Sunday, 22 May 2011

Doxy Marsh

Spent a few hours at Doxy Marsh this afternoon, went there mainly for a walk around, but still found some nice birds along the way.

House Martin Doxy Marsh

On getting to the main body of the reserve there were plenty of House Martins flying around and a few collecting mud from a small pool (the one with a willow heron in). Grabbed a few shots before moving on.
The scrape was totally dried out with just a few Canada Geese a sinle Lapwing to be seen.
Walking along the river a couple of Sedge Warbler showed nicely, and more House Martin plus Swift and Swallow were flying around grabbing the insects.

From the hide there were a good few waders to see a single Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plover and at least 5 Ringed Plover, also there were Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, 2 Common Terns and Great Crested Grebe.

Liitle Ringed Plover Doxy Marsh

Dunlin and Little Ringed Plover Doxy Marsh

A bonus was seeing a pair of class 379's 023 and 024 on test, these units are to be used between Liverpool St and Stanstead Airport.

New class 379 EMU's on test numbers 023 and 024.

Bouncing Bog Walk

Lesley and me were booked on yesterdays Bouncing Bog walk organised by English Nature at Chartley Moss in the afternoon so it meant we couldn't do a full mornings birding but we still popped out to Aqualate Mere to see what we could find.
Plenty of warblers there calling Willow, Black Cap, Reed and White Throat but only managing to see the latter two. Saw a single Great Spotted Woodpecker plus what I think was a juvenile male Reed Bunting.
On the lake were plenty of Cormorants, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Pochard and Coots, with a couple of distant Hobbies Flying around and a pair of Buzzards.
Didn't manage to see the Turtle Dove although someone in the hide had heard one earlier.

Hobbie at Aqualate Mere

Male Reed Bunting

The afternoon was spent at Chartley Moss, the main aim was to hopefully see some Dragonflies and the main target being White Faced Darters which are one of the sites specialities.
Was a very interesting walk and even allowed me meet up with a old work mate for a bit of a chat.
Was good to see so many Sun Dew's I do love carnivorous plants I find them fascinating.
We did manage to see a few of the target species but the wind was not helping.

Sun Dew

White Faced Darter, Chartley Moss

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Great Orme and Conwy

Decided to head out to Wales for the day as the forcast didn't look that bad that way plus there has been some good stuff of late seen in that neck of the woods.

First port of call was the Great Orme, yesterday there had been reports of Ring Ouzel and Dotterol up here but none were around today. Plenty of Wheatear and Meadow Pipit plus Razor Bill and Guillemots out at sea. Plenty of cute looking lambs around (just don't mention mint source) plus Spotted Orchids around the car park near the church.

Was then off to Conwy for a gentle walk and fingers crossed for the summer plumaged Spotted Redshank. The Spotted Redshank was not around even after the tide had brought the waders on to the reserve.
Plenty of warblers around Willow, Reed and Sedge plus Blackcap.
On the wader front there was a lone Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Curlew.

Sedge Warbler

Canada Geese
On a none bird related front and what was the high light of the day was seeing a Stoat running back and forth along the break water rocks with food from a stash, just couldn't focus quick enough or keep up with her we watched her do the run three times before leaving her to it.

Friday, 6 May 2011


This afternoon I found out about a Nightingale just down the A50 at Ambaston in Derbyshire.
This being a lifer and a nice day it was a no brainer so off a popped.

Getting to the spot there was no sign of any other birders or the bird oh dear!
But I decided to wait after 20min I was starting to wonder if I was i the right spot, it looked right and the were signes that quite a few cars had parked up in the area so I continued to wait and was rewared with the sound of a Nightingale in full song and even giving brief views although it was on the other side of the hedge and I was having to do my bet and look through the tangle of branches.
It eventually flew across to a patch of Willow Trees across a patch of ground but stayed hidden again only giving brief views. But can't complain as I did get to see the bird and a lifer on top of that.

Also seen there were Black Cap, Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, heard but not seen were Reed Warbler and Yellow Hammer.

Honest if you look hard enough there is a Nightingale in the shot above.


Yesterday afternoon was spent wandering around Attenborough, this reserve has really changed over the years, when I first started visiting this sight it was just a car park and a few foot paths, now its a top sight attracting many visitors both people and birds.

By the visitor centre in the reeds was a singing Reed Warbler although it never showed itself, plus a Red Crested Pochard and a single Egyptian Goose.
Being a week day visit you also get to see the tugs moving gravel around the sight, much nicer to look at than some lorry.

Tug at Attenborough

Red Crested Pochard at Attenborough
Down by the Tower hide there were plenty of birds around Chiffchaff, Whitethroat with one bird being very showy, Common Tern were flying around plus House Martin and Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon and more Red Crested Pochard and Mute Swan on the water, plus a Oystercatcher on the islands.
A bonus bird we did have was a Cetti's Warbler calling and giving brief views just below the tower hide, we found another latter further along the path leading to the river, this showed a little better than the last, plus finally we saw a Reed Warbler hiding in a patch of reeds.

Mute Swan checking on how it looks

Common Whitethroat

Marshes Hill

Spent about an hour and half up at Marshes Hill yesterday morning looking for the Wryneck, but there was no sign unfortunately but this was a new area to visit for me so it wasn't a total loss.
A nice little spot with plenty of Linnet around and Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. Plus the added bonus of a Cuckoo.

Willow Warbler at Marshes Hill Staffordshire

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Lake Vyrnwy

Lesley and me popped over to Lake Vyrnwy for the day, its always a great place to be and its where we got engaged and with it being our wedding anniversary tomorrow we headed on across.
It's one of those places you have a almost 100% chance of seeing Wood Warbler, Red Start and Pied Flycatcher.

Starting off in the viewing hide near the visitor centre we soon saw Siskin, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Chaffinch.
Driving down to the bottom car park near the sculpture walk (we aren't lazy with Lesley being pregnant she can't do long walks these days) we started off down the river straight away we heard Red Start by the car park although we just couldn't see him. A pair of Dippers flew along the river and a couple of female Goosander were on the river and a Tree Creeper was on the tree ahead of use, this was easy birding at its best. Reaching the path that leads into the wood we were hearing Wood Warbler which we soon found and Pied Flycatchers were all around with two males in one tree. Up on the road we soon had a pair of Red Starts so that was the three target birds in the bag taking all of ten minutes.

Male Pied Flycatcher at Lake Vyrnwy checking out box 14 by the river.

It was then on to the Peregrine watch point there was no one from the RSPB to help us this year scanning around the far hill side we just couldn't find it this year. But as a bonus we had a pair of Common Sandpiper just in front of the hide, they breed here last year so they might be the same pair back again.

Common Sandpiper Lake Vyrnwy
Before we got back to the car I heard a familiar call and sure enough another Pied Flycatcher was seen, you trip up over them at this place.

Pied Flycatcher by the Peregrine hide at Lake Vyrnwy
As our luck was holding we went for a short drive on to the moors between the lake and Bala.
Up on the moors there were loads of Meadow Pipits plus we bagged Wheatear, Red Kite and Whinchat a great looking male just to top it all off right by the road side, but where was my camera in the boot!

Can't complain really a lovely day and three more birds for the year list.