Monday, 26 September 2011

A short Stint at Middleton Lakes

Little Stint, Middleton Lakes, Staffs.
Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint

Monday 26th Sept. 2011

Having dipped the Long toed Stint at Weir reservoir in Sussex it was back to the local scene with a walk round Middleton Lakes today. Beautiful day with a few waders on the 'new reedbed pool' Maybe 10 Ringed plover, 3 Dunlin and a couple of Little Stints. Having carried my camera round the 'wetland' circuit I took a couple of shots of the waders knowing that the birds we too far away for any reasonable images but what the hell. Anyway after a quick look at Coton and Shustoke and adding only Little Egret,Wigeon and Pochard to the day list it was back home for a much needed cup of Tea. Knowing the insatiable appetite of my Blog followers for news, views and quality snaps I checked out the days images. The odd Fungi, a small Heath Butterfly, something flying by which might have been a Sparrowhawk and loads of shots of a Little Stint with olive green legs. Hum! I pondered. What if ? Better safe than sorry I contacted a few friends, with descriptions, concensus was Little Stint.

Monday, 19 September 2011

A local roundup

Black necked Grebe, Napton Reservoir, Warks.

Black necked Grebe
Monday 19th Sept 2011

After the relative 'excitment' of the previous week it was very much a return to business as usual. I got a decent walk out of it but not much doing birdwise. There was a nice flock of about 40 Skylarks in the stubble on the Caldecote circuit. A Green Sandpiper is still on the river at Kingsbury, a Kingfisher at Broomey Croft, a Little Egret on the river at Fisher's Mill and a few Ringed plover on Fishers Mill north scrape. There were very few migrants about, only the dwindling numbers of Swallows. A Cetti's at Coton was about the only warbler around.
Tuesday 20th Sept 2011

Having decided not to go twitching the Scillies I settled for Brandon Marsh instead. Bad move some would say. Only time will tell, but it wasnt exactly humming with excitement I must admit. A pair of Dunlin on Teal pool was the best on offer. I had the place to myself, perhaps everyone else is heading for the Isles of Scilly. I moved on to Napton Reservoir to see the Black necked Grebe and then back to Draycote. It was now raining quite heavily and again I had the place to myself. There was quite alot of activity on Farborough and Toft banks with flocks of Pied and Yellow Wagtails, a small flock of Meadow pipits, 2 Wheatear and a Grey Wagtail. On Farborough spit were 2 Dunlin, 2 Ringed plovers and a Greenshank while over the centre of the water was a Juvenile Little Gull, an Arctic tern and a juvenile Black tern.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Seabirds in the Strangest places

Shag, Stoneydelph, Tamworth, Staffs.


Saturday 17th Sept. 2011

The nearest, or at least the easiest to get to M and S to Jan and I is now at Tamworth. So news that a young Shag had turned up in Stoneydelph fitted in well with Jan's plans for a bit of Saturday afternoon shopping. Finding the shops was easy but finding the pond the Shag had chosen to hold up at was a nightmare. Anyway we got there in the end thanks to to guidance of TP and dozens of locals braving the heavy downpours. The bird was on a grassy bank next to the pond surrounded by Swans and Ducks. As I approached a couple of ladies were bearing down on the bird with armfulls of bread for the ducks. I quicked my step and managed to intercept them before the feeding frenzy began explaining my interest in the unusual visitor. They graciously moved further along the bank to scatter their bread, taking the ducks with them.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Waders at Draycote Water

Little Stint, Draycote Water




Curlew Sandpiper



Friday 16th Sept 2011

Ok, still a bit of a retrospective, I'm afraid I haven't been out today. You dream of autumn days like today searching for Wrynecks and Grey Phals and then spend the day sorting out the TV and your Broadband and kitchen tiles and....... well, no way to top up the old self found list. Having said that I did manage a Redstart at Caldecote on the 5th and a presumed Reed warbler in the most unlikely habitat on the ground near Merevale hall, Atherstone. Hobby are still around with one at Whitacre Heath NR on the 12th along with 40+ Yellow wagtails in the cow field. There were also 10+ Yellow wags at Draycote, as well as Wheatear, Curlew Sand., Little Stint and the Gannet which was found sadly dead this morning. I popped in to Sutton Park on the 14th to find a couple of Common Redstarts but very few willow/chiffs and no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers. I bumped into Steve Haynes who had noted a movement of Meadow pipits, picking out the calls of birds as they flew over. Sadly I was unable to hear the pipits at all, its an age thing you know. I was going to make some witisism about missing a Shag at Draycote but I dont think I'll bother.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Midlands Pelagic

Kittiwake, Shustoke Reservoir

Manx Shearwater, Draycote Water - one of possibly 5 seen in Warwickshire during the last week.
Manx Shearwater
Sabine's Gull, Belvide Res., Staffs.
Sabines Gull
Sabine's Gull

Sabine's Gull

Gannet, Draycote Water


Common Tern, Draycote Reservoir

Thursday 15th Sept. 2011

Back at last, lack of posts was nothing to do with some extended birding adventure but I switched to a hopefully more reliable Broadband provider. Anyway its been an interesting few days with the strong winds bringing in several pelagic species to the Midlands, particularly the larger reservoirs. Focus of attention was initially Belvide Reservoir where a Sabine's Gull had taken refuge on the 7th Sept. close into the dam wall but very distant from the gate. The small group of enthusiasts were given permission to go on to the dam and obtain better views and a few record images from a reasonable distance. With the winds continuing to batter the west coast it wasnt surprising that Manx Shearwaters started to turn up with Draycote water being the prime location with probably 4 different birds being involved. A young Kittiwake was seen at Shustoke on the 8th and then it was back to Draycote for an adult Gannet to complete a set of species seldom seen so far inland. Waders too were forced to take shelter and feed where they could with a good variety again turning up at Draycote water. A few images to follow!