Saturday, 20 January 2018

NOT MUCH LUCK AT THE LOCAL PATCH.


Been down to the local patch Marsh Lane a few times since my last post but have had no luck in the cold and gloomy weather.

Last Saturday I had not intended going out as it was very cold but near lunchtime when I got the message that a Great White Egret had just dropped in on the RW pool I grabbed the camera and shot over there.Although I got there only 20 minutes after getting the message I was greeted in the car park by smiling friends "It's flown"  "You have missed it "  " I've got some great pics"  I hate that when it happens.

I stayed for an hour but it didn't come back but here is a shot of one that I did see at Marsh Lane a year or two ago.



The only shot I took that morning was of a very large Cormorant that was on the CP pool.






It was sunny yesterday morning so I went there again.It was very cold and there was ice on the pools.It was very quiet and I struggled to get some shots.Here is a shot of some of the 25 Common Snipe that were at the far end of the marsh.




A Kestrel was perched in the Oak trees near the car park but the light was not helpful.




Spent nearly an hour then trying for shots of a Brambling in the same Oak trees.There was one that fleetingly perched in the trees but it was always at the top of the tree and always in the twiggiest part Managed a few shots but no keepers I'm afraid.







Friday, 12 January 2018

FUN AND GAMES WITH A GOLDCREST AT MY LOCAL PATCH.


The sun was out on Wednesday so I shot over to Marsh Lane getting there at 9.30 AM.

After trying again for a Brambling shot for half an hour and not even seeing one I ended up in the N causeway hide waiting patiently for the Cetti's Warbler to show.I was only getting distant glimpses but I was kept interested when a Song Thrush landed in a nearby bush.






Shortly after the Song Thrush flew off a Goldcrest landed in the gorse close to the hide.I love Goldcrests to bits but my god they are a devil to get a decent shot of as they never stay still.Another problem with them is that twigs are often in the way.






Luckily I did manage a few clearer shots before my little friend flew off.








I then had a very enjoyable 30 minutes along the causeway trying to get some more shots as it pinged about in the bushes.At one time it was so close I could have touched it but I didn't have much success it was far too quick for me.This is my best shot along the causeway. 



Sunday, 7 January 2018

A BEWICK'S SWAN AT THE LOCAL PATCH.



No way was I going to venture out with the camera today it was far too cold for an aging wimp (me) however when I received a text mid morning that a Bewick's Swan was on the RW pool at Marsh Lane after an early lunch I drove over there.

Luckily it was not too far off when I got to the RW pool and I managed some decent shots from the River hide.












After that I had yet another go trying for a decent shot of a Brambling. I soon found one with the Chaffinch flock but they would not come into range so no shots again.A Kestrel did zoom over very quickly though.




I then headed into the CP hide as a Med Gull had been reported there in the morning.I then had a bit of a problem trying to find it : No other birders in the hide to help the search and there were at least a 100 BH Gulls on the islands.I did manage a few poorish shots of what might be the Med Gull but I've made many mistakes ID'ing them in the winter. 








Saturday, 6 January 2018

CHASING BRAMBLINGS AGAIN.


Went over to Marsh Lane again on Thursday morning hoping to get some better shots of the Bramblings. Got there at 9.30 AM to find it pretty gloomy the bit of brightness earlier on had gone.

Saw 3 Bramblings straightaway but too distant for any shots.They soon flew off but a bit later on managed my first shots of the Winter of one of the dozen Siskins on the streamline trees.




Back in the CP hide I spotted 5 Goosanders and managed some distant shots in the gloomy conditions.






Also on the CP pool was the GBB Gull again.




Had another go for some Brambling shots  but didn't see any and the Linnet flock had also disappeared.All I got under the trees was a shot of of GS Woodpecker.




A quick look in the CP hide before I left was rewarded by one of the Goosanders being a bit closer.What a pity the sun was not shining.









Monday, 1 January 2018

GOT WET AT MARSH LANE.


The damn weather man on BBC local news let me down again this morning.He said with a smile that it would be sunny this morning and showers in the afternoon.This was a load of rubbish and was the exact opposite.

I got down to Marsh Lane just before 10.00 AM hoping to get some decent Brambling shots in the morning sun.I soon spotted 2 in the trees near the crop field but not only was it dull  it had started to rain.Where the hell was the sun ??

Got a distant shot of the large Linnet flock.



Two Bramblings dropped into a tree close by but it was impossible to get anything other than some crappographs in the rain.






There was a GBB Gull on the CP pool. Also there were 6 Goosanders there but they were almost impossible to see in the rain.  






The rain was now pretty heavy and I had to seek cover in the N Causeway hide.A perched Kestrel was showing but it turned it's back on me.



Sunday, 31 December 2017

ANNUAL REPORT : BEST BIRDS SEEN IN 2017


In January I finally decided to drive south to Stow in the Wold to see the Blue Rock Thrush that had been in a housing estate there for a few weeks.Got there at 10.00 AM to find no other birders about.Oh Dear had I left it too late.Luckily no I found it after a while on a house rooftop.A Lifer for me ! !



In February I went to Swanshurst park in Moseley where an Iceland Gull had been seen with the other Gulls on the pond there.It would be another lifer for me but after 3 visits in very cold weather I'd drawn a blank.On the 4th visit I thought I'd drawn another blank after scanning all the pond but as I was about to enter swearing mode I spotted it only a few feet away.






In March some of my favourite birds Waxwings were paying visits to my local patch Marsh Lane.






In April I was chuffed to find some Bar-tailed Godwits at Marsh Lane








Also in April a Cetti's Warbler showed very well along the causeway at Marsh Lane.






In May I made my annual visit to the Chilterns to see the Red Kites.I always park up in the small town of Watlington where you have got a very good chance of seeing them close up.






In June and July I made 4 visits to East Leake in Nottinghamshire where in a quarry 7 Bee-eaters had unbelievably taken up residence.Another lifer for me.Never got close so no great shots but who cares what stunning birds.








In July a Grasshopper Warbler was found at Marsh Lane.It was a very accommodating bird and decent shots were easy just as I like it.








In November I finally managed to get a decent shot of the Tawny Owl that you had to be very lucky to get a glimpse of in it's box along the streamline at Marsh Lane.




I've never been able to get a decent shot of a Hawfinch.The only shot I'd got was pretty poor and I had had to drive miles to get that so I was delighted when 4+ had been spotted in December in the churchyard at Berkswell  and I was able to get some decent shots at long last.