Friday, 30 August 2013

Thursday 29th August

Last night the Captain and I did a bit of gardening, the ‘Zone Birders’ should notice the difference, none of your light trim for us, it was a number 1 all over! Certainly the view down towards the east end is a lot clearer than it was. We paid the price for it though, with nettles a plenty and the mossies my arms and legs looked like a budgies sandpaper.

We actually managed a bit of birding afterwards but there was little around, less hirundines than of late, about the same amount of wildfowl ie Shoveler, Wigeon and Gadwall. A small skein of seven Greylag flew over and apart from a single Common Sandpiper that was about it.

I think we might have a go at the other armpit next week, anyway tomorrow its off to Norfolk for me!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

On a roll!

Tuesday 27th August

Had a walk around, nothing unexpected a late Swift was the pick. One Common Sandpiper was the only wader apart from Lapwing. A Kingfisher flew across the Reservoir and there were still good numbers of hirundines feeding just above the tree tops in the Sailing Club car park. If nothing else at least it was a good bit of exercise.

Wednesday 28th August

Took a walk with the Captain, this time we actually saw a few passerines, which have been scarce on the ground recently. The Water Treatment Works held numerous Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, a party of Long-tailed Tits and various other common birds. The highlight tonight was the number of gulls with a near adult Yellow-legged Gull.

I had commented recently that in previous years at the end of August that there are usually good numbers of wildfowl attracted to the Reservoir. Well tonight three Shoveler flew in and there were also four Gadwall and around six Wigeon. The Lapwing seemed to have peaked at around 50 bird and tonight they were joined by two Common Sandpiper. Hirundines tonight mainly consisted of Swallow were as in recent days they have been mainly Sand Martin. And lastly we saw a Yellow Wagtail which flew down the length of the Reservoir but wasn’t relocated.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Bank Holiday Weekend

Firstly, I have been over a couple of times, but have not seen much as it happens. A Hobby on Sunday morning perhaps the best. Steve Haynes on the other hand seems to have the knack of picking his arrivals to coincide with the birds, a skill I have lacked this year!

He has seen a couple of Black Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Swift and a fly-over Greenshank not bad considering how busy the reservoir has been.

I may give the Captain a quick ring and have another look tonight, I will keep you posted.

I have had up to a dozen Mistle Thrushes feeding on berries in the garden today the highest number I have ever seen.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


I have had a busy time recently with work and trying to get the garden sorted for the autumn, plus I have been decorating, so birding unfortunately has taken a back seat.

Marcus the dog has been unwell (13.5yrs) and is struggling and has a balance problem, not alcohol related but it look similar.

Anyway, for the first time in weeks I visited the Reservoir (Saturday night) and there really seemed to be a complete lack of birds, I have picked up threads on other blogs that there is a dearth of bird numbers around, and compared to other late Augusts at the Reservoir I have to agree.

However, saying that I had a site tick last night, I had seen very little as we walked around, two Golden Plover flew over low, I followed them and they flew west to the other end but they didn’t land and were last seen heading in the general direction of Ladywalk. They were never very high and I was surprised that they didn’t land, unless they were resting with the Lapwing before we arrived and had just taken off when I picked them up.

Hopefully I will get over a bit more in the coming weeks. I have got another climbing week coming up in Scotland (just 16 left!).

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Breakfast – Hell on Toast

For the third time in the last fortnight, I have been up early and checked out the reservoir. And for the third time running I haven’t got more than a couple of hundred yards. It is busier at 7.00am than it is at 7.00pm, unfortunately at that time in the morning it is just one big dog exercise site (I cleaned that up).

I was up at 6.30am and after a cup of coffee I was up and out. I had got about 200 yards and was watching a Common Sandpiper feeding on the edge when a dog and it owner came through the gate. The dog started barking and charged towards me. I was in no danger I am used to dogs (I have one) but the numpty with the dog thought it was rather funny, so with the Common Sand heading down the other end of the reservoir I decided to just call it a day.

I appreciate, everyone has a right to fresh air and a bit of space, but so do I! On the way back to the car a further six people with dogs turned up – not one on a lead.

I know most people don’t take Shustoke seriously as a place to watch birds, but with the pressures on the site now all the time, I may be joining them! At the very least, Severn Trent need to provide more bins for dog waste, there are piles of bags just lying around near the bins as they are all full. And I doubt if more than 50% of the people actually clean up after their dogs anyway!

Rant over, back to work!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Monday 12th August

Yesterday I had a text from TP to say Steve Cawthray had seen a Black-tailed Godwit, I managed to get over and see the bird as it was just off the car park and I was pushed for time that suited both of us.

Later there was 4 Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Yellow-Legged Gull (4th Win) (S Cawthray, J Allen et al). I saw three Common Sandpiper on Saturday morning but not much else.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday 9th August

After a trip last night to Middleton Lakes where I missed the Gt White Egret, I thought about going this evening, but I thought no, it had its chance, its not going to tick me!

I went around the reservoir this morning but there was little on offer. Note to self: don’t walk around the small pool in shorts again – too many nettles! There were a couple of Blackcap to help with the pain but nothing else.

This evening Joy and I went over meeting Steve Haynes and Steve Cawthray in “The Zone” they had seen Hobby and a couple of Kingfishers. We decided to carry on round, exercise if nothing else, it proved to be worth it with a Green Sandpiper, my first on-site this year.

Might be the start of something good!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wednesday 7th August

I have actually been over a fair bit recently, but there hasn’t really been anything of note. Post-breeding Lapwing numbers are at around 40 birds at the moment and there has been a rise in the numbers of Coot but that has been it!

There was a male RD on Tuesday evening but that appears to have moved on and even the numbers of Common Tern have dropped to around half a dozen.