Friday, 8 December 2017


Had no intentions of going down to Marsh lane yesterday morning it was far too gloomy and windy for this fair weather birder.However when it started to brighten up and when the weatherman said snow for the next few day I thought I'd better pop over there.

Got there just after 10.00 AM.There was no one else there.It was windy and still gloomy.Oh Dear ! !

After an hour of trudging around  all I'd seen of note was the Mandarin duck from the river hide.

At this point I decided to give in and head home but just as I got back to the causeway a Raptor flew over my head and down the streamline.I spotted it immediately I got in the N causeway hide.It was a Sparrowhawk perched a long way down the streamline trees.Too far for a decent shot but very nice to see.

Just before I left I decided to check out the crop field.Whilst doing so and not having much luck a Kestrel turned up.The big surprise was that instead of flying off to the next county when it spotted me it put on a flying show specially for me.

Several times it flew directly over my head and besides getting me to fall over backwards trying to get some shots I managed some unusual shots.

The light was very awkward with the bright sunshine either blowing out the shots or taking silhouettes.Did manage a few decent ones.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


After the excitement of at last getting some decent shots of a Hawfinch the day before at Berkswell yesterday for the first time in a while I popped over to my local patch.Got there at 9.30 AM to find it a bit chilly and very gloomy.

The CP pool was full of Geese Gulls and Ducks but I could not find anything exciting to point the camera at. The Cetti's Warbler was again singing very close to the N causeway hide but I'm blowed if I could see it let alone getting a shot.

I was chuffed to see a Kestrel perched near the crop field.It was the first one I'd seen  for a long time.It was far too gloomy to get a decent shot though. 

The only other success I had all morning was spotting a drake Mandarin on the RW pool.Always distant but nice to see.

Monday, 4 December 2017


After doing the early morning weekly shop at Sainsburys today I decided to get over to Berkswell and see if the Hawfiches were still showing in the churchyard.

Got there at 9.30 AM and had the place to myself.Had luck straightaway when I spotted one high up in the Yew tree nearest to the church.It was well hidden but I got a few shots.

It soon flew off and I had to wait quite a while before one showed again.This time I was on the other side of the Yew tree near the back gate when one landed at the top of the tree looking good in the sunshine.

After another pretty long wait  2 landed again at the top of the Yew tree and showed well if you stood right by the church.Managed my best ever shots of one of these chaps.

Friday, 1 December 2017


On Wednesday morning I went over to Berkswell again to have another go for the Hawfinches that show in the churchyard in the Yew trees if you are very lucky.

As usual there was good and bad news.The good was that there were 3 present that morning.The bad was that it was very cold and my thermals were penetrated very quickly and even worse news the Hawfinches were always distant way too far off for a shot.

I was there for a couple of hours and only once did they go into the Yew tree.I think this is a shot of one.

Yesterday morning was far too cold for this wimp to go out birding in the open so using the car as a hide I went off to check the local berry trees for winter thrushes.I was lucky to get some shots of Redwings because the Rowan berry trees that only a few days ago were laden with berries were now almost bare.

It was great watching them feeding on the last few berries.They get into some interesting positions. 

Saturday, 25 November 2017


Popped down to the local patch again Friday morning getting to Marsh Lane just before 9.00 AM.It was sunny but very cold.

The Cetti's Warbler was showing in the reeds in front of the N causeway hide but as usual it was flitting around out of site.It often sang out very close to the hide but I'm damned if you could spot it.Got some shots though. 

The Grey Wagtail came into the marsh for a wash and brush up.

There were a lot of winter Thrushes around the reserve but were always too far off to get a decent shot.This is all I got.

This morning just after 8.00 AM as I was washing up the breakfast dishes I received a text from my good friend John Hunt "A Hawfinch is showing in the Berkswell churchyard but distant" I had planned to stay in today but as I'd not seen a Hawfinch for years I thought Sod it I'll go.

Got there at 8.30 AM and joined John in the churchyard.There were two bits of bad news.John hadn't seen it for ages and my god was it cold there with snow flurries drifting down.

Luckily John spotted one in the Yew tree nearest the church after about 15 minutes later.It was bit gloomy in the tree but great too see one after all these years. 

Luckily the Hawfinch showed very briefly on the sunny side of the tree.