Sunday, 30 October 2011

Attenborough Squacco Heron

Today had us heading down the A50 to see the Squacco Heron that had appeared at Attenborough Nature reserve. We don't usually do so called twitching but there are just some birds that you always want to see and this was one of Lesley's (she likes Heron's). So off to we went to hopefully see the bird on this new part of Attenborough, also as we know the reserve quite well it was good to explore a new area of the reserve.

On getting there we were told the bird was showing well but Gemma needed a nappy change which delayed us slightly making the walk down to see the bird. At first we couldn't see anything and didn't help I was looking in the bigger patch of reeds and not the small area between the colvets, soon though the Squacco Heron came into view and we watched it begin to fish catching two fish while we were there. A King Fisher even flew in and then quickliy out either didn't like the look of this strange bird or didn't fancy competing with it.

Squacco Heron at Attenborough Nature reserve

Squacco heron with some type of fish, it was having great success catching fish in its little spot

Another catch for the Squacco Heron

Heading off to eat its catch

The Squacco Heron showing off its neck markings as it eats it's catch, when it striked you could really see the white wings.
It was then back to the reserve for a look at the art work and to take a few more photos after all the earlier action.

Black Headed Gull at Attenborough

Black Headed Gull at Attenborough.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gailey and Cannock Chase

Saturday was spent doing odd jobs in the garden and popping along to the beer festival so no birding was done that day.
So on Sunday we planned on heading to the wirral for the high tide but with the weather looking bleak when we drew the curtains back and the little one getting through nappy changes like mad it just didn't happen so plan B was put into action.
First port of call in the afternoon was Gailey Reservoir to hopefully see the Slav Grebe that was found the day before, only ever seen one before a rather distant although well showing one on the Pine Lakes holiday park near Leighton Moss. No sign when we turned up and everyone I spoke to also hadn't managed to connect either so it wasn't just me. Plenty of Little and Great Crested Grebe around, but maybe all of the activity on the reservoir had moved it along else where. So instead of going straight home we headed for Freda's Grave on Cannock Chase always a nice place for a Sunday afternoon walk.
Just the usual stuff around the feeders plus a few deer knocking around. On the heath we had Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Stone Chat and a couple of fly over Redwings. The strangest thing was hearing a Cuckoo calling. Redwings and a calling Cuckoo on the same day whats the world coming to!

Monday, 10 October 2011

SVR Diesel Gala

No birding this weekend as it was the annual Severn Valley Railway's diesel gala which for once had no kettles running aka steam trains, the way it should always be for diesel galas, so well done SVR.
The main aim here was to get a shot finally of 31190 in it's now rather faded BR Green livery, ever since been painted as such I have kept missing it where ever I go once by seconds, but finally here was my chance to get my shot.

D1062 arrives at Kidderminster

Slug 6 aka 37906 in plain Rail Freight grey leaves Kidderminster bound for Bridgenorth

D3201 aka 08015 sits in Kidderminster station

New London Midland class 172 172342 leaves Kidderminster station (mainline)

The old order in the shape of class 150 150132 pauses at Kidderminster station

172337 calls at Kidderminster

The ain of the days travels 31190 / D5613 pulls into Kidderminster station ready to work a shuttle service north

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Weekend Travels

With a fine weekend we made plans to head for North Wales on Saturday, this would have been a great move with a Dotterel being found on the Orme but I had forgotten about a bank appointment on the Saturday morning so like a good boy off I went to the bank in stead of birding. So in the end it was just a trip to Attenborough for the afternoon, rather hot to say the least the cars thermometer was reading 29.5C, not been like that during the summer!
With the good weather it was rather busy but as it's an easy place to push a pushchair around so was an easy place for a walk. Not too much around the high lights been 3 Snipe from the Tower Hide and 4 Black Tailed Godwits on I think what is Clifton pool in front of the screen but too far for a photo. Plenty of Dragonflies around although I only managed to get a shot of a Common Darter.

Lapwing at Attenborough

Black Headed Gull at Attenborough taking off

Common Darter at Attenborough

Sunday was a new day and our second chance to head for Wales off we set although we had lost the good weather being over cast the whole journey with even the odd spot of rain, being the ever optimist both Lesley and me had dressed for sun and had left the rain guard for the pushchair at home as well. This was a mistake as it was rather windy with the odd shower plus the paths around the Orme and not the easiest place to push a small child around. Didn't help that we didn't find any Dotterel to make walking through the wind and rain worth while.
We did see a group of 4 Goldcrest plenty of Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits for good measure.
From here we decided on a quick visit to Rhos - on - Sea, plenty of Turnstone feeding around the boulders had 9 birds alone on one stretch of beach with smaller groups dotted around. Plenty of Oystercatcher were coming into roost on the break water as well.
It was then off home, but as we drove along the sea front past the pier the little one started to moan so we pulled over to see what was wrong. This turned out to be a great move as just by the sea wall a single Guillemot was feeding with a couple of Razorbills just a little further down a great surprise and sight having only ever seen these birds this close at the Farnes or Bempton Cliffs.

Winter plumage Guillemot at Rhos on Sea

Guillemot at Rhos on Sea

Razorbill at Rhos on Sea

Razorbill at Rhos on Sea