Thursday, 23 March 2017

Migration Report

Wednesday 22 Marsh 2017

It rained all day but at the end of it I'd seen a few new birds for the year. Nothing amazing but its always good to see the first Wheatear of the year. At Wolston there were 3 Wheatears and 5 Little ringed Plovers, another year tick for me. At Brandon Marsh there was a Green Sandpiper and several Redshank but no sign of the Pintail seen on Monday.


Green Sandpiper, Brandon Marsh

Green Sandpiper

Little ringed Plover, Wolston

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A gander at the Geese

21st March 2017

Excellent couple of days Birding. Enjoyed a chat with some old mates, and I do mean old, in the East Marsh hide at Brandon, while watching a 1w Caspian Gull, drake Pintail, 20+ Sand Martins and the first Dunlin of the year. After picking up Jan we then stopped on the way home to see my first Grey Partridge of the year, Thanks to Paul C.
Today began at Alvecote pools where no less than 4 Jack Snipe and 12 Snipe were seen. Moving on to Picadilly the only bird of interest was an unidentified large Hirundine which may well have been a Swallow. At Kingsbury W.P. There were 6 Goldeneye on the 'back' pool. As I was watching 4 Egyptian geese flew in low in front of the hide from the direction of Middleton Lakes. I went back to check Canal pool and Cliff pools eventually finding them on Cliff. A word of caution to any would be watchers from the Cliff pool hides. Ensure the windows are secure when you open them. Either that or make sure you wear a cap for protection which fortunately I was today.

Little Egret, Cliff pool K.W.P.

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Goose

Dip of the week must be the Waxwings at the entrance to Mancetter quarry. There were certainly no Waxwings around when I parked up and trudged up 'the hill', and nothing seen or heard on my return so I'll have to settle for the Stonechat.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Migration begins

Sunday 19th March 2017

The end of last week saw a definite movement of birds across the area. A male Blackcap appeared in the garden briefly and  visits to the Tame valley produced 8 Sand Martins at Bodymoor Heath Water,Kingsbury and a pair of Garganey on the Jubilee wetlands at Middleton Lakes RSPB. On a walk 'up the hill' at Mancetter, nr Atherstone there was a female Stonechat waiting at the top.

Stonechat, Merevale

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017

A quiet spell

Monday 13th March 2017

The previous week saw visits to several local sites with the hope of finding early migrants but with no success. I had to resort to a bit of out of County Birding for an 'interesting' bird. which came in the form of a Bonapart's Gull at Swithland Reservoir.   Much more satisfying though was  the sight a male Merlin hunting near Warton, N.Warks. The Merlin flew across a large stubble field at some 4 feet above the ground presumably trying to flush a Pipit or Lark. Having failed it then tried a second technique by just sitting in a hedge for some time.

Distant view of the Merlin
There were few other birds around though. In fact there were more Hares than small birds in the area. There were a couple of Partridges flying away which I couldn't ID but that was about it. I would have to make do with the Merlin.

Hares

Hare

Lying low
Back on the Mancetter patch today the highlight on 'the hill' was a Stoat running along in the shadow of a hedge, presumably trying to avoid being spotted by one of the 5 Common Buzzards circling over the fields adjacent to the Quarry. No Ravens up though.

Monday, 20 February 2017

New week - new birds

Monday 20th February 2017
After a pretty inactive weekend I felt the need for a bit of a walk. Leaving the car at Broomey Croft I took the tow path to Drayton Bassett. The walk was pretty uneventful I'd seen a couple of Oystercatchers on the pontoons at Broomey Croft but not much else.

Oystercatchers
As I walked north along the canal there wasn't a great deal to see except a couple of tit flocks. As I approached the north end of the Middleton lakes reserve small flocks of geese were flying off the reserve landing in the field next to the canal. There was a good chance the Greenland Whitefront I'd come to see would be amongst them. It was.

Greenland Whitefronted Goose

Greenland Whitefronted Goose

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

' That was the week that was'

Wednesday 15th February 2017

A rather quiet period but there have been a few highlights over the last few days. Namely Waxwings at Wolston, Jack Snipe at Alvecote, amazing views of Lesser spotted Woodpecker coming to a friends garden feeders and good views of 1w Scaup at Draycote Water. Otherwise visits to regular sites: Brandon, Caldecote and Mancetter have been largely fruitless.

Lesser spotted Woodpecker

Red necked Grebe

Scaup, Draycote Water