Thursday, 25 September 2014

Life in the Slow lane

Wednesday 24th September 2014
First stop of the day was at Shustoke. Dave H. had reported a juvenile Arctic tern. With fresh winds and heavy showers forecast it seemed as good a spot as any for migrating birds to turn up.Unfortunately it appeared that a hungry Peregrine had beaten me to the Tern. I probably would have witnessed the event if I hadnt got caught up in a new improved holdup on the A5. There was another Ruff and the juvenile Ringed Plover from yesterday, plus a confusing Wagtail looking like a White wagtail with pale grey mantle and flanks but maybe too much black in the rump.
'White' Wagtail
'Pied' Wagtail
Ruff
'Let me see'
Black tailed Godwit, Cliff pool, KWP
Hornets' nest, KWP
At the Cliff pool hide, Kingsbury Water Park I was greeted with that familiar phrase 'There was a ...........here but its/they've just flown off. In this case the birds in question were Black tailed Godwits. Fortunately, however, they returned to give rubbish views. Apart from that there was a flypast of three Common Snipe and a Peregrine in the Stratosphere. 
Knowing that the Highways Agency were at that very moment planning new ways of making my journey home as difficult as possible. I set off back, knowing the A5 was completely knackered I did a tour of most of the villages of West Leicestershire before reaching my destination.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Still looking

Monday/Tuesday 22nd /23rd September 2014
On Monday I was on the lookout for migrants. Without a great deal of success I would add. I did find 5 Blackcaps at the western extremities of 'the patch' but that was about it. I moved on to Warton on the Hill, right on the border with Leicestershire. The huge expanse of arable land had been recently ploughed and attracted up to 8 Common Buzzard , a large mixed Corvid flock, some 70 Linnets and a handful of Skylarks. At Alvecote there were 4 Little Egrets, and 2 Hobby.
Today I made a short visit to Shustoke Reservoir. There were very few birds on the water but a drake Pochard was a recent arrival. Also newly arrived was a young Ringed plover which I completely missed on my walk round the pond. I also missed another Ruff but having overdosed on Ruffs that was of less concern. Luckily Dave H. hadn't missed the plover, so I was able to get a couple of photos. As I was about to leave a Hobby was seen high over the Res.
Ringed plover, juvenile, Shustoke Reservoir
Ringed plover
Ringed plover

Friday, 19 September 2014

A not so dull day at Draycote Water.

Friday 19th September 2014
I was not particularly enjoying cutting down an ageing Laburnum tree in the garden, so when a casual look at the pager revealed a Bonxie at Draycote Water it was a good excuse to down tools. Hang on a mo though, the message didnt say whether it was settled on the water or a fly thru. Luckily confirmation that it was still there came through and I was off. On route there was intermittent drizzle and generally gloomy skies and it was pretty much the same at Draycote. The Great Skua was out in the middle, as bout as far away from the shore as it could be. It made a couple of short flights while I was there, in company with Bob Hazel, but didnt really come in any closer.
Great Skua, Draycote Water
Great Skua
Other birds seen on the visit included 6 lingering Common Terns, 2 Wheatear, a Yellow wagtail, 18 Skylarks and slightly more Meadow Pipits
Wheatear
Wheatear

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