Sunday, 13 May 2012

Attenborough Visit

Headed over to Attenborough today in sunny Notts always a great reserve to visit what ever the time of year, and has a great cafe to boot, the Chicken, Bacon and Cheese door stop sandwitches are a true manwitch!

Driving into the reserve we straight away picked up two year ticks with Swift and Common Tern flying over the road, always a good start to the day. Around the car park the Brambles and Scrub Willow held Sedge and Garden Warbler. With Common White Throat by the by the bridge.

Walking down to the King Fisher hide (where some bird decided to take a crap on Lesley which I told her would bring her good luck) we soon added Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher in the Wheatear paddock with the trees/shrubs along the way holding numerous Black Cap and Common White Throat again.

From the King Fisher hide we saw another Sedge Warbler, Tree Sparrow, Little and Great Crested Grebe plus plenty more Terns, the high light though was the singing Cetti's Warbler which was calling from the right of the hide I didn't manage to pick this bird up but Lesley did get a close up view (told being crapped on by a bird would bring her luck) while I was getting a shot of a Common White Throat, I am just never in the right place these days. Around here I did also add Linnet to the list. After stacking this area and only managing to hear the Cetti's call I gave up and carried on walking up past the Tower hide towards the river. Hear I did manage to see a Cetti's Warbler through and dense patch of twigs not the best view but they all count!

Along the river nothing really else was added to our list apart from a Green Finch that was seen along with a pair of Goldfinch.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Coombes Valley

Paid a visit with Gemma to Coombes this morning actually felt like spring which of recent weeks it really hasn't so was good to be out and feel the Sun on our faces.

Walking down from the visitor centre we picked up the usual warbler suspects of Willow, Garden and Blackcap, even managing to get shots of all three which for me is good going, OK they wont win any prize but I am happy with them.

Down by the bridge area you could hear plenty of Pied Flycatchers calling, managed to see a pair using one of the boxes in the area and help a few folk get on to the birds.

By the pond area again Pied Flycatchers could be heard and saw a male briefly over by the river.

Up the rather muddy Woodcock walk I managed to pick up Tree Pipit which were displaying, in a style not far removed from Wood Lark. Still have not seen Redstart here this year, although having seen a pair at last week in Wales there is no rush or great need to.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Well I have had this week off so the birds have come at a steady stream rather than a one off weekend rush.

The week started off with a trip to Coombes up near Leek, this can be a great place to see Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, I say can be as you are not always guaranteed those killer views that you get at other reserves but its fairly local so its worth an odd visit.

Walking down to the bridge over the river we picked up Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff plus Goldcrest, we did get a brief view of a Pied Flycatcher by the bridge but only a really brief view the high light being a pair of Great Spotted woodpecker that are nesting right in front of the bridge a made for great viewing.

Not too much birding was done till latter in the week although a visit to the Peaks firstly at Magpie Mines near Bakewell did produce Meadow Pipit and Sky Lark.

On the way back home we firstly called in at Dane Bower Quarry still no Wheater around here, I am just unlucky or is this bad weather holding them back? Any way cutting across Axe Edge there were plenty of Red Grouse including a couple of single females hanging around.

On Thursday we headed off North firstly calling into Martin Mere having their toddler Thursday, a free half bag of seed if you have a nipper! Here we were really lucky and managed to see a Curlew Sandpiper in near Summer plumage! up to now we have only seen the more drab Autumn plumaged birds so this was a real bonus. Other birds sighted were Dunlin, Ruff again in near breeding plumage, Black Tailed Godwit, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Stock Dove plus the other usual suspects for this time of year there.

Calling in at Marshside on the way home (which everyone else seemed to be doing, we saw 4 other people we had seen at Martin Mere there) not much else was seen, the high water levels there wont have helped looks like a few Avocet nests have been washed out. Did see a pair of randy Black Headed Gulls though.

Lastly comes today, and our annual pilgrimage to Lake Vyrnwy this is a great place for birding and the only place I know of a 100% chance of seeing Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, and this year was no exception with all three been bagged, in fact we were tripping over Pied Flycatcher again Lesley had one right in front of a hide I though was outside the hide bugger!! We did also bag Peregrine, Willow Warbler, Dipper, Buzzard, Raven, Siskin and Blackcap.