Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Garganey, Shustoke Res.

17th Sept. 2014
A couple more images of the Shustoke Reservoir Garganey
Garganey, Shustoke Res.
Garganey
Garganey

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Middleton Lakes RSPB, mostly

Tuesday 16th September 2014
A good day in the Tame valley started at Shustoke Res with a couple of Ruff and a Common Sandpiper.
Common Sandpiper, Shustoke Res.
Common Sandpiper
At Middleton Lakes RSPB there was a good range of species to be seen on the Jubilee Wetlands. Waders were represented by Ruff 2,Curlew Sandpiper 6, Dunlin, Ringed plover 4, Greenshank and Little Stint 4. Chats; Wheatear 2, Stonechat, and Raptors, Hobby 2, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Whinchat and Marsh Harrier had been seen earlier in the day.
A selection of waders flushed by a pair of Hobbies
Hobby
Hobby
Hobby
Stonechat
Wheatear
A message from Steve H.that there was a Garganey back at Shustoke had me heading back and sure enough the Garganey was there as well as 3 Ruff. The camera was called into action as all four birds spent some of the time close in to the shore near the car park. A very satisfactory end to an excellent day of local birding.
Ruff, Shustoke Res.
Ruff
Garganey

Monday, 15 September 2014

Looking around

Monday 15th September 2014
Nothing much to report over the past few days unfortunately, despite checking a few lesser known local sites. c350 Lesser black backed Gulls on a freshly ploughed field on the Warks. side of the A5 near Witherley was impressive but not many migrants were found. Today's itinerary; Piccadilly, Skylark, 3 Green Woodpeckers, Kingsbury W.P. 2 Snipe, Atherstone Co oP. Coffee, Farm shop, Dordon - Pasty, Alvecote pools 3 Hobby, several Chiffchaff, Hurley - 2 Wheatears.
Wheatear, Hurley
Wheatear
Wheatear

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Ruff at Shustoke Res.

Saturday 13th September 2014
A day of mixed fortunes, the birding day began at Mill pool, Alvecote which was almost a disaster from the start, when, with eyes to the skies I fell down a Rabbit hole and landed in a cow pat. Luckily the pat was largely dry and although the trusty camera went flying there was no great harm done. Not much in the way of birds a total of 7 Little Egrets and a Hobby were about it.
Little Egrets, Alvecote pools
There's always one
A message from Dave H, about a very confiding Ruff at Shustoke Res. had me heading for Shustoke although I wasnt confident about the bird still being there on a sunny Saturday. The number of dogs about would surely flush the bird but I went anyway. I shouldn't have worried. I met Dave, The bird was still there and showing down to a few feet.
Ruff, Shustoke Res.
Ruff
Ruff
Ruff
Ruff
Ruff

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Big flock, Little flock

Wednesday 10th September 2014
Gave Blithfield Res. a visit by way of a change yesterday. Had a good look round but didnt find much. Just nice to be out. A few Ruff, 3 Greenshank, a Yellow Wagtail  and a couple of Common Sands were the best I could do.
Today I was back on more familiar ground, the 'patch'. I started at 'Lower patch' near Caldecote Hall. As I parked up the Ash tree above me exploded as a large number a Hirundines took flight. Ok exploded might be a bit of an exageration but as these birds were joined by others already airbourne it was clear there were alot of birds, House Martins and Swallows, involved. Amazing sight.
A small part of an amazing flock of Swallows and House Martins at Caldecote.

Nothing particularly unusual about the rest of the walk, a Raven was heard, no sign of any Mistle Thrushes but a small group of Meadow pipits were new in. Other than that it was pretty much the usual stuff small flocks of Linnet, Reed Buntings and Goldfinches and single Nuthatch, Cormorant and Grey Heron.
Goldfinch, everywhere there are Thistles.
'Upper patch' was even quieter, even the area of Elderberries and Gorse were birdless. After picking up A pastie and sausage rolls at Dobbie's food hall I moved on to an area near Warton, in the North east corner of Warwickshire. Again small flocks of Linnets and also a good number of Yellowhammers but the only migrant seen was a single Garden warbler.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Middleton Lakes RSPB

Saturday 6th September 2014
First time at Middleton for a while, well since the Pacific Golden Plover. Quite alot of interest nearer to home but today I felt the need to have a wander around the lakes and see what was about. I met up with Julian Allen who put me on to one or two waders. On the Jubilee Wetlands we had Black tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, and a Ruff, while the North pit held a Spotted Redshank, 2 Redshank, and another Ruff. Around the edge of the North pit there was a Wheatear, a Whinchat and a Stonechat all of which moved on to the ploughed field giving more distant views. As we made our way back past Fishers Mill a Hobby put on a display of low level flying to complete a very rewarding visit.
Spotted Redshank, Middleton Lakes, Staffs

Local Hobbies

Friday 5th September 2014
Although most of my local birding is focussed on North Warwickshire I do sometimes stray across the border into Leicestershire, a matter of less than 1/4 mile away. When Dave A invited me to visit a site where Hobbies had been seen regularly I took up the chance. Although relatively close to home it was an area of farmland just beyond Stapleton I was unfamiliar with. After following various paths our first find was, almost predictably this autumn, an immature Redstart. We also found small mixed flocks of Yellowhammers and Chiffchaff before Dave picked up the calls of Hobby. We picked out 4 Hobbies flying around, presumably a family group. Eventually they settled in trees, but too far away for a decent photo.
Hobby, Leicestershire
Redstart