Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Sandwich Tern at Draycote Water

Tuesday 27th September 2016

Started the day at Brandon Marsh, which was very quiet with all the hides deserted. The only birds of note were a pair of Stonechat viewed distantly from the Ted Jury hide. Moving on to Draycote Water I walked towards Toft, a young Yellow wagtail was seen briefly on the rocks and the group of Ringed plovers were at the 'entrance' to Toft Bay. I had no intention to walk round the pond so made my way back along the dam. There was a large flock of B H Gulls on the freshly harrowed fields. The birds suddenly 'got up' and flew round with a single Ruff among them. It could not be relocated on the ground when the gulls settled. Approaching the cafe another bird caught my attention, smaller than the gulls it landed on a pontoon used by the fishermen. With better views as I got closer it was clearly a Sandwich Tern. The priority was to try and get a couple of photos for the record and to notify other birders. It got a bit complicated due to the fact that I'd left my mobile at home. With the cooperation of the blokes in the fishing lodge and the manageress of the Cafe I managed to achieve both goals.

Sandwich Tern, Draycote Water

Sandwich Tern

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Local walks

Sunday 25th Sept. 2016

Did the Mancetter walk but the only birds on the hill were Chiffchaffs today and also quiet around Caldecote, although I didn't complete the full circuit. There were a flock of Meadow pipits on the track leading to the riding stables, I reckon about 25 but apart from Cormorants flying along the river and the odd Buzzard not much else.

A rather poor shot of just a small part of the Meadow pipit flock on the track in Caldecote.There are 9 birds in this shot.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Birding around Warwickshire

Friday 23rd September 2016

A few images from today's birding at Draycote Water, Alvecote pools and a couple of local sites.

Rock pipit, Draycote Water

Rock pipit

Ringed plovers

Ringed plovers


Common Scoter

Tufted Duck

Pintail, Mill pool, Alvecote


Black tailed Godwit

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Brandon Marsh and Draycote Water

21st September 2016

First stop Brandon Marsh. Reasoning that the huge influx on Yellow browed warblers would have not yet reached Warwickshire my main focus would be the pools. The main island on East Marsh had a long staying Ruff and a Common Sandpiper mingling with the Lapwing flock. The number of Snipe had increased since my last visit. I counted 9 but I'm sure there were many more. At Draycote there were 9 Dunlin, a dormant Knot, a drake Common Scoter and a Red crested Pochard. I managed to get a few images.
Migrant Hawker, Brandon Marsh

Little Egret, Draycote Water

Little Egret

Common Scoter

Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Red crested Pochard

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Visits to Draycote Water and Alvecote pools

Monday 19th September 2016

A grey day and a grey bird. It was a gloomy day with steady drizzle. Ideal for Draycote Water I thought. Trouble was the vis wasn't much good. I set off towards Rainbow.Not many people about which was good but not many birds either which wasnt so good. I returned to the cafe for a cuppa and then walked the dams toward Toft. The first bird of note was a Yellow wagtail amongst the Pied wagtails. At the elbow was another surprise the Knot which had been around for a couple of days but I had no idea it was still there At the end of the dam wall were a few more waders 3 Dunlin and 8 or so Ringed plovers.
Yellow wagtail, Draycote Water




Tuesday 20th September 2016

A walk up the hill at Manctter was fruitless birdwise although there seemed to be more Chiffchaffs and Robins about than usual. At Alvecote there were 2 Great white Egrets, quite mobile but showing well, as I wandered on a Black tailed Godwit flew in. I lost it in the  sun as it flew overhead quite high but then was amazed that it had landed in the middle of Teal pool. It was joined by both Little and one of the Great white Egrets. I counted 7 Snipe also.

Great white Egret, Alvecote

Great white Egret

Great white Egret

Great white Egret

Black tailed Godwit

Black tailed Godwit

Black tailed Godwit and Great white Egret

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Migration continues slowly - continued

Saturday 16th Sept 2016

The rain did eventually stop, prompting an outing to the Mancetter Hills on Friday. At the highest point of my walk, which to be honest isn't that high I found several pipits and a Wheatear presumably 'grounded' by the heavy rain. They certainly weren't there a day ago. It was still quite windy as I tried to photograph the pipits with my backup camera with not much success. I thought there might be a Tree pipit in there. Certainly there were a couple of likely candidates.

Meadow Pipit

On Saturday I visited Brandon Marsh.There was a Ruff on East Marsh among the Lapwing flock. A very nervous flock with no less than 3 Sparrowhawks in the surrounding bushes. A young Water Rail made a typically brief appearance in front of the E.Marsh hide.

Water Rail, Brandon Marsh
and that was the week that was !

Friday, 16 September 2016

Migration continues slowly in Warks and the West Mids.

Friday 16th September 2016

 Sunday saw a regular walk round Caldecote Hall up to the Coventry canal but the only bird of any real interest was a Peregrine. Monday Dentist.Tuesday 2 Whinchats and Hobby at Alvecote pools + Common Sand at Shustoke. Wednesday trip to Draycote Water in the hope of seeing a Baird's Sandpiper which, under close examination and better light turned out to be a Little Stint.Cracking little bird nontheless. I had to double check my records to confirm I had seen one before at the same site in September 1996. Thursday went out of County for a Bairds Sandpiper at Upton Warren, also on the reserve were Curlew,Common and Green Sandpipers,Snipe and a Ruff. Friday waited for the rain to stop...........

One of the two long staying Whinchats at Alvecote Pools

Distant image of the Baird's Sandpiper at Upton Warren

Friday, 9 September 2016

Ending up in Cornwall

Week ending 10th Sept. 2016
Sorry about the backlog. I'll try to summarise whats been going on during the week. Kept up the watch on local sites with mixed fortunes. At least 3 Spotted Flycatchers were in the 'Orchard' near the Anchor pub but no camera and no sign the next day. A Whinchat was at Alvecote.

Whinchat, Teal pool, Alvecote




When the opportunity arose for a day in Cornwall I jumped at it. I met up with Pete Forbes in the early hours and we ventured forth. The drive through the lanes of North Warks. was interesting with good sightings of Fox, Badger, and Polecat.
In Cornwall our first stop was to try and see the Dalmation Pelican which has taken up residence at Loe pool on the seaward side of Helston. Our first visit was unsuccessful despite a search of the various bays of the former estuary. We moved on to Perranuthnoe where we had no trouble finding a Hudsonian Whimbrel in company with 2 Bar tailed Godwits.

                                                      Hudsonian Whimbrel, Perranuthnoe

                                                                     Hudsoian Whimbrel

 As we got back to the car we had an unexpected bonus when a Honey Buzzard and 3 Common Buzzards flew over. It was turning out to be a good day after all. We decided to have another look for the Pelican taking a different path to a more sheltered bay. We found the Pelican asleep on a small island only occasionally being aroused to show itself properly.

Dalmation Pelican, Loe pool

Dalmation Pelican

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Still looking

30th August 2016

The search goes on but with little success I'm afraid. All my local migrant 'traps' have let me down thus far. Had to go to Draycote Water for some excitement in the way of a couple of Shag and then there's always the GWE at Alvecote but you can only 'rediscover' it so many times before it rates with the Black Swan.  The Ravens at the Ridge Lane Quarry and probably the same birds at Caldecote Hall provided some light relief with their tumbling routines.
September 1st saw a brace of Wheatears on the Mancetter hills and two Hobby were seen, one at Ladywalk and one at Alvecote,  Also saw a pair of Peregrines were near the river Anker towards Hartshill but passerines were generally thin on the ground with the exception of several Blackcaps feeding together in the rain on Elderberries at the Anchor bushes today. No particularly surprising sightings but there were still about 12 House Martins at Caldecote Hall meadows yesterday.(Friday)

Wheatear, Mancetter

Green Sandpiper, Brandon Marsh

Shag, Draycote Water