Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Waxwings - the gathering

3rd January 2017

News that the lone Scout Waxwing had been joined by 18 other members of its flock warranted another visit to the Triumph factory, Hinckley to check the score for myself. In fact the score was Waxwings 23, Birders 1. Unfortunately the gloomy weather didn't do them justice so I moved on to stretch my legs on the Caldecote trail. I counted 77 Fieldfare on the meadow but little else. I looked for a Pine Bunting along the hedges but couldn't even find a Reed Bunting. No sign of any Stonechats and only a single Meadow pipit.

Waxwing, Hinckley. (taken Yesterday)

2017, Waxwing

3rd January 2017
                                                            HAPPY NEW YEAR

No Birding on New Year's Day, now that's a first. Got out pretty sharpish next day though on news that the awaited first Waxwing had had turned up locally (within 3 miles is local) even if it is in the neighbouring County, Leicstershire. I suppose I must have taken hundreds of photos of Waxwing over the years but I can't resist taking a few more when the opportunity arises.

Waxwing, Hinckley, Leics.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

My favourite images of 2016

1st January 2017

Some of my favourite bird images home and abroad in 2016

Bittern, Ladywalk N.R. Feb

Lesser Kestrel, Morocco June

Little Bunting, Shetland Isles. Oct

Dalmation Pelican, Lake Kerkini, Greece. Feb.

Desert Warbler, Western Sahara Feb.

Sandwich Tern, Draycote Water Sept.

Dunn's Lark, Western Sahara Feb.

Spotted Redshank, Middleton Lakes RSPB Aug.

Spotless Starling, Morocco June

Red breasted Flycatcher, Shetland Isles. Oct.

Garganey, Ladywalk N.R. May

Great northern Diver, Draycote Water, Jan

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Blue Rock Thrush in Stow on the Wold

Wednesday 28th December 2016

A few images of the Blue Rock Thrush currently wintering in Stow on the Wold

Blue rock Thrush, Stow on the Wold, Gloucs.

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

Friday, 23 December 2016

T'was the week before Christmas

Thursday 22nd December 2016

I'm delighted to report my pre- Christmas blues didn't last very long. I'm keeping away the crowds as much as possible. My queue phobia meant I had to make 3 attempts to collect a pre ordered Turkey from the Butchers. Traffic has also been a nightmare. Anyway  time has generally been split between a bit of local birding and being i/c purchasing essential provisions : drink, pickles and Pork products plus a few Samosas for good measure. As far as the birding is concerned Bird of the week, by some distance, has been a Woodcock seen at close quarters in some local woodland.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Pre-Xmas blues

Sunday 18th  December 2016

I've just been looking at some Blogs of the past. I know its better to look forward than back but on a miserable evening in early December its interesting to see what you were up to last year and whether your mood was less sombre. I keep telling myself there will be a Hawk Owl or a Eye browed Thrush found but I don't really believe it. Be nice though. Last year's Blogs around this time talked about the usual winter visitors, the usual Great northern Diver at Draycote the odd Redwing in the garden and a bit of banter about Beer. All good stuff.
I've been delving into the Archives as well digging out some old note books going back to 1986.  My interest in birds goes back well beyond that though. I was bought my first Bird book, the Observers Book of Birds in 1955 and started ticking.
I was very limited to some very local birding last week but I'd noticed a decent flock of finches flying over a Corn stubble field within a short walk from home. I presumed the birds were Linnets but needed to see them in less gloomy light and not driving a car, to confirm. They were indeed Linnets, a good flock of 60 or so birds. Shame that the field they and several other species were using to feed may well be lost to housing development in the not too distant future.
Took the opportunity to visit Draycote after a present exchange in Coventry, had reasonable views of the G N Diver, 2 of the 3 Scaup and 4 Dunlin. I stopped off at Brandon on the way back saw Kingfisher and a couple of Goldeneye but nothing else of note. Did the 'Mancetter walk' yesterday. another Kingfisher and the resident Grey wags, were along the river.
 On the adjacent fields were flocks of winter thrushes and Yellowhammers but no sign of any Tree Sparrows in the hedges or Chiffchaffs in thr riverside bushes.
Today I visited Alvecote pools and saw yet another Kingfisher, 2 Great white Egrets (both on Mill pool), 10 Little Egrets and 2 Stonechats (both male).

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.