Saturday, 27 April 2013

Saturday 27th April

I had a day in the garden today, I my sons and their friends are reducing the conifers surrounding my garden from 60ft down to about 20ft. Not in an attempt to see more birds on my garden list but to let some light in. The Captain joined us for a few hours this afternoon, and we actually saw a few good birds first a Sparrowhawk was soaring above the house and was soon joined by a pair of Hobby. We were watching them when the Captain picked up a large flock of around 50 Swift really high heading north. Later a pair of Raven flew overhead attracting attention from the gardens breeding Carrion Crows. I was accompanied all day by a singing Song Thrush and there was also Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing at times.

Hopefully though, with the trees a lot lower I might pick up anything high in the sky from the east and north now!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Wednesday 24th April

An adult Little Gull graced the Reservoir today (Steve Haynes) he also had a fly over Whimbrel. I took a walk over late evening the gull was still present with eight Common Tern, Kittiwake and a singing Blackcap in the car park.

Looking at the water level I think any waders this spring are all going to be fly over!!!

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Weekend and Monday

I have visited the last three days but there hasn’t been much to report. On Saturday Mark Fennell reported a couple of Blackcap, I had at least five today on a flying visit at lunchtime. It was strangely quiet with few birds singing. There were only four Common Tern today and c.350 Black-headed Gulls.

Even the hirundines have been thin on the ground over the weekend with just single figures.

Oh, and the Kittiwake is still around!

Later on there was a single Common Sandpiper and a calling male Tawny Owl near the small pool, this is the same area that I have heard one calling for the previous two years.


Common Tern

Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday 19th April

Had a wander this afternoon, not much about 12 Common Tern, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and a duck that dare not say its name. Pretty poor really, not help by a text from a friend in Scotland who had a Pallid Harrier fly over his head on his local patch!

Oh and the Kittiwake is still around.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wednesday 17th April

I abandoned my Scottish trip and returned home on Tuesday evening, if you can imagine the wind of the last two days and triple it, it will give you an idea of what it was like. We tried and failed to climb a lesser summit close to Perth but once we attained the ridge it was nearly impossible to walk. The forecast was for more of the same so well cried off.

I didn’t even see that many birds. On the way up we tried for Red-breasted Goose on the Solway but although we saw thousands of Barnacle Geese the above mentioned target remained frustratingly out of view throughout.

I did see a single Short-eared Owl in Glen Quaich along with Red Grouse. On Sunday we walked along the River Tay and there were good numbers of Sand Martin and Swallow which was a bit of a surprise considering how slow they have been down here.

I managed to get over the Reservoir last evening with the Captain were there were two Arctic Tern and around 12 Common Tern. The Kittiwake remains, looking less healthy by the day. Hirundines totalled over 100 split equally between Swallow and Sand Martin with three House Martin. Two Common Sandpiper were trying to find somewhere to feed and didn’t appear to settle. Passerine wise a couple of Chiffchaff and a flushed Pipit which flew up out of the long grass over the hedge which we never saw again were the only other birds of note.

Last Friday I had a Tern at the far end which I could not relocate but the next day there was Arctic and Common present. The 14th saw Arctic Tern and Yellow Wagtail. Whilst the 16th had a couple of Sandwich Tern in the evening.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Friday 12th April

I managed to get over for an hour late afternoon, the Kittiwake was still present. There was also a Common Tern which didn’t stay. There are around 6 Chiffchaff on site but apart from several Sand Martins and a single Swallow there was little to excite.

During the week there have been a couple of reports of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, but migrants are still thin on the ground. I am off to Scotland for a week of Hill Walking, but with 100mph winds forecast for Sunday it won’t be till later in the week. This is the year of the big push I hope to finish the Munro’s an adopt a more leisurely life style – I hope my knee stands up to the punishment!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

9th April 2013

Cold and windy again, the Kittiwake is still here, probably glad it is, if it is this wild inland what the hell is the coast like!

There was a single Redshank and in all honesty not a lot else.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Monday 8th April

Took a phone call from the Captain and we arranged to meet at 5.30 for a evenings birding. After the pleasant Spring like weather of the weekend it was back to Baltic conditions. The easterly wind had returned and it really wasn’t pleasant.

From the car park there were a few hirundines at the far end, in total there were four Swallow and ten Sand Martin, god only knows what they were finding to eat! As we walked around the Kittiwake was still in the same place and showing really well. It was again very quiet with the wind and cold keeping passerines down. There were upwards of 20 Pied Wagtails and we saw a male Yellowhammer but on the whole it was a little disappointing. At home there was good movement of Fieldfare with over 50 birds seen.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunday 7th April

I was up early this morning and Joy and I headed to Worcestershire to walk the Malvern Ridge, we had been there last weekend and were surprised to see just how much snow was present. Anyway today most of it had gone, certainly from the footpaths. It was certainly more comfortable today, because last weekend it was freezing. We walked North to South past British Camp to Hangman Hill and back.

Straight away we were encountering good numbers of Meadow Pipits (c.150 in total) and about two miles out I had the first of two Wheatears followed by three Ring Ouzel. About a mile further on as we dropped down towards the Malvern Hotel a Woodcock flew past. We walked to the end then retraced our steps. On the way back though we saw nothing apart from a few more Meadow Pipit – looks like you have to be early!

This evening I took a walk around the Reservoir, the Kittiwake was still there coming to bread! There was a winter plumage adult Little Gull and a couple of Sand Martin. Wildfowl wise two Wigeon, two Gadwall, four Teal, three Goosander and 40 Tufted Duck. There was a single Chiffchaff between the two pools.

I had a email from Evie Carson who saw Skylark, two Kingfisher, Treecreeper and other bits and pieces.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Saturday 6th April

Yesterday there was a Kittiwake (Steve Haynes), which was still present today and showing well. Yesterday there was also three LRP which I couldn’t see this evening. I did see the Redshank briefly this morning but this evening it was also gone. There was another sighting of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Wheatear was seen briefly.

This evening the Captain and I heard a singing Chiffchaff but on the whole it was quiet. We scanned round after we had finished our walk and there were four Teal present.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wednesday 3rd April

Home late from work, my turn to walk the dog (its always my turn) = no time for birding. Joy being understanding gave me a Brownie Pass to nip over and check for hirundines from the car park with the strict instructions of no more than 10 minutes – a Black Lab can only cross his legs for so long!

I got there and the wind was cold enough to put my fillings on edge, I had a quick scan no hirundines. Then I picked up a small raptor flying towards me, straight away I realised it was a Merlin, as it got closer it headed more to my left and after it briefly buzzed a Pied Wagtail I lost it behind the car park. As it was headed roughly in the direction of my house I exited quickly walked the dog up the field and scanned around for 10 minutes but no sign.

That’s what I love about birding – you just never know! Last night with the Captain I mentioned that it was about this time a couple of years back that I had Merlin!

Psychic or What!

2nd April 2013

With the light nights now with us, the Captain and I spend a couple of hours covering the Reservoir last  evening. It was a cracking night, bright, clear and cold in an easterly wind. I still haven’t seen a summer migrant this year, there has been little more than a trickle nationally.

Apart from four Goosander on the main pool, the winter wildfowl have all pushed off, not that there has been that many recently. There were double figures of Common Gull and around 100 Black-headed with several LBB Gulls. We had reached the far end of the small pool and had only seen a couple of passerines all evening. On the other side of the railway crossing, we picked up a large flock of Meadow Pipits in the stubble fields there was probably in the region of 80 birds but there could well have been more. A single Yellowhammer flew over the field and there were three Mistle Thrush.

A bird I have struggled for all year has been Linnet embarrassingly I still haven’t seen one yet!!! We returned along Bixhill Lane seeing four more Mistle Thrush, 4 Fieldfare and a good number of Blackbird, but with the weather forecast showing the wind turning North-east later in the week, I think when the migrants start passing through they will do it quickly.