Sunday, 15 January 2017


Fed up on Saturday with staying in I took a chance with the very poor weather and headed off to Marsh Lane after an early lunch.

My route to my local patch is down country lanes along which I often see a Common Buzzard sitting on top of some telegraph poles.As soon as I stop to take a shot or two it always flies off but not today.For some reason perhaps the light drizzle falling it stayed and let me take a few shots before flying off.  

I didn't have the same luck at Marsh Lane where it was very damp and gloomy.There were a couple of Ravens that flew past the CP but all I could get were some crappographs.You will have to believe me that they are Ravens.

I missed the Cetti's Warbler from the river hide and the Stonechat was as usual was miles away.Did see a Shellduck on the RW pool.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Went over to Marsh lane on Monday morning to find it pretty gloomy.Struggled to find anything decent to point the camera at and had to make do with some shots of 3 Common Gulls that were on the RW pool briefly. 

Spent half an hour in the river hide got very cold and saw nothing.Only 10 minutes after I left the hide a Stonechat turned up and posed for shots.Don't you love it when that happens.

Had another quick visit this morning and my god was it windy.There was a pair of Goosanders on the CP pool but they remained miles away.

There wasn't much on the RW pool probably due to a Peregrine that was flying around in the distance.Best of all on a windy morning were upto 40 Yellowhammers along the causeway and in the car park.Managed some shots but couldn't get close to get some decent ones.Cracking looking birds.

A quick look again at the CP pool before I left was rewarded by finding a Little Egret that was enjoying the wind as much as I was.It was trying to hunker down as low as possible.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


I was so fed up with staying in that on Saturday lunchtime although it was damp and very gloomy I went over to Marsh Lane getting there just before 1.00 PM.

When I arrived I wasn't to know that it had been a bad mistake to go there because that evening I received an e-mail from the Fair Weather Birders club that I had been expelled.They cited my visit there when it was -4 degrees C on Thursday and this visit when there were such poor conditions.

Spotted a Peregrine when still in the CP but when I tried to focus on it it disappeared in the very low cloud.There was a Little Egret on the CP pool. 

There were a few Yellowhammers along the causeway but so difficult to focus on.

I quickly visited all the other hides but it was getting even more gloomy and it was only 1.45 PM.Then quite quickly a  mist started to form over the water (I believe this is known as an Advection mist which forms when warm air is over cold water).

I was on the reserve on my own as no one else was stupid enough to come out in such conditions.The mist was thickening up and things were getting very eerie.Panic began to set in.I know all about Water Sprites, Ghosts , Ghouls and the like that love these conditions so I dashed to the car and got out of there.

Friday, 6 January 2017


On Thursday morning I very bravely paid a visit to Ice Station Marsh Lane getting there at 9.30 AM.The temperature in the car park was -4 degrees C.There was only one other birder brave enough to come out and visit Marsh Lane that morning.

The CP pool was frozen up and only a few Lapwings were on the islands.Spotted a Yellowhammer as I walked along the causeway but although I went into stealth mode it spotted me and flew off before I could get close and get a decent shot. 

The RW pool was also frozen over but there were several hundred ducks on the only bit of open water.In the marsh there was a lone Common Snipe asleep which I found amazing as here I was wrapped up in several layers and still freezing cold and this little bird was fast asleep in the open.

Had some fun and games in the back gate coppice where I found a few Siskins in the Alder trees.I was very keen to get some shots as these were the first Siskins I'd caught up with this winter.    

Getting shots though was not plain sailing as the birds were always high up in the trees, there were loads of twigs in the way, they never stayed still and my fingers were frozen so I had trouble pressing the focus button on the camera.Took loads of crappographs and amassed a large quantity of twig shots but did get a few shots.

Also among the Siskins were a pair of Bullfinches.Only managed a shot of the female.

The RW hide was like being in a large freezer but luckily there was a bit of action outside to keep me from getting frostbite.There were a couple of Fieldfares and a lone Redwing flitting around. 

There were some more Bullfinches on the RW embankment but they wouldn't come close.

A visit to the river hide to see the Cetti's Warbler and the Stonechat ended again in failure but a Wren and a Song Thrush provided some entertainment.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


Took this so so shot of a Redwing yesterday in rather gloomy conditions.The reason for posting it is that it was taken in my garden which has been very poor for over a year for birds so I was very pleased to see it.

This morning when it got a bit brighter I did yet another check on the local berry trees hoping for a Waxwing.The worry is that nearly all the Rowan berries have been eaten so yet again I failed to find one.They seemed to have passed by us here and moved on further south.

Did have some luck though when I spotted a Common Buzzard and was able to get some decent shots.

Monday, 2 January 2017


Popped over to Marsh lane this morning getting there just after 10.00 AM and my God was it cold.There was plenty of ice on the pools but at least it was sunny.

Spotted a Sparrowhawk when walking down the main path but unfortunately it stayed a long way off.

The only bird of note I saw on the RW pool was a Little Egret but others had seen a Jack Snipe right in front of the oak hide. 

Whilst on the path to the river hide to see the Stonechat and the Cetti's Warbler (failed) I had a very enjoyable battle with a Goldcrest trying to get some decent shots but it remained high up in the trees along the stream. No great shot but as always great to see.

A quick look in the CP hide again was rewarded with a pair of Goosanders preening at the back of one of the islands.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


It was very cold this morning but the sun was shining so I grabbed the camera and headed over to Marsh Lane.Got there just before 10.00 AM with the temperature at a very cold -2 degrees C.

There was plenty of ice on the pools but still some open water. Didn't find the Cetti's Warbler this morning and after over an hour in the bitter cold the only shots I'd got were of a Robin, a Bullfinch and a Reed Bunting.An old friend was way off in the distance on the CP pool the Pochard with the beak saddle who had probably come to overwinter again.

On the walk back to the CP I found a flock of 20 + Yellowhammers along the causeway and round the car park which enabled me to get my first shots of the year.

I understand from Graham who had done a count that there were 591 Teal on site this morning which is a record for Marsh Lane.