Saturday, 30 March 2013

Busy, busy, busy

Not that the weather has been great, but I haven’t over much, and when I have it has been incredibly quiet. That said, Friday we spent three hours walking around the Wishaw area. Corn Bunting, lots of Skylark and 170 Golden Plover were the highlights. Today we covered Shustoke but it was deadly. It seems that there have been few migrants around anywhere.

That said yesterday Steve Haynes had a Red Kite, he did phone me but my phone and I weren’t in the same county!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A day in Wales

Had a day out in North Wales with the Captain part work – part pleasure! Unfortunately it was probably colder than the last one day there in February – if that was possible. Anyway, I started in Porthmadoc, where I delivered the Job. The Cob held a couple of Little Egret and a good number of Shelduck, but we didn’t stop.

We went straight to South Stack, RSPB on Angelsey. Great views of a Peregrine, four Chough and a pair of Stonechat (It was brass monkeys) strangely there were no auks on the cliffs, although it is early I have seen them here before at this time of year. Next stop – Hollyhead Harbour where amongst other things there were four Black Guillemots. We then travelled the short distance to Penrhos Country Park on the outskirts of Hollyhead. There were around 60 Pale-bellied Brent Geese here, these I think as the most attractive of the Brent Geese. We also saw Slavonian Grebe, a couple of Bar-tailed Godwit, and good numbers of commoner birds.

We then drove to Aber, it was freezing here, we were hoping for Goshawk but although conditions looked good it was probably too cold as there was a lot of lying snow on the surrounding hills. We dropped in next at Llanfairfechan, unfortunately the tide was out but we picked up a few Common Scoter a single Gannet but not a lot else. This site in the past has always delivered but not in the last couple of years. I have even had Twite land in the car park on more than one occasion. As I had parked at the east end the Captain wanted to check the boating pool, I huffed a bit, but with a gale behind us we were there in no time (took longer to get back though). I set up in the shelter and started to scan the sea (you needed a scope to see the sea, if you see what I mean). Anyway, the Captain announced that he had a Med Gull – camera out – back to the car.

We then dropped in at Conwy RSBP, but as usual nearly everyone was in the cafe didn’t see anyone actually birding! It was only early afternoon and the plan had been to search again for the Hawfinch in the Conwy Valley (did you notice, how I cleverly avoided trying to spell the name of the village). But we both agreed that it was probably too cold and certainly too windy, we had hardly seen any passerines at all. In the end, as we had been up at 5am that we would head back and pop into Gailey to have a try for the White-fronted Geese. Two hours later after being stuck behind no end of Lorries, Milk Floats, Haywains, Geriatric Speed Walkers, Slow Coaches and bloody annoying octogenarian drivers – we got there.

As my blood pressure returned to normal we drove down the back road to find the field with the geese in. The Captain having seen these birds previously, led the way, then he shouted “Stop” I braked, (probably noisily) reversed back only to see the back end of a flock of grey geese flying off!
I turned round parked up and we searched the pools themselves. On the main lake we drew a blank, but the Captain picked the birds up on the upper pool, I hobbled up, saw them, and drew a curtain on the days birding.

Med Gull, Llanfairfechan
Altogether, not a bad day. As the Captain/Count Arthur would put it ‘You’ve got to be up early to catch the hungry worm’

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Belated Weekend

I have been very busy recently so as a result have spent little time at the reservoir. Steve Hayes saw Curlew and Shelduck at the weekend. I did get a walk around on Friday afternoon but the weather was poor and I saw very little.

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Weekend

I was unlucky at the weekend, I had very little time to spare and missed out not once but twice on two adult Kittiwakes (Steve Haynes) on Saturday. On Sunday I went over early, but with a cold eastery wind and snow flurries I saw very little.

I noticed on the way round that Squirrels have completely destroyed the feeders that the Captain and I put up.

Locally the field behind my houses had a flock of nearly 20 Skylark on Sunday but with the weather the way it was, I didn’t venture very far.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

4th March 2013

I managed to get over briefly at the weekend, but searching through the gulls failed to reveal any Med Gulls. There was probably one in there somewhere, but I tend to nod off to sleep after five minutes! I have been pushed for time recently but it is good to know other people are birding the reservoir and finding some birds.

On Monday one of those people Matt Griffiths picked up a 1st winter Med Gull and a brief Curlew and 24 Goosander, approximately the same number were present on Saturday when I was there.

I have taken to walking to work in an effort to get fitter, this takes me via Watery Lane over Coleshill Quarry. Although there hasn’t been much to speak of there. I did see two Oystercatchers on the Severn Trent pool along Watery Lane.