Monday, 31 October 2011

The weekend the clocks went back!

Paid a couple of trips over this weekend, it was quiet, typical for late October, all the summer visitors have departed and the winter bird have yet to put in an appearance. I didn’t bother with the main reservoir with sailing and lots of walkers around it was going to be poor, so I crossed the river and walked alongside the railway to the small pool. I had this bright idea that it would be a good area for Firecrest a bird never recorded at Shustoke, needless to say it still hasn’t.

Saturday there were small groups of Redwing and Fieldfare around but most were moving in one direction SOUTH. With sailing going on wildfowl were mostly congregated at the east end and on the small pool. There were around 20 Pochard and I counted 130+ Tufted Duck on the small pool. I did spy the Raven but it wasn’t flying in formation with a Red Kite for me!

Sunday, the Captain and I followed the same route seeing Treecreeper, a few Goldcrest and not a lot else. There was a Kingfisher on the new pontoons for the fishermen on the small pool. The field off Bixhill Lane were barren not a dicky bird, I so wish that the farmer that resides in Moat House Lane farmed this land, his set aside fields last winter were brilliant, with Linnet, Tree Sparrow, Finches and Yellowhammer galore. 

Hopefully I will get a bit more time over the next few weeks and pay a few trips.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Monday 24th October

I am struggling to get any birding in at all at the moment, the garden is nearly put to bed for the winter and I have now recovered from getting a year older, but unfortunately demands of work and the wife have put paid to any birding recently.

However, Steve Cawthray saw a Red Kite around 2pm yesterday being mobbed by two Raven. I will try to put an appearance in before the weekend, if not at the weekend.

Monday, 10 October 2011

That was the week that was!

Seems like ages since I last visited the reservoir. Hopefully I can start to get over again soon, just need to get the garden ready for the winter – no small job.

However, Sunday there was a Common Tern and a Bar-tailed Godwit seen (Steve Cawthray/Steve Haynes)

My week of hill walking was a complete wash out, rain I can cope with but not very high winds (up to 90mph) so being based in Perth and with all the hills I need to climb being at least a 300 mile round trip we just didn’t bother. The winds caused me problems with birding as well and it was a poor week bird wise. The highlight was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper in Cumbria on the way up. We were going to travel via Edinburgh for a White-rumped Sandpiper but as we crossed the border the rain started and we opted for the  football instead, Saints won 2-1 in the pouring rain and being honest the week peaked here.

I tried for Surf Scoter in Largo Bay but the sea was that rough that it was nearly impossible to view but I did see a couple of Red-necked Grebe, and then fish and chips in the best fish and chip shop in Scotland (so they say)

After five days sitting around doing very little we travelled home on Thursday morning, the Sandhill Crane in Suffolk being a draw. A quick phone call to the Captain put us on standby if the bird was seen. It was and we were on our way, we were literally 30 miles from the site when we received news that the bird had flown off – high to the south. I had to stop in a layby for the Captains’ call of nature – it did cross my mind to drive off and leave him there, but I’m not that kind of person - but if it happens again! However, as a last throw of the dice we continued to Languard on the off chance we might pick up the bird as it drifted south – but no luck.

Depressed, but not surprised – I was with the famous “Captain Daylate” though in this case “Hourlate”. Since then I have been gardening maybe something I should have done on Friday as well.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Cumbria

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Cumbria