Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Cornwall and Beyond

Tuesday 18th July 2017

Not much to report on the local front but events further afield have been interesting to say the least. Just over a week ago news of an Amur Falcon at Lands End had the pulses racing. A call from John H. was very welcome and we were soon off, reaching Cornwall by daybreak. We scanned the distant trees, hedges and wires in the area where the bird had been presumed to roost. It came as a relief and something of a shock when someone said the bird was, in fact just a few yards down the road from where we had parked. Sitting in  roadside vegetation.

Amur Falcon, Cornwall

Amur Falcon

Amur Falcon

Then it was off to Madeira with my dear wife. Somewhere we had never been before with the chance of a couple of W.P. ticks. To increase my chances I booked a half day trip to the Laurel forest with Windbirds. Cracking views of Madeiran Firecrest on the Levada walk but the Trocaz pigeon was more wary. Hotel balcony birds included: Pain Swift, Yellow legged Gull, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Atlantic Canary, Blackcap and Cory's Shearwater.

Canary

Canary

Chaffinch

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Ups and Downs

Thursday 29th June 2017

Well, its been a while since I've seen much very interesting. I seem to have missed more than I've seen by way of Birdlife. Missing the Corncrake at Alvecote while I was on hols was a big disappointment, then dithering about cost me the Elegant tern. There have been one or two local birds - the Middleton Red necked Phalarope was well worth seeing as were the 4 Bee - eaters at East Leake, Notts. and the Spotted Sandpiper at Belvide. A Red Kite circling over ,the soon to become houses, fields off Higham lane was a bedroom window tick but that's about it really. Also found a couple of localish sites for Grey Partridge although one of the sites is in Leics. A few images from the past 6 weeks :
Spotted Sandpiper, Belvide Res. Staffs

Spotted Flycatcher, local site

Red necked Phalarope, Middleton lakes RSPB

Red Kite, over garden !

Friday, 12 May 2017

Never seen that before !

Friday 12th May 2017

Not the sort of thing you expect in Warwickshire. I'm sure it does happen, particularly on breeding colonies on the coast but I cant recall seeing Common terns 'bombing' a couple of Hobbies. Not just dropping their droppings but actually aiming them. No hits were seen but plenty of near misses. The birds in question were at Mill pool, Alvecote.

The Target, Hobby, Alvecote

Pair of Hobbies

Shelduck with well disciplined brood

Little Gull, Middleton lakes RSPB

So far, May has been largely unspectacular for me, missing most of the wader species passing through, but with all the regular breeding Warblers showing well, I can't complain. Also a good spring for Raptors with Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Osprey and Hobby all seen at localish sites.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Migration report - April

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Been rather too busy trying to catch up with migrants moving through or arriving at their local destinations to keep up with daily accounts -excuses, excuses. I've focussed on localish  sites in the main with mixed success. A summary so far, by no means a complete record just the birds I've managed to see:
Shustoke: Arctic, Black terns,Swift.
Alvecote (Warks) - Dunlin, Blackwits, Garganey, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Little Gull1w, Whinchat .
 Maxstoke -  Redstart.
Mancetter,- Wheatear, Osprey,
 Seeswood -Ring Ouzel, Kingsbury (Cliff pool) -  Little Gull1w, Black Tern.
Brandon - Red Kite, Cuckoo,
Caldecote - Wheatear.
Thanks to those 'finders' who passed on info.

Images of some of the April  birds not featured in the Blog previously:

Eygptian Geese, near Brandon

Black tailed Godwit, Alvecote pools

Whinchat, Alvecote

Wheatear, Mancetter

Black tern, Shustoke Res.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Migrant Fest

Wednesday 19 th April 2017

Just a few of the birds at Middleton lakes RSPB today :

Green Sandpiper, Fisher's Mill

Green winged Teal

Black tailed Godwit

Avocet

Grasshopper warbler

Grasshopper warbler

Green winged Teal