Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sodding Freeeezing

Been out since day break at Soddy Gap, bloody cold out there... don't no why i bothered either, these winds are holding all the birds back. Still had a good yomp around the patch. Pair Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, Singing Sedge Warbler only came in yesterday, but still no Grasshopper Warblers, over a week late now. Very little else of note.

Briefly Keith and I did a sea-watch off the Viaduct Yesterday the only things of note were 2 Whimbrel and a single Swift, my first of the year. Otherwise it was just full of Racing pigeons and Larger Gulls...

201 Species for the Year so far. Norfolk soon that should rack up some more hopefully.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Powter and Soddy again

Keith had found Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler at Powter Howe, so i had to take a look. I managed to find the Wood Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher but missed the Tree Pipit, not to worry there easy enough.
Managed a couple of shots too.
Wood Warbler

Pied Flycatcher

I then moved onto the Dump where 4 Short-eared Owls were still showing very well at times.

Finished of at Soddy, 3 Whimbrel dropped in Little Ringed Plover, White Wagtail and 2 Common Sandpiper still. Not a bad day at all really.

Soddy and Siddick Ponds

Lovely morning for a stroll around my local Patch's
Soddy Gap
1 White Wagtail
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Little-ringed plover still.
Lesser-black Backed Gull

Common Sandpiper

Little-ringed Plover
Siddick Ponds
Reed Warbler Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler all in .
A Black-tailed Godwit on smaller pond.
Sedge Warbler

Thursday, 26 April 2012

local Stuff.

Bass lake first thing. 
Female Osprey sat in a tree.  Lots of Swallows and Sandmartins. 1 Peregrine shot through low over the water.
11 Purple Sandpipers north
24 Sanderling on beach
1 Whimbrel north
6 kittiwake
3 Gannet 4 Guillemot
1 Red-throated diver.
1 Black headed gull, not seen any the last few visits..
2 White Wagtail on beach.

Ill cover Soddy later and report back the lack of birds still around ;-)

Well heres my update and wow what surprise....
5 Whimbrel roosted.
3 White Wagtail, only ever had 1 before
3 Greenland Wheatear I think, a new species for the site if they are, these usually pass through in May but the northerly winds seemes to have pushed them into the UK early.
19 Sand Martin and 3 Swallow.
1 Little Ringed Plover
and finally 1 Common Sandpiper

Brilliant finish to the day.
It was getting dark as i was doing an evening roost so pics arnt great.


White Wagtail


Female Wheatear
Little Ringed Plover

Common Sandpiper.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

At Soddy Gap i missed a reported Bonxie.. Bugger! 
21st-22nd April Cheshire and Wales
Keith and I had the weekend in Cheshire and Wales, a very successful trip too, although it didn't start off too well.
2 Black Winged Stilts turned up at Leighton moss the night before so our plan was to get to Moss by 6-30, there were just a handful of birders on site but as the morning went on a few more birders turned up but none of us could find the Stilts, they had done a bunk, luckily  for me id twitched one the week before.A Greenshank from the quarry road was a year tick. Plenty of Blackwits and Avocets still, also 2 Little Egret. A Drake Garganey was the bird of the morning.
So by 9-45 we were at our second site in Cheshire called Moore Nature Reserve, the special species here being the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. After 30 minutes face-book buddy Mark turned up to try to find the pecker too and he'd been here maybe 5 min before Keith spotted a male in the top of one of the nearby trees. It then spent a couple of minutes showing well low down on a tree in front of us, not had views like this for many years, lifer for Keith......

Next stop was to see another Face-book buddy Paul at his shop for a cuppa and a chat and to look through the new leica bins....(Rach said no, Damn).
After a great cuppa it we were on our way to  to Raby ponds for some very showy Mandarin Ducks, 5 males, the females must have been on eggs.

After lunch we chose Parkgate for a Distant Spoonbill and then had a hunt around the Wirral but it was very quiet. A quick sea-watch produced 1 Adult Little Gull and a few Sandwich Terns.
We pitched up at a Travel lodge  just outside Oswestry ready for tomorrows adventure. Black Grouse was on the cards which showed very well early morning, never actually been to a Lek so it was great to see. This was a place where getting out the car was a no no so i had to digiscope from the back seat not easy at all...

Then we went on a hunt for a Dartford Warbler, eventually Keith picked it up following a pair of Stonechats around the moor, brilliant it was a long shot but it paid off.
Our first Cuckoo of the year was calling in the distance.
We then moved onto Great Orme, another new site for me and great place, A fly over Chough was our target bird, bingo! We then moved onto sea watching near the shit hole that is Rhyl but we couldn't find the Scoter flock we had hoped for. It was now mid afternoon and time for an early trip home. A great couple of days and thanks to Keith for Driving.
23rd April
Work Work Work how terrible.
Well I was off up to Lochguillphead for a job for a couple of days, Monday was spent getting materials and machinery to site. The heavens opened which put a stop on work, the site needed to be dry. So I had the opportunity to search for the long staying Near adult Ring-billed Gull, it wasn't looking good as there were very few gulls about but then I spotted it flying in and landed on the water. It then had a fly around I was hoping it would land on the green but no such luck, it landed on a chimney pot instead... Bugger. After a few min it took flight over the village. I never saw this bird for the next few days i was here, how lucky was I.

I waited for 20 minutes more but it never returned I did spot a female Osprey eating a fish on the far bank of the loch Fyne along with 3 Common Sandpiper.

I then moved onto some sea lochs somewhere no idea where but they were great, superb views and no less than 14 Great Northern Divers, some in Summer plumage, 11 Black-throated Diver all in summer plumage and a few Red-throated Divers all in winter plumage. Also Eider, Shag, Red-breasted Merganser and a Black Guillemot. A massive Slow Worm was a surprise. Quite a few Cuckoo calling. After a good trip round it was time to get back to my BnB...
Great Northern Diver

Black-throated Diver

Slow Worm
I managed a few shots of commoner species.
Hooded Crow
Rock Pipit
Today i was finishing the job and on my way out of site a Juvenile Iceland Gull flew over and landed in a field i did manage a distant shot.

On the way home a year tick in the form of a Golden Eagle, it dived with its talons open at something, great views from Rest and be Thankful near Ardgarton.
Scotland's Great....

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Dipper and Grouse on a wet and horrible day

Yesterday i had a walk around Poolsbrook in Derbyshire nothing of note but my first Common Sandpiper of the year.
We were to return home today but not before taking the scenic route through Middleton in Teesdale to Alston. We had a walk along a path id Worked on from Low Force to High force. Plenty of Common Sandpiper, a Dipper in its usual spot with young, Common Redstart and plenty of Willow Warblers. On the higher ground a Red Grouse and amazingly a Male Goshawk...
Finished off watching the Black Grouse at Langdon Beck with 8 Males.
Great Crested Grebe Poolsbrook

Common Sandpiper



Red Grouse

Black Grouse

Willow Warbler
High Force