Sunday, 31 October 2010

31st October 2010

Didn’t get time to go over Shustoke today but I did take the dog over to Coleshill Quarry. Yesterdays Jack Snipe was still there with 5 Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper, not a bad haul for a half hour walk. There were also 50 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing feeding on the bushes adjacent to the railway line.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Saturday 30th October

After a busy week at work and decorating at home, I managed to get over this morning and it really was very quiet. There were still around 50 Pochard but no other winter wildfowl. The highlight was a single Common Gull. There were very few passerines around and the reservoir was very busy.

I had to walk the dog this evening so I gave Coleshill Quarry a kick and had a Jack Snipe in the same area as I had a few weeks ago, there was also a couple of Common Snipe.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Friday 29th October

Finally managed to get over on a blustery autumn afternoon, it was late and it was more for a stop of fresh air than serious birding. Not surprisingly passerines were thin on the ground although a group of 60-80 Fieldfare flew into the Paddocks area. There was a lack of duck species on the reservoir but a count of Pochard resulted in over c.120 being recorded and there were probable more!

Hopefully I will get over tomorrow and have a good look around but the weather isn’t looking too promising. But with large numbers of Waxwings in the country it won’t be to long before they arrive in the Midlands. As that bloke you used to do the ITV Crime programme back in the 80’s would say, “Keep them Peeled”.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sunday 24th October

Took a walk around this afternoon, it was a gorgeous day so I took the dog with me and stayed on the perimeter. Looking down on the reservoir nothing much had changed bird wise apart from a Goldeneye and two Common Gull. I didn’t connect with any flock of birds at all, then the heavens opened, as I had walked to the reservoir the dog looked like a drowned rat by the time I got home.

I might struggle to get over much this week as we are short handed at work with holidays and the wife is in Tenerife for 10 days. But I can’t complain as I am of to Israel with Captain Daylate six days after that. If I do get over I will have enough time for the Gull roost and that will be about it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Friday 22nd October

Didn’t get over until late today combined my duty of walking the dog with a spot of birding. Unfortunately it was getting quite dark by the time I’d walked around to the gull roost. There were c500 Lesser Black Backed Gull, c.1500 Black-headed, c.30 Herring Gull, c.6 Common Gull. In the last few weeks whenever I have been over late there is a Buzzard that likes to drift over the reservoir causing panic.

He/she appears to have no interest in catching a gull, I like to think it just wants to keep them on there toes, or maybe it wants one of those toys that you used to get that you’d shake and a snow storm would appear (what where they called?). Anyway that’s what the gulls look like when they all take off!

There are still c.50 Pochard and 21 Shoveler.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Thursday 21st October

Walked around this morning seeing very little, got a little irate with irresponsible dog owners so decided to cross the river and give the path behind the railway a grilling, unfortunately the cover was too thick (another couple of weeks me thinks). All in all everything is settling down with winter visitors becoming more evident every day.

120 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 20 Meadow Pipit, Green Woodpecker, 5 Shoveler, c.50 Pochard.

I had an interesting happening at my bird feeders this morning. There was a Dunnock standing under the feeders, and it didn’t look to well. I thought nothing of it until a Robin flew in and dispatched the Dunnock with a couple of sharp blows, then proceeded to drag it off into the undergrowth.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wednesday 20th October

In bright sunshine there was no sign of the Scaup today but there were 23 Shoveler most of which didn’t land there were still c.50 Pochard. I counted 90 Cormorant on the Reservoir and around 30-40 on the jetty. There was no sign anywhere of any summer migrants but winter birds are starting to show up. I had c.80 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing and the same number of Siskin. The Raven again flew over the reservoir and there were a dozen plus Meadow Pipit.

Tuesday 19th October

The female Scaup was still there this morning with a group of a dozen Tufties. A Raven few overhead and there were 50 or so Pochard. A Barn Owl (125) was seen in field by the Reservoir early last week. There was a small group of Meadow Pipit near to the paddocks.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Sunday 17th October

I have been too busy trying to get the garden ready for the winter to make any trips over at the weekend. But there was a female Scaup (124) that tempted me but I really wanted to finish the garden. However, Dave Hutton kindly sent me a couple of photographs of the bird. I just hope it is there on Tuesday which will be my first opportunity to catch up with it.

Scaup (female) – Dave Hutton

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday 15th October

Yesterday I swapped the delights of Shustoke Reservoir for the Devon Coast with Captain Daylate looking for a Solitary Sandpiper, and Allah be Praised we saw the bird, after umpteen unsuccessful trips we finally scored – please see below.

Solitary Sandpiper, Seaton, Devon

Please excuse the indulgence, anyway this morning it was rather quiet around Shustoke although there were 3 Swallow, 5 Goldeneye (immature/females), 50+ Pochard, 2 Shoveler but still no Wigeon.

A single Raven flew overhead noisily and there were Nuthatch, Kingfisher and Redwing around the small pool. Autumn is well and truly with us.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tuesday 12th October

Thought I would take a walk around the reservoir in the morning. First up, off the car park was a group of 18 Shoveler. I thought that would be the day’s highlight. Fortunately, within 100 yards a Rock Pipit (123) flew up being harried by Pied Wagtails, it called flew 100 yards further away and tried to settle it was still there late morning but never seemed overly settled.

The rest of the walk the highlights were a Willow Tit and Nuthatch around the small pool. The Black Tern seems to have left and again there were no warblers or hirundines. There has been a big influx of thrushes today with 50+ Blackbird and 25+ Redwing.

Rock Pipit – Bob Duckhouse

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday 10th October

Hard at the gardening today, but managed to walk around as dusk fell, Black Tern still there and the gull roost held about six Common Gull, but apart from that very quiet.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Saturday 9th October

After a week away I had a walk around the reservoir today. It was obvious that the weather has changed, as had the make-up of the birdlife. For the first time in months there were no hirundines to be seen I also drew a blank on summer passerines. There had been a Black Tern in midweek and that bird was still present as was a single Common Tern. Winter thrushes were represented by about a dozen Redwing, whilst at home I had a small group of Fieldfare fly over. I actually had a year tick for the Reservoir today with a group of six Meadow Pipit in the western meadow. The field on the other side of the river still looks good but contained absolutely nothing. I still have high hopes for later in the year.

I paid a brief visit here this afternoon and was rewarded with two Jack Snipe which is certainly a first for me at this site and to the best of my knowledge is the first record. The only other bird of note was a single Common Snipe.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Friday 1st October

New that today there was a drake Common Scoter at the west end of the Reservoir at 11.30 per Rare Bird  Alert.

I went around late afternoon and got a good soaking, didn’t see the Scoter but it may well have been present (my bins were redundant after about 100 yards). I did see the female Goosander fly in and there was a group of 40 Swallow and 10 House Martin looking like they had had enough in the driving rain, so by the time I get back in a weeks time I don’t expect to see them again.

Thursday 30th September

I had another search for Little Owl in the fields running to the north of the railway line, again I drew a blank. The main reservoir didn’t produce much either although there was a 1st winter Common Gull on the gantry. Still good numbers of LBB Gulls although the Herring Gull numbers seem to have dropped off.

Pochard numbered 20 and there were still 20 odd Swallows around. The weather forecast for Friday may produce something and I will have a good walk round on Friday evening before giving my knees a pounding hillwalking in Scotland for a week.

I will update the blog on my return, if anything of interest turns up please inform Tame Valley Birders via their blog – conversely check that blog for anything interesting in the area.