Saturday, 20 January 2018

Firecrest - a winter gem

20th January 2018

The year continues on the slow side. Main focus of attention for me has been the usual local walks and the River Anker at Woodford Lane. The overhanging bushes, fallen trees and frost free river produces blooms of insects which in turn encourage a host of small birds during freezing conditions, including Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Wrens and after several years of looking - a Firecrest. After the initial sighting, the bird proved extremely elusive and it wasn't until my eighth or so visit that the bird showed really well. Now we start to look for another Dipper !!

Firecrest, Hartshill S.W.




Friday, 12 January 2018

Review of 2017 - Part 2, Warwickshire mainly

Friday 5th January 2018

A quietish year for Western P. Birding and Twitching with only 1 species, Amur Falcon, added to my National list and a holiday in Madeira producing a couple of new birds for the Western P. list.
A great year locally though, despite missing out on Richards Pipit only a few miles from Home.
 I've spent an increasing amount of time on local sites which has proved rewarding and quite satisfying.
         Despite having a poor year for waders at Draycote and the Tame valley my total number of species seen within the current Warwickshire boundary is still the 5th best County total recorded since I started County listing in the year 2000. The highlight was undoubtedly the Lesser Yellowlegs but the Draycote Razorbill wasn't far behind with Dartford Warbler and the Tundra Bean goose making a quartet of 'ticks'.
The final total for the year was 157. Well short of my record year of 2010 when 182 species were seen in the County,which represented 88 %  of the species recorded in the Warwickshire that year.

A few 'good'  Warks, birds not included in part 1 of the review.

Waxwing, Rugby

Bean Goose, Nuneaton

Whitefronted Goose, Middleton

Distant Merlin, Warton

Hawfinch, N.Warks

Red necked Grebe, Draycote Water
12th January 2018

Very little to Blog about unfortunately. Birding, like the weather is a bit dull at the moment. Birds are largely staying put until their food source runs out. Haven't really got to grips with my County year list

Friday, 5 January 2018

Saturday, 30 December 2017

That was the year that was - 2017

Saturday 30th Dec.2017

Annual summary of Photographic Highlights of the year 2017

Bearded Tit, Warks

Grasshopper Warbler, Warks.

Grey Phalarope, Warks

Waxwing, Leics

Semipalmated Sandpiper, Tresco, Scillies

Lesser Yellowlegs, Warks.

Whinchat, Warks.

Hawfinch, Leics.

Buff bellied Pipit, Shetland Isles

Razorbill, Warks.

Parrot Crossbill, Shetland Isles

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Staying local

Friday 22nd December 2017

Perseverance pays off ! I've been visiting a couple of local sites which seem to have potential for winter birds. Both came up trumps this week. A Firecrest was found at the Hartshill Sewage outfall together with the regular winter Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, Unfortunately the bird has proved extremely elusive with apparently only one other sighting.Other seen there though include Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Blackcap and Little Egret.         
 The other 'find' was a Merlin over fields of Winter Wheat between Warton village and the M42. The Falcon was being mobbed by a crow and gave an amazing exhibition of flying skills for a minute or so. Regular walks at Mancetter and Caldecote have been largely quiet.