Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Every birder has a favourite place to go and see Red Kites and hardly anyone has the same place as anyone else.My favourite place is the village of Watlington which is 3 miles west of J 6 on the M 40 and yesterday just after 9.00 AM that's where I set off for.

I'd heard there was a problem on the motorway near the Stonebridge island but as I go through Warwick and get on at J 12 this was not going to affect me.Of course I was wrong and my route was jammed up with traffic avoiding the problem.It took me much longer to get to Watlington. 

I finally got there just before 11.00 AM so you can see how long it took me to get there and as I got out the car in the village free car park I was greeted by at least half a dozen Red Kites cruising overhead.

You can stay in the car park for some good views but if you walk no more than 50 metres  to the south of the car park you come to the Carriers Arms pub and their gardens are a great place to sit down with a drink and watch the Kites cruising over head often coming very close.Great spot to see these cracking birds.

Here is a selection of shots I took in the pub gardens.

Saturday, 21 May 2016


Popped over to Marsh Lane on Friday morning.It was a bit gloomy when I got there and quite windy.It was not nice in the hides with the wind blowing in so very disappointing for the end of May. Didn't see another birder all morning.

Kept myself amused for a while trying but not doing too well getting shots of some Swifts that were zooming around.Ever since seeing a stunning shot of a Swift some time ago I try whenever possible to get one but so far no good.These are my best from Friday.

It was very quiet in the Oak hide on the RW pool but a Cormorant did drift by fairly close.

Nicest spot of the morning was of a pair of GC Grebes with some new chicks.

Thursday, 19 May 2016


Having had a poor day out on Tuesday visiting a couple of my Spotted Flycatcher places (both churchyards) and having no luck at all and doing no good Wednesday lunchtime with a visit to Marsh Lane hoping the rain had brought something in.I decided that today I would pay a visit to Upton Warren.

I did get some shots in the rain at Marsh Lane mainly of the numerous Reed and Sedge Warblers around this year there. 

Got to Upton Warren at 9.30 AM and after I parked up by the yachting lake I had some luck straightaway  when I spotted a Sparrowhawk high up in a tree at the back of the yacht club huts.

Soon ended up in the big hide at the end of the path and of course took a few shots of the numerous Avocets on view.

Right in front of the hide a Lapwing was sitting on 4 eggs and every so often she would wander off for a stroll.What a trusting bird.

There were quite a few Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers about.

The best birds of the morning were a Black Tailed Godwit that didn't play ball but slept all the time a long way off so no pics.However better still there were 2 Sanderlings on site but they would not come close and all I'd got after a couple of hours waiting was this flight shot.

Luckily just before I left they did come a little bit closer and I was able to grab some shots.

Monday, 16 May 2016


Popped over to Marsh Lane mid morning today hoping something decent would be around.

From the car park I tried to get some shots of the pair of Swifts that were zooming around. Didn't do too well as the light was not too grand.This is my best so far this Summer.You need bright sunshine behind you.

After a good walk round I had not used the camera again till suddenly I spotted this Red Kite from the Oak hide.It was drifting around over the rail line and didn't come much closer till it headed off to the SE. I've got loads of decent shots of these chaps but they have all been taken in the Chilterns so I was pleased to get a shot locally at long last.

Only saw one Med Gull and that was a 2nd Summer that appeared briefly on the RW pool.

There were loads of Reed Warblers around.I got these shots from the Causeway N Hide.

Friday, 13 May 2016


A much quieter morning at Marsh Lane on Thursday than the Tern Fest the day before.I did get a shot of the new arrival 1st Summer Med Gull on the CP pool.Well I am fairly certain it is a Med Gull.

The only other success I had was getting some shots (well part shots really) of my first of the year Garden Warbler that was hiding in the back gate plantation.

This morning I had to visit Solihull library if I didn't want to be hit with overdue book charges.It was only when I left and saw it was only just after 10.00 AM that I decided to go to Earlswood and see if any Black Terns were there.From the causeway I could see nothing of note but just before I left I saw a photographer taking shots of something down by the sailing club.

As I approached the sailing club I saw a lone Black Tern zooming around.I spent an hour trying to get some shots but as usual I struggled and took loads of crappographs. Black Terns beat me every time but great to see and good fun trying to get some shots.These are my best.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Was just leaving to go to Marsh Lane after breakfast (although it was raining steadily) when a text came in "Black Tern on RW pool together with 3 Arctic Terns".This info got me racing over there. 

As I dashed along the main path to oak hide this chap caught my eye as he looked really fed up with the rain falling down and getting him soaked.A Sand Martin who didn't look pleased to see me. 

Soon spotted the Black Tern but it was far off.A pair of Arctic Terns were sitting with a Common Tern a bit closer to the hide.

Suddenly the lone Black Tern was joined by another 15 which stayed for a while before a few of them flew off.Here is a shot of 6 of them as they flew off.

I then tried for some decent shots of the few that remained and my godfathers did I struggle.They are a devil to get a decent shot of.Mind you the heavy rain and dull conditions didn't help but without them I suppose they wouldn't have dropped in.Here are my best shots. 

One of the Black Terns did land for a while which helped a bit.

I was just about to leave when I was told that the 3 juvenile Whooper Swans had dropped in.