Thursday, 28 July 2011

Drama on the A5

Juvenile Willow warbler, Broomey Croft, Kingsbury
Juvenile Chiffchaff, good numbers of juveniles around the pools at Kingsbury W P including Blackcaps, Garden warblers, Common Whitethroats and Treecreeper

Purple Hairstreak


Little Egret

Thistle seeds, signs of early Autumn? - with many Wasps in some hides and abundant Blackberries around.

Drama on the A5

'Needs a bit of a paint job '

Thursday 28th July 2011

It had been a tranquil day: counting Mute Swans at Coton (159), looking for Butterflies and Dragonflies along the canal at Kingsbury, watching another Little Egret using different fishing techniques in the crystal clear waters of the only bit of Cliff pool that isnt carpeted in algae and eating a superb ham/salad Baguette at the Cedars cafe,Lea marston. Then the drive home via my Dads place. First some prat tries to write me off going round Dunton island and then I get to spectate at a car fire which blocked the A5 at Grendon. Some might say it was the most exciting event of the day. Nah, I'll stick with finding a Purple Hairstreak, more than enough excitement for me.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper, Brandon Marsh
Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper


Wednesday 27th July 2011

Visited Brandon Marsh today without going anywhere near the East Marsh hides. I might have done, but there seemed to be a bit of a party going on in the main hide which I decided wasn't really my scene. I enjoyed some good birds nonetheless, 3 Green Sandpipers, Kingfisher, and Hobby and a host of wetland warblers, with a variety of woodland species Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers, Jay and Bullfinch.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Blithfield Res., Staffs.

Osprey, Blithfield Reservoir, Staffs.
Monday 25th July 2011

Blithfield Reservoir isnt one of my regular haunts I must admit. I usually go when something a bit different has turned up or I happen to be passing. Yesterday I just fancied somewhere a bit different. It was a beautiful day, unfortunately I'd put my back out digging up a tree stump in the garden so I was a bit restricted getting around. It was quiet, gloriously quiet I only saw one couple walking and a couple of Birders. An Osprey could be seen distantly in the top of a conifer and an Arctic tern was picked out but nothing else was seen apart from the usual Common tern, Warblers and Waterfowl. Hard to believe there wasnt a single wader somewhere but then again theres a lot of shoreline to check at Blithfield and I only saw a fraction of it.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Little Egret, Middleton Lakes

Little Egret, some images of one of the two Little Egrets at Middleton Lakes yesterday

Sunday 24th July 2011
Also of interest, 3 Redshank, 3 Kestrel, Common Sandpiper, a Stoat and Emperor Dragonfly.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Middleton Lakes, RSPB

Black tailed Godwit, Fishers Mill, Middleton lakes RSPB - showing well against the leaden skies
Black tailed Godwits
Black tailed Godwit
Monday 18th July 2011

Highlight of a visit to Fishers Mill, Middleton Lakes RSPB was undoubtedly a fly past by a small squadron of Black tail Godwits still in breeding plummage. Other attractions were a juvenile Peregrine which made two low, high speed passes over the pools before climbing to circle high above Dosthill hill. Other waders included a Ruff, Common Redshank, Common Sandpiper and several Little ringed Plovers. A Little Egret was also seen over Fishers Mill, North pool. Another Little Egret was seen high up in trees at Middleton Hall lake together with the 3 Green Sandpipers with have been there for several days.

Juvenile Woodpigeon

Woodpigeon, juvenile


Sunday 17th July 2011

My Sunday morning pruning was interupted when a recently fledged Woodpigeon appeared amongst the branches I was trimming. As I've said before Woodpigeons would be better described as Garden pigeons as they become ever more common in the Urban environment. However, I cant remember seeing a juvenile before. The reason might be that they dont appear to feed on the ground at this stage and spend hours just perched in the same spot in trees.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Gutter Press

Common Tern, Kingbury Water Park

Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern

Feeding time

Barn Owl

Common Shrew, freshly dead

Saturday 16th July 2013

Found myself in the gutter on Thursday but had a much better day birding in the Tame valley yesterday but more of that later. How did I come to end up in the gutter? Well, all you need is a very powerful dog, Boxer, American Bulldog sort of thing, first aid kit, attractive lady distributing free newspapers and a trolley. Actually the attractive lady is optional but something that produces an unexpected noise next to you is important. You've probably sussed out what happened already: lady approaches, trolley makes noise, dog bolts, hits me, me lands in gutter after a bit of spontaneous gymnastics, minor injuries ensue, lots of sympathy from newspaper distributor.

Really enjoyed a dog free walk around bits of the Tame valley, even with a sprained wrist I managed a few photos. It was a very warm day in the sun and Butterflies were plentiful, Gatekeepers were particularly plentiful in some areas. Highlights among the birds on show was a Greenshank seen and heard in flight to verify the ID, a Redshank, Greater black backed gull, Green Woodpecker and Barn Owl. Having commented on the lack of Common tern breeding activity at Kingsbury Water Park it was nice to watch a pair of Common tern fledglings being fed on the small island in front of the main hide.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Emperor's New clothes, or the Great(er) Greenshank fiasco

Greenshank, Daventry Country Park - viewed from a sensible distance !
Wednesday 13th July 2011

I'd been thinking about it for sometime, getting to grips with the wilderness bit of the back garden. A nature corner is all well and good if you can actually see anything. No something had to go and today was the day to do it. I'd got as far as finding the extension cable for the saw when the dreaded Mega alert went off. Please not Scotland again. Oh joy, a Greater Yellowlegs just down the road. A Midlands tick was well worth postponing the tree surgery for. There were a great many familiar faces at Daventry reservoir when I arrived all studying the Yellowlegs which was in company with a couple of Black tailed Godwits. A steady stream of Midlands birders joined the throng along with a sprinkling of 'Suits' who obviously had business meetings in the area. Everyone was happy they had got to grips with what is a very rare visitor to the UK, let alone the Midlands. Even some of the most notable twitchers around didnt immediately question the ID. We all saw what we wanted to see. A lesson learnt? I doubt it.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A visit to Brandon Marsh Nature reserve

Hobby, Brandon Marsh N.R.Hobby

Green Sandpipers

Saturday 9th July 2011

Had a pleasant couple of hours at Brandon Marsh Nature reserve on Saturday. The place was very quiet and I had the hides to myself for most of the time I was there. Carlton hide was the most productive with the build up of Green Sandpipers well underway, 5 were on show. There was also a Kingfisher, a pair of Redshank, a Common Snipe, Sparrowhawk and a Jay. Around the fringes of the reed beds there were good numbers of Whitethroat, Reed warbler and a family group of Linnets. On West Marsh a Hobby flashed through low and East Marsh was alive with activity, with Common tern, including several juveniles, Lapwing and Little ringed Plovers taking centre stage.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Common Tern in the Tame valley

Common Tern, Kingsbury Water Park

Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern


Holly Blue, Shustoke Reservoir

Wednesday 6th July 2011

Had a wander round the southern end of the Tame valley. Shustoke Res.was quiet, no dogs but few birds either, a Lesser Black backed Gull and about 4 Common terns drifted about, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats were in hedges near the Sailing Club and about 20 Sand Martins were over the water. A bloke emptied a bin liner full of bread rolls into the water clearly eager to put Shustoke res. on the map by winning the Fattest Ducks in Britain competition. The ducks would have been better employed consuming the filamentous algae which is rapidly clogging up the wetlands in the Tame valley.

There was a Little ringed Plover on Cliff pool, Kingsbury WP as well about 12 Common Tern, 2 Kingfishers and again 20 or so Sand Martins as well as the usual selction of Ducks, warblers and Hirundines.

The status of the Common Tern as a breeding species in the Tame valley is unclear. The large colonies of a few years ago have dispersed due to competition from Black headed gulls for prime sites. There are still Common Terns in the southern parts of the Tame valley but there was no evidence of breeding.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Garden Tick

Banded Demoiselle, river Anker at Caldecote yesterday

Banded Demoiselle, female

Monday 4th July 2011

Banded Demoiselle graced the garden this afternoon but little else noted today except 2 Green Sandpipers at Middleton Hall lake still.