Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cyprus, May 2012

Thursday 24th May 2012
White Pelican, 1st year Cape Drapano
Very quiet day in the Tame valley judging  from the locations I visited today. Best I could do was a Cuckoo and 3 Common Terns at Cliff pool, Kingsbury. There was a good deal more activity on canal pool though with all the Carp on the Surface, presumably spawning or preparing to. So a few more images from Cyprus. The highlight of the trip in birding terms was probably a 1st year White Pelican which spent an afternoon circling high over the north side of the Arkamas before being relocated at Cape Drapano, finally landing on Geronisos island amidst the agitated Yellow legged gulls.
White Pelican
White Pelican with Hooded Crow escort
White Pelican on Geronisos island being mobbed by Yellow legged Gulls
Little Bittern - found at most waterside locations
Squacco, common
Bee-eater - 'if you just come a little closer'
Temminck's Stint, Lady's Mile
Curlew Sandpiper, Lady's Mile

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Cannock Chase, May 2012

Wednesday 23rd May 2012
I always enjoy a day at Cannock Chase in the spring. It provides the nearest habitat to me for many wood and heathland species associated with the mixed woodlands further west into Wales. Tree pipits were abundant around the stepping stones area but the other usual migrant birds proved more difficult to pin down. A pair of Pied Flycatcher were prospecting for possible nest sites but had to contend with the attentions of a Great spotted Woodpecker also looking for likely sites. Spotted Flycatchers, recently arrived stayed high up in the trees and several pairs of Common Redstart were also seen. It was disappointing that no Wood warblers were seen or heard. Other species seen included Woodlark, Cuckoo, Sparrowhawk, Mistle thrush and Raven. The highlight of the day though was not a bird or the Latte at the Garden centre it was a Common Lizard which showed well near the path to Seven springs I cant remember having seen a Lizard before in the UK.
Common Lizard, Cannock Chase, Staffs.
Tree Pipit
Common Redstart, female
Pied Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Birds of Cyprus 2012

Tuesday 22nd May 2012
After the excitement of yesterday it was time for a reality check on a local patch at Caldecote and the realisation that flood/wet meadows are just that, wet. So being inappropriately shod I got my feet wet. No probs I just sat in the sun watching sheep munch by and dangled my socks in the sun to dry. A few Stock doves flew about and a pair of Great spotted Woodpeckers busied themselves taking food to a nest but not alot else happened. I decided my socks weren't going to dry sufficiently so I aborted the rest of the walk. But despair ye not, I still have a few (hundred) images from Cyprus to post.
Purple Heron
Collared Pratincole, Mandria
Spur winged Plover
Spur winged plover
Sardinian warbler
Temminck's Stint, Phasori

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Day in May

I picked up the message about the Cream coloured Courser quite late this morning but decided to go anyway. After a few arguements with the Sat Nav I set off in the firm belief I was heading for somewhere just to the north of the Severn Estuary. Wrong, not even close. It was a lovely day though and the scenery was magnificent, just too much of it if you see what I mean. Anyway got there eventually saw the bird, talked to a few people, did a Radio interview on the plight of the Turtle Dove in Warwickshire and headed home.
Around Leominster I picked up a message about a Nightjar at Ladywalk N.R. in Warwickshire. A county tick and there was me hundreds of miles away following tractors at 10 mph for fun. All was well though, the Nightjar was still showing when I got there. Outstanding.
Cream coloured Courser, Kington, Herefords.
Cream coloured Courser
Cream coloured Courser
Cream coloured Courser
Cream coloured Courser
Cream coloured Courser
Nightjar, Ladywalk N.R., Warks.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bluethroat at Doxey Marshes, Stafford

Sunday 20th May 2012
Managed to get a few images of my first West Mids. Bluethroat. The bird was quite elusive in the afternoon only occasionally climbing the reeds to show itself well near the entrance to Doxey marshes just outside Stafford. Keep working the patches lads theres more stuff to be found yet!
Bluethroat, Doxey Marshes, Stafford

Cyprus: May 2012

Saturday 19th May 2011
A few images from sunny Cyprus in late spring. Not a birding trip as such but visited a few likely areas on our daily walks around the Paphos area.

Eleanora's Falcon, dark morph - Asprokremnos Res.
Eleanora's Falcon
Eleanora's Falcon
Short toed Lark
Black Francolin, female
Wood warbler
Wood warbler

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Wood Sandpiper at Brandon Marsh,Warks.

Wood Sandpiper, Brandon Marsh N.R.
Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Reed Warbler, Brandon Marsh N.R.
Reed Warbler
Saturday 19th May 2012
A misty, gloomy day with easterly winds should produce a few birds in the Midlands in mid May so it was no great surprise when a Wood Sandpiper turned up at Brandon Marsh.The bird showed well from the Teal pool hide, while the supporting cast included Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Redshank and two Cuckoos. Prospects also looked good for a visit to Draycote Water, where 3 Black tern were seen amidst a miriad of Swifts and assorted Hirundines but alas not the variety of species hoped for. A hobby put on a spectacular if brief show in attempting to take a House Martin but that was it. Hopefully a few images from a recent holiday in Cyprus will brighten the gloomy weather and remind us of what might be heading our way.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Wood warbler at Draycote water, Warks.

Wood Warbler, Draycote water
Wood warbler
Wood warbler
Wood warbler
Wood warbler
Yellow wagtail
Yellow wagtail
Thursday 3rd May 2012
On another damp and dismal day I headed for Brandon Marsh in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Nightingale. In the event I didnt even hear it sing a note. Plenty of other migrants though with Blackcaps and Common Whitethroat particularly abundant. Why is it some migrant species can be described as abundant when so many resident farmland species appear to be struggling? Is it that migrants are more concentrated in traditional breeding areas or has the level of predation of resident species increased over winter months? Moving on to Draycote Water I was disappointed that a summer plummaged Knot had also moved on. The reported Wood warbler was still near the sewage works though, and there were a number of yellow and white wagtails on the banks. Out on the water there was 30+ Arctic terns and hundreds of hirundines feeding low over the water with a few Swifts mixed in.