Monday, 26 January 2015

Monday 26th January

Spent the morning at Shustoke, on the way I checked out a few sites that used to hold Little Owl, yet again I found none. The Reservoir was quiet with a count of 24 Gadwall the only sighting of note. The Lapwing flock flew over c.40 birds but on the passerine front it was very quiet.

The small pool held 65 Pochard and I found the Red-crested Pochard tucked away asleep on the bank, that might account for it being so elusive. I didn’t see the Scaup or the Common Sandpiper but they may be around.

I kicked up a Jack Snipe from a wet area and there were still around c.30 mixed Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. The highlight was the reappearance of “Billy” the Tree Sparrow in the same general area as it was before.

I went over again this evening to check through the gulls and there were 10 Common Gull, 8 LBB Gull, 2 Herring Gull and c.1,000 Black-headed Gull. Also five Goosander came in but I didn’t stay late so I imagine more came in later as I have counted upto 17 recently.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday 25th January

Took a walk today with Joy with my son dropping us off at Baxterley and we made our way home through the lanes around the back of the reservoir and home, eight miles in total. It really was for the exercise but I did get a year tick out of it with a male Brambling.

The other bird I was trying hard to see was Little Owl but I drew a blank. In a brief look at the reservoir I didn’t see any of the 3 Amigo’s but I wasn’t trying particularly hard.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Thursday 22nd January

Had a day out with the Captain, this morning we covered Middleton Lakes, it was a crisp sunny morning and not quite as cold as I expected. We saw 58 species but the best was when we were nearly back at the car. In an attempt to add Collard Dove to the day list I was checking around the farm when I noticed that all the Sparrows weren’t all House! In amongst them were at least three Tree Sparrow a scarce species now in the area. God knows how long they have been around, I for one tend to walk straight past that area.

This afternoon we took a walk around Shustoke. At first it looked like it was going to be a quiet one, there appeared not to be much. Then a party of finches landed in a larch alongside the river and it was made up of around 20 Redpoll and a few Goldfinch. We then had four Siskin fly overhead. Then as we made our way to the Sheep Paddock a flock of c.35 Golden Plover flew overhead. That was the start of a bit of a purple patch with a mixed flock of c.30 Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting, c.20 Meadow Pipit, plus 3. Mistle Thrush, 40 Redwing and four Song Thrush all in the paddock area.

Back around the Reservoir we checked the fields off Bixhill Lane to see if the Golden Plover had landed but found a flock of 40 Lapwing instead. Then back at the carpark we set up the scopes and located the Scaup and the Common Sandpiper but there was no sign of the Red-crested Pochard. There were around 200 Black-headed Gull plus 11 Common Gull and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Monday 19th January

Monday – Shustoke Reservoir.

The 3 Amigo’s were still present as well as three Redpoll and Willow Tit. There was a Kingfisher on the river and there were good numbers of winter thrushes on surrounding fields. All in all I saw 55 species during the course of the morning, not bad.

Tuesday – Maxstoke Area

I spent the morning looking for the possible Ferruginous Duck at Coton I searched the best I could but the edge of the lake is completely overgrown, so after two hours in sub-zero temperatures I went home for a hot drink. The best I could manage was a couple of Water Rail.

I took a walk around the rounds searching for passerines and to see if I could relocate last years Little Owls, I drew a blank on both counts but I did see my hundredth species for the year when I found a Tawny Owl roosting is a hole in a tree.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday 13th January

Took the usual morning trip around the reservoir the only excitement was someone who’s dog tried to mount my leg before moving off swiftly for the next victim. The owner walked past without a word, I didn’t say anything I was lost for words!

Anyway, fortunately it didn’t try to mount the Common Sandpiper and that was still on the main pool. The small pool held the Scaup and Red-crested Pochard and I also saw a single Jack Snipe and Common Snipe. I saw around a dozen Yellowhammer, 6 Reed Bunting and 14 Meadow Pipit. As the rain headed in around lunchtime I headed home.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Friday 9th January

Joy and I decided to go for a walk around Draycote Water today in way of a change. It got of to a great start with a visit to the cafe and a coffee and bacon sandwich, I should do it more often!

Bird wise it was ok I didn’t see any of the geese that had been present but still two Common Scoter, Pintail and Smew isn’t at all shabby. In addition there were four Little Egret, double figures of Tree Sparrow and impressively, over 200 Great Crested Grebe.

By mid afternoon the weather had started to change and with the wind picking up we decided against waiting for the gull roost to develop.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thursday 8th January

Took a walk around with the Captain today, it was quiet the “The Amigo’s” were reported but we only saw the Scaup despite searching. There are still c.20 Gadwall and a pair of Goosander today. There were good numbers of Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit to be seen.

A Nuthatch made a quick appearance before departing but on the whole it was rather quiet.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday 5th January

I didn’t get over until the afternoon and I went with the specific intention of relocating the Tree Sparrow that I saw just over a week ago. I searched the area but drew a blank there were some interesting numbers of birds in this specific area: ie: 15 Pied Wagtail, 14 Meadow Pipit, 5 Reed Bunting and c.12 Yellowhammer. Strangely this area held good numbers of thrushes a week ago but I could only find Song Thrush today.

I had a bit of a panic when I realised that I had dropped my keys on-route, I retraced my steps and was fortunate enough to find them again.

I looks like the Red-crested Pochard has gone and I didn’t see the Common Sandpiper but it could well be still around. The Scaup seems to favour the small pool during the day and thats where it was when I saw it.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sunday 4th January

Took a walk around Wishaw today seeing a couple of Grey Partridge, six Corn Bunting and a Skylark. Also seen were c.100 Golden Plover and a Green Sandpiper flew overhead. I walked from there through Curdworth seeing a Merlin flying across the A446 at the Faraday Avenue island heading towards Hams Hall.

I came home across Coleshill Quarry where I saw Green Sandpiper, 4 Goosander and a Green Woodpecker.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Saturday 3rd January

After the heavy rain of this morning I ventured over this afternoon. With sailing on the main lake it looked a good bet that most of the birds would be on the small pool – and so it proved. Although I didn’t see the Common Sandpiper the Scaup and Red-crested Pochard were on the small pool.

Other highlights were 20 Common Snipe and a species that I haven’t recorded at the Reservoir for a few years Stonechat.

There are very few gulls roosting at the moment but there were two Common Gull late on and 16 Goosander.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Friday 2nd January

Had an early night on New Years Eve we had nothing planned so apart from being woken by fireworks at midnight I had a sound sleep. Joy and I were up at 6am and on the road not much later, we reached Bridlington at around 9.30 having seen no more than around a dozen cars. It really was that quiet. With Little Bustard such a rare bird I was expecting thousands and a bit of a struggle to get parked. On arrival there were only around a couple of hundred birders around. It was about a mile walk to where the bird was and it was showing quiet well although it was keeping its head down for the hour we were there.

There was a bit of a wind blowing and the site was a little exposed so when we got back to the car we headed back via the Blyth’s Pipit near Wakefield. That proved just as obliging and we were in the car and back home by 3pm. Not quiet what I was expecting for New Years Day, normally the Captain and I just bird locally.

Today I stayed local taking a walk around the Reservoir a couple of times. The Scaup, Red-crested Pochard and Common Sandpiper were still present along with 18 Goosander this evening. I searched for but was unsuccessful in relocated the Tree Sparrow but there were still a few Yellowhammer around.
Very poor shot of Little Bustard, Bridlington