Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunday 30th January

I walked from home through the lanes up to St Cuthbert’s at Furness End and came at the Reservoir following the River Bourne, the day was very spring like for January. There were quite a few Redwing and Fieldfare on the recently tilled field and there were two pairs of Nuthatch one on the Bourne and the other in the usual place.

Most of the wildfowl were on the small pool as sailing was in operation on the main reservoir although there was little or no wind. The were a few gulls starting to come in including a dozen or so Herring Gull. Didn’t see yesterday’s Yellowhammer but considering how quiet January is it hasn’t been to bad.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Saturday 29th January

Captain Daylate and myself took ourselves round the Reservoir starting at 9am before the sailing starts. The Smew was reported yesterday (S Cawthray). There were around 20 Goosander spread around, with 130 Porchard, 11 Shoveler, 34 Wigeon and the Smew was still present although it had gone when we checked later.

Interesting birds today were 50 Redwing/Fieldfare, 2 Nuthatch, good numbers of the commoner Tits and Finches and a bit of a rarity today in the form of 3 Yellowhammer on Bixhill Lane a species that I didn’t see on site last year. Another first for me today (for Shustoke) was a Grey Lag that flew over.

I’ve spoken to my therapist and I’ve to stop moaning about dogs!

WJE reported 68 Goosander late on per J Harris

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Thursday 27th January

It was a little colder with the wind coming from the north east, the temperature was just above freezing and it was dull and cloudy. Finally had a good bird today with the Redhead (female) Smew on the Reservoir it was joined by c.30 Goosander, 140 Pochard, 28 Wigeon, c.80 Mallard, c.100 Tufted Duck. The only other birds of note that I saw today was a flock of 50 Siskin and Nuthatch both by the fishing club.

Redhead Smew, Shustoke Reservoir, 27 January 2011

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday 25th January

With light rain falling I spent a couple of hours around the Reservoir, it was quiet which is to be expected at this time of year – January being one of the “dead months” as far as birding goes.

Wildfowl were roughly the same, although the numbers of Goosander – albeit in the morning are way down on last week with only around 30 birds seen today. Wigeon are at 40+, whilst Pochard 140 is an improvement on recent times. Considering there were nearly 200 Shoveler here in December you could struggle to see a single bird at the moment – and today I did – or should that be I didn’t!

It has obviously been a busy weekend for dogs at the reservoir with multi-coloured bags of dog pooh everywhere. I don’t understand some people, why bother to put it in a bag if you intend to just dump it (sorry no pun intended). Or worst still why launch it up into a tree? I’d rather have Bobby D’s much hated chinese lanterns festoon the trees (we have one).

I don’t need help to be a miserable git and as a dog lover (and owner) myself I find it irresponsible and it detracts from the beauty of Shustoke Reservoir which is why we all go there in the first place.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Saturday 24th January

Went over this afternoon but the Reservoir was quiet as the boats were out however there were a couple of hundred gulls gathered later on with a sprinkling of Herring, Common and LBB Gulls with the Black-headed.

The temperature has certainly dipped with the wind coming from a more northernly direction. Most of the wildfowl were on the small pool with 24 Wigeon, 83 Pochard, 6 Shoveler and 14 Goosander late on.

The highlight today was the Redshank feeding on the south shore the first for the year. In general though it is quiet.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tuesday 18th January

Had a whole morning to grill the patch this morning and managed to see 47 species. There were still good numbers of Goosander c.60, Pochard 120, Wigeon 7, Shoveler 4.

There were a couple of small flocks of Siskin all around the small pool and a good number of five common thrush species. There was a bit of action in the Gt Spotted Woodpecker department with the two males trying to impress a  female and chasing her around from tree to tree, with lots of drumming going on.

The paddocks were productive with a good variety of finches and I had three groups of Bullfinch totalling around 12 birds. Nuthatch were calling in the area of woodland between the two pools all in all not a bad morning.

There was a Black-headed Gull with a BTO ring on the right leg and a large ring on the left leg 60HZ I will try and find out more.

Steve Haynes counted 87 Goosander at dusk this evening – will we get to 100?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday 17th January

I thought I would attempt a late afternoon trip over to check out the gull roost, in the event there was little action on the gull front but there was a great count of 85 Goosander which is the most I have seen in the Midlands never mind Shustoke!

Other wildfowl numbers were was follows 5 Shoveler, 91 Pochard, 96 Tufted Duck and 6 Wigeon. What a difference a day makes. As I had taken my camera with me to have a play with but the pleasant afternoon soon turned rather cloudy – typical.

As I said the gull roost was a little disappointing but there were in excess of 40 Common Gull, 20 LBB Gull, 6 Herring Gull and 400 Black-headed Gull.

Lesser Black-backed Gull with Black-headed Gulls, Shustoke

A selection of the 85 Goosander, Shustoke.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunday 16th January

I went over today to carry out the BTO Wildfowl count with Captain Daylate, the numbers were rather disappointing with sailing taking place on the main pool there was very little there with most of the duck on the smaller east pool. The total (both pools) were:

Little Grebe 2, Gt Crested Grebe 13, Mute Swan 3, Canada Goose 18, Mallard 124, Tufted Duck 138, Wigeon 4, Pochard 70 and Coot c.340.

On the plus side there were Siskin present and we had a flock of about 12 in the car park and there was a Grey Wagtail of the car park feeding on the reservoir edge.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Thursday 13th January

I took the morning off after a late night, not work but a evening with Elvis at the Indian Lounge in Coleshill (it was the Indian restaurant not the Chip Shop!). Anyway I digress, it was the first time in a while that I have been round with the reservoir ice-free. There were a good number of Goosander (54) which made for a pleasant sight. Wildfowl were rather disappointing though with just 4 Shoveler, 105 Pochard, c.80 Tufted Duck, c.100 Mallard and 8 Wigeon.

There were more passerines around with the highlight being a couple of Goldcrests and a Willow Tit in warbler corner. I also had a Sparrowhawk and 20+ Pied Wagtail in the flooded meadow at the west end of the reservoir. The Nuthatch continue to show well and there were a couple of more sizeable tit flocks around. A flock of 30 Redwing flew over but again I have drawn a blank with Redpoll and Siskin, they must be somewhere!

I’m off to put on my Jump suit, slick my hair back, practice Suspicious Minds, throw a few shapes and hopefully launch a career as "Shustoke Elvis" – Thank you friends - you’ve been a fantastic audience!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tuesday 11th January

I just show’s you – you never know what will happen! I have been birding Shustoke on and off for twelve years, especially the last five. One bird I have never seen is Barn Owl, my son has seen one, just about everybody has but not me.

I got in late from work and fancied watching the football but I though I’d take the wife up to the Gryphon for a quick pint before it started. As I drove past the reservoir a Barn Owl flew across the road and I had my first site tick for the year.

I must try and get over for the gull roost apparently it is impressive at the moment, but work just keeps getting in the way.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Monday 10th January

Had an email from Steve Cawthray who had yesterdays Yellow-legged Gull plus Green Sandpiper and a sizable flock of Goosander.

Sunday 9th January

Having had a busy weekend down in London I have struggled to get over in the last few days, however Captain Daylate did see an adult Yellow-legged Gull and nine Goosander on Sunday.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Thursday 6th January

This is what Shustoke used to be like – quiet with not a lot happening! Amazingly the Reservoir is still largely covered in ice, as a result there were few wildfowl although there were a total of 18 Goosander the most for a while. There were a few large gulls loafing around on the ice with good numbers of Lesser Black-backs and Herring Gull, 4 Common and 3 Gt Black-backeds.

There were a few more passerines around but try as I might I cannot find the Siskin or the Redpoll that were here at the end of last year. I did however see Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, Coal Tit amongst others.

In total 45 species today.

With the weather set to take a turn for the worse it will be interesting to see if we have any of the firework of pre Xmas.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sunday 2 January 2011


Due to overindulgence and a free ticket to the Baggies v Man U (thanks Duncan) I didn’t get much birding in yesterday. However this morning I paid my first visit of the year to the reservoir and it was that busy I couldn’t get on the car park.

It was rather quiet bird wise and I think I probably saw more species of dog than anything else. The reservoir is still largely ice covered so duck numbers were low with a single Goosander, 8 Shoveler, 12 Pochard, 22 Wigeon, 12 Pochard, 2 Gt Crested Grebe and a single Little Grebe.

I couldn’t find last weeks Redpoll or Siskin for that matter but a couple of Raven flew overhead and I had a  Green Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

I went to Coton late afternoon to the gull roost to look for yesterdays juvenile Glaucous Gull which appeared at 3.30pm (early) there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull as well as two Smew and a couple of Shelduck.

Glaucous Gull, Coton,  2/1/11