was scheduled for midday so I decided to stay local and check out a report of a White Stork seen earlier flying west over Burbage towards Warwickshire. With the wind strengthening and rain setting in it may not have gone too far. I decided to check out the fields to the west of the A5. As I walked up Hydes Lane the heavens opened. It was then that I glimpsed a 'White Stork' by a pond partially obscured by trees. Not wishing to flush the bird I backed away to the shelter of my car. Soaked to the skin, I went home for a change of clothes and to put out the news. Imagine the horror on returning in bright sunshine of finding the bird was a plastic model. I tried to put out messages but some birders had already arrived. It wasn't a classic Schoolboy error, it was far worst than that. I can only apologise to my friends and fellow birders that did turn up.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Catching up with Migrant birds

Friday 22nd April 2016

Walks round Mancetter and Caldecote have been a bit on the quiet side Yellow wagtail at Caldecote was the only new arrival seen  locally. Numbers of Swallows, House Martins, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps have increased over the past few days. A visit to Middleton Lakes added a few more migrant warblers Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, and Sedge warbler and a ridiculously tame Wheatear.
Missed the Wood warbler at Brandon Marsh first time round but went again today and managed to see it as well a couple of Cuckoos.

Swallow, Caldecote

Wood warbler, Brandon Marsh

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Another Ring Ouzel

Monday 18th April 2016

No new migrants on 'the hill' at Mancetter but good to find 2 pairs of Tree sparrows. The Blackcap was still there. Mistle thrush, Grey heron, Sand Martin and Swallows were also seen. I had a quick look around the Wishaw area, far too quick really but then got a message that another Ring Ouzel had been found in North Warks. I wasn't too far away so headed off, stopping briefly for a look at Shustoke Res. I counted 18 Common terns from the top car park. So, to look for this Ring Ouzel 'near Hurley'. I wasn't very familiar with the area. I knew a few spots in the area but despite getting more detailed instructions still felt I needed to explore every mud spattered lane twice before getting there. Another birder had just arrived and we searched the horse paddocks and hedges. We had to wait a little time before the bird showed itself. Worth the wait though.
Ring Ouzel, Hurley

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel with Blackbird

Ring Ouzel

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The circuit

Saturday 16th April 2016

Just the one hill today, but nothing doing much in terms of birds, a couple of Ravens and a couple of Mistle thrushes.Next stop on the circuit was Shustoke Res and judging by the birders around it was the place to be.The main focus of attention was a drake Common Scoter at the east end but there was also Common tern, Arctic tern, Little gull and a pair of Common Sandpipers. I didn't see the Arctic Tern. I finished the circuit with a walk round Caldecote but again nothing out of the ordinary apart from going arse over tit in the wettest, muddyest patch I could find. All in a days birding.

Common Scoter, Shustoke Res.

Little Gull

Friday, 15 April 2016

Shustoke revisited

Thursday 14th April 2016

Gave the hills a rest today and started the day with a walk round Caldecote. Good numbers of Skylarks, small flock of Linnets several Swallows but not a lot else. Spent much of the rest of the day at Ladywalk N.R. A pair of Little ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper were seen from hide B and a pair of Kestrels were at it, albeit very briefly in the dead tree in front of Bittern hide. Chiffchaffs were everywhere with one or two Willow warblers. From Riverwalk hide a single Oystercatcher and a pair of Wigeon and a few Goosander.
On the way home I popped into Shustoke. The Black necked Grebe was still there with a single Common tern but no sign of the Redstart seen earlier in the day.

Black necked Grebe, Shustoke Res.

Black necked Grebe

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Good day in N.Warks.

Wednesday 13th April 2016

A very eventful and enjoyable day in North Warwickshire starting as usual with the muddy climb up the hill at Mancetter. No sign of yesterday's Ring Ouzel but a male Redstart was a good find until it was chased off its fence by a pair of Robins. Moving on to Alvecote the weather was now very pleasant and it was nice to sit down and watch the goings on on Mill pool and would you believe it another male Redstart, this one being hassled by a Reed Bunting.There was also a Common Tern over the water.
Redstart, Mill pool, Alvecote

I was pretty chuffed at finding 2 Redstarts so decided to call it a day and  head home for a cup of tea but no sooner had I put the kettle on when on checking my pager I was heading for Shustoke Res. where a Black necked Grebe had just dropped in.
Black necked Grebe, Shustoke Res.
Two more Common terns were also seen at Shustoke.