Saturday, 20 August 2011

Gailey Visit

As quite a few people have done so over the last few days I popped down the M6 to see the summer plumaged Red Necked Grebe that has taken up residence there.
Have called in here breifly before and have found it to be a great little spot, although I have never spent too long here.
Soon as I pulled up by the entrance I saw a Chifchaff calling from the hedge row plus Robin and Great Tit, always a good start to the days birding.
Speaking to a chap as I reached the cause way he told me of a Grey Wagtail hanging around and sure enough on the second pontoon there it was. Saw one of these on the round about in Newcastle town centre!
Walking along the path plenty of other birds to see Great Crested Grebes they seemed to have done well with plenty of chicks of various ages to be seen plus Reed Warbler calling from the waters edge.
Reaching the end of the cause way I sat down near a couple of other birders while scanning for the Red Necked Grebe I managed to see a certain type of duck which I have not managed to see this year. I am sure you all know what I mean.
Soon found the Red Necked Grebe which was heading for the island about half across the lake, but it did come eventually closer allowing me to take a couple of shots.

Red Necked Grebe at Gailey Reservoir 20 Aug 2011

On the hunt for a mid day snack, watched the Grebe fish for some times

Having a good old wash

Red Necked Grebe checking me out, well I like to think I am worth a look
Ok I will admit I went over board and took quite a few shots, but this is the only the second time I have seen one of these birds (first was at Foremark).

Saturday, 13 August 2011

No Didn't See It

After working in the garden and get the car nice and clean in the morning Lesley and me decided on just popping over to Blithfield for the afternoon.
First port of call were the hides around Tad Bay, this being a new area for us as generally we stick to the cause way and dam areas even though we are members of the WMBC. Headed down from the visitor centre and the first hide we found was in a very sorry state, so much so we decided it was cleaner to sit on the floor in front of the hide, here we could look up to the top end of the bay (also noting a better hide further up, as I said we are new to this area). There were quite a few LRP around in total we counted 9, plus plenty of wild fowl, Black Headed Gulls, Coots, Great Crested Grebe and Cormorants.  We carried on around the lake towards the cause way we came across a mixed Tit and Warbler flock, of interest were quite a few Willow Warbler plus a Blackcap.
On a fallen tree I noted what I think maybe young Beef Steak bracket fungi developing, this is a really nice fungi which when cut bleeds blood red, but is edible if you fancy giving it a go, trust me I am scientist.

Young Willow Warbler

We then drove around to the cause way and parked up on the opposite side from the ice cream van, Lesley being rather heavily pregnant decided to stay in the car and have a kip while I went for a wander.

Plenty of Yellow Wagtails around both juveniles and adults, with one group having a female Wheatear for company. Feeding around the edge of the water or around the sheep in the grass.
Juvenile Yellow Wagtail

Winter adult Yellow Wagtail (first time I have seen one in winter colours)

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail

Out on the lake were a small group of Common Terns, well I thought I could see a black bill tip (note to self next time don't leave scope in car boot).  On the waters edge were a few Common Sandpiper no matter how hard I tried I couldn't turn them into Green Sandpipers.

Along the fence line there were plenty of Goldfinch feeding on thistle seed heads.

Juvenile Goldfinch

Adult Goldfinch
Getting back to the car (and to explain the tile) speaking to a fellow birder found out we had missed in Tad Bay the Black Necked Grebe, Osprey and Garganey.

Oh well better luck next time, still was nice to be in the fresh air and all that, after all its about what you see and not what you don't.