Sunday, 21 April 2013

Great Local Weekend

It's been an interesting weekends local birding. It just passed by too quickly.

It started on Friday evening where straight from work I rushed down the Moors looking for the five Wheatear Pete had texted me about. It didn't take long to locate three of them. I also had a glorious male Redstart appear in the hedgerow near to where the Wheatears were. Result of what?

Wheatear Amington Moor


Walked around Borrowpit Lake early on Saturday morning and got my first Common Tern of the year. Then spent the rest of Saturday morning wandering around the Moors with Pete. We had a very interesting morning, seeing amongst other things a pair of Raven, Wheatears still in the fields, and my first Whitehroat of the year. Couldn't relocate a Redstart this morning though.

Saturday evening, decided to take Taz a walk around Dosthill lake. My little birding companion was 6 today. So an extra evening walk was a treat for her. Managed to find the Black Necked Grebe's that had been there for a few days. I was surprised they were still there as due to sunshine and warm temperatures the place was busy.

Black Necked Grebe, Dosthill.


After a walk round the lake in the first decent bit of weather this year, I was a bit thirsty. As it was also Taz's birthday, I thought a pint was in order. Taz enjoyed her share of the bounty.

Birthday Girl Celebrating

Sunday morning found me back on the Moors with Jon. Grey Partridge was a Moor tick for the year. Jon also got his first Whitethroat and Wheatear of the year. He also glimpsed a Barn Owl. Not a bad morning at all.

Sunday evening, I decided on a quick walk around Borrowpit Lake again. Glad I did. Picked out an adult Kittiwake, and an Arctic Tern.


What a great weekends local birding. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kittiwake, Borrowpit Lake.


Monday, 15 April 2013

It's Warming up

Temperatures are steadily rising and some interesting birds are being reported locally now. We have had Bearded Tit, Kittiwake, Black Necked Grebe, Arctic, Common and Sandwich tern and Redstarts making an appearance. Along with all three hirundines, though I still need a House Martin to complete my set. Being back at work after my holiday and being inundated with paperwork is not helping the birding.

I nice local tick was also reported on Sunday on our local stretch of the Coventry canal, in the shape of a Mandarin Duck. A pair in fact. They visit this area every year at about this time. Last year they even had an American Wood duck Drake with them.

I walked a good length of the Coventry canal at Amington early on Sunday morning. Taz as usual enjoyed the walk, I however was not that pleased as I didn't encounter the Mandarins.

Sunday afternoon, Pete contacted me to say he had sen them. I met with Pete and off we went again. We found them quickly and watched the male aggressively and very actively chasing away Mallard Drakes from his mate. He even took flight after them, disappearing from sight in pursuit and returning a few minutes later.

A beautiful pair of ducks I am always pleased to see.






Saturday, 13 April 2013

March Moors Total by Pete.

Pete and Taz

Species count now at 57. Clearly things have slowed down, but the unexpected weather has had a tremendous impact on the expected influx of birds, and also on my ability to bird watch, so expect to see the count increase as the weather hopefully returns to normal. We actually need to spot

just under five new species each month from now on to ensure we reach our target so Sean will need to get busy between now and the end of the year as I've done my fifty !!

Pete filling the feeders

Chaffinch/ Robin/Wood Pigeon/ Rook /Magpie / Blackbird/Kestrel/ Mute Swan /Great Tit /Blue Tit/ Jay/ Greater Spotted Woodpecker/Redwing/Fieldfare/Sparrowhawk / Reed Bunting/ Goldfinch /Buzzard /Dunnock /Wren/Heron/Green Woodpecker/ Long-Tailed Tit /Goldcrest/ Black-headed Gull /Yellowhammer/Bullfinch/Cormorant/Herring Gull /Lapwing /Carrion Crow/ Moorhen/Canada Goose /Mallard /Song Thrush /Shelduck/ Mistle Thrush/ House Sparrow/ Treecreeper/ Barn Owl /Goosander / Starling/ Skylark/Meadow Pipit/ Willow Tit /Coal Tit/ Pheasant /Jack Snipe/Collared Dove/Marsh Tit/ Kingfisher/ Linnet/Greenfinch/Raven/Brambling/Common Snipe/ Redpoll/

By Pete


Friday, 12 April 2013

Train to the Marshes

Great day birding today with Pete. £5.60 was the cost of a return ticket from Tamworth to Stafford. Then less than a 10 min walk found us on Staffordshire Wildlife Trusts, Doxey Marshes.


We had a great day exploring this gem of a reserve and fully intend returning soon.


On returning to Stafford centre, Pete told me of a "lunch for £1.00" establishment he was aware of. This needed further investigation. The advert.

The actual lunch.

To be honest, it wasn't bad, and I'm still alive and feel just fine.

We sat on the steps of the library to eat our gourmet lunch. Soon, we were joined by others wanting to share our £1.00 lunch.

They won me over, we shared lunch.

A very enjoyable day. Many Chiffchaff showing on the Marshes. I am already thinking about a return visit. £5.60 on the train is a great deal. Parking costs this if you take a car! From Tamworth Station to standing on Doxey Marsh in about 30 mins. A recommended day out.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

It's been eventful.

I suppose the top local news is that a Bearded Tit was reported at Dosthill Nature Reserve. An amazing bird for this area. It did its absolute best to avoid being photographed by being constantly on the move and staying deeper in the reeds. Eventually I managed a few snaps. Nothing great, but there is no doubt what it is.

Female Bearded Tit.

And also, a Kittiwake at Shustoke Reservoir.

The past fortnight has also seen me visiting Portland Bill, Dorset.

The Bill

Purple Sandpiper Dorset

Also had a nice couple of days in Anglesy North Wales.

RSPB Anglesey

Back to local birding now. Though Pete and I do intent a visit to Doxey Marsh in Stafford before the end of the week.