Saturday 30 August 2014


Thursday, Friday,Saturday 28,29 & 30th August 2014
With an appointment at Cov and Warwicks hospital in the afternoon birding time was limited but a quick visit to Shustoke confirmed the Little Gull was still present in company with a single juvenile Common tern.
Little Gull, Shustoke Res.
Friday started at the Anchor bushes nr Hartshill including a stretch of the Coventry canal. A late Swift was with Swallows over the area of Judkins Quarry, Nuneaton and a large number of Mistle thrushes were in stubble fields to the east of the canal towards Caldecote Hall but there were few migrants to be seen in the bushes and hedges. Driving towards Mill pool, Alvecote a Hobby was seen from the car and a Redstart was seen briefly in the Teal pool hedge.
On Saturday the morning started well with a Green Woodpecker in the garden, only the second record of the species in the garden. A walk near Mancetter Quarry proved fruitless with only 2 Chiffchaffs and a Willow warbler to show for the slog up the hill. I ended up at Alvecote after checking a few hedges on route. The Teal pool hedge came up trumps with a female/juv Redstart as did the hedges at the back of the Pretty Pigs pool with a further 2 Redstarts incuding an elusive male. 6 Little Egrets were counted around Mill pool and Railway pool.
Redstart, Alvecote pools
Little Egret, one of 6 around the pools

Friday 29 August 2014

A few images from the last week

29th August 2014
Plenty of signs of migration locally with Redstarts in particular being found at a good number of sites but also Spotted Flycatchers starting to move.
Spotted Flycatcher near Anchor pub, Hartshill(one seen on same twig 2 years ago but not a breeding site)
Hare laying low in stubble near Hurley
Juvenile Little Gull at Shustoke Res.
Little Gull
Black Tern, adult
Four Swifts were also seen at Shustoke reservoir.

Tuesday 26 August 2014


Tuesday 26th August 2014
After a blank day on the patch yesterday it was great a find a couple a Whinchats showing well near the River Anker today. I cant remember so many sightings of Redstarts and Whinchat at various sites along the Anker valley between Nuneaton and Alvecote. Other birds of note around Caldecote were flocks of Mistle Thrush 40+, Linnet 30 and House Sparrow, again around 30 along Leathermill Lane.
Whinchat, Caldecote

Swallow, Mancetter

Friday 22 August 2014

The search for Migrants

Friday 22nd August 2014
Over the past couple of days I've been checking up on local sites looking for Migrants. You dont have to go too far to find a bit of habitat that might attract a Wheatear or a Redstart and its great finding your own birds. Caldecote meadows and Alvecote pools have produced 4 Redstarts between them this week plus a Hobby yesterday at Caldecote Hall. Nothing spectacular but its local and keeps the interest going.
Hobby, Caldecote Hall
Lesser Whitethroat


A few images from a non birding break on the Somerset/Dorset border. After the Birdfair it was off to the depths of rural England for a visit to see some long time friends. It was a cultural/social visit rather than a birding trip but the bins were never far away just in case.
On our first full day we all went to Ham Hill Country Park with fantastic views across the South Somerset North Dorset countryside. After a bit of a walk we found ourselves at a pub, would you believe it? In fact this became something of a trend.Walk, Beer, Beer, Walk. or the other way round.
Day 2 we went to the seaside: beach, picnic, walk, beer, walk.
Day 3 the men went to Cadbury Castle for a bit of Iron Age culture and you guessed it a beer while the ladies went shopping. We also saw a few birds; Raven, Nuthatch, Wheatear, Coal tit, Green Woodpecker, Blackcap and Willow/Chiffs.
Could be the Scillies
View from Ham Hill
A pub
Old Harry
More Beer
Strange goings on, on Cadbury Castle

Strange goings on indeed, walking round the top of this former Hill top settlement we came upon a group of people involved in some sort of ritual. The leader spoke in Spanish and the ritual involved facing south and holding up feathers and later blowing bubbles. We left them to it, speculating on might they might do next and what it all meant.
Wheatear nr Rimpton, Somerset
Another garden visitor

Friday 8 August 2014

Redstarts, Terns and Cows

Friday 8th August 2014
Getting into a bit of a routine with this Garden v. Birding lark. Half a day of each seems to be a sensible compromise at the moment. Actually today, to be honest, has not been typical. A third at Alvecote looking for Redstarts, a third gardening, working up a thirst for the final third at the Weddington Soc.Club Beer Fest. Have to support the local beer festivals. Small scale compared to some but alot of effort put in to make it happen. Today was a bit of a fact finding mission. I found I liked Wood Farm Brewery's Hopps & Dreams and found a new Brewery (the closest to home yet) Ellis's from Hinckley, Leics. with their Conny Quaser Bitter. Both excellent beers. The fest continues thru till Sunday so I may well be visiting again but I'll be walking next time.
Bullocks !
Common tern, Alvecote pools
Weddington Social Beer Festival

Tuesday 5 August 2014

The race is on.

Tuesday 5th August 2014
Well the race is on - me versus the garden. At the moment the garden is way out in front, despite my best efforts. Local birding doesnt help. Keeping tabs on the 'patch' and having a couple of gooduns turn up in the County (well almost in the county) takes time. I could be pruning, clipping, mowing etc instead of trying to photograph local Redstarts. There are a few major projects too, such as re re felting the shed roof. I know I've got to get it done before autumn migration gets into full swing so I've got to crack on but I know who's going to win in the end.
Common Redstart, Nr. Alvecote pools - always a pleasure
Juvenile Green Woodpecker
Little Egret, one of 6 on site
Always time for a quick look round Alvecote pools.

Friday 1 August 2014

Local stuff

1st August 2013
This weeks birding has been somewhat interrupted by visits, visits to hospitals, visits to garages and so on but I've managed to get in a few visits to local birding spots. The visit to Mill pool, Alvecote  was quite rewarding with a couple of elusive Common Redstarts, one adult male and one juvenile, 2 Little Egrets and a single Chiffchaff.
Common Redstart, Alvecote

A walk around Caldecote was less rewarding although a number of Willow warblers were around  the Hawthorns near the canal. A couple of worn adultYellow Wagtails were in the recently harvested Rape field with a few Reed Buntings and small group (6) of Linnets were also seen.

Willow warbler, Caldecote