Saturday, 25 February 2017


Been out a couple of times this week down to Marsh Lane but have had not much luck and to make matters worse the weather both times was a bit grim to say the least.Friday morning it was so cold with the wind blowing through the hide flaps coming straight from the arctic I only lasted an hour and left before I froze to death.What a wimp !!!

I spent a while in the N causeway hide hoping for the Kingfisher and the Cetti's to show but it was a waste of time.The only shot I took there was :

Good to see Oystercatchers back.There were at least 4 about on Friday.

On the way home Friday morning down the country lanes the Common Buzzard was again on one of his telegraph pole perches but as usual I could not park in a decent spot to get the light right but always nice to see.

Saturday, 18 February 2017


Thought it was going to brighten up this morning so I popped over to Marsh Lane getting there at 10.30 AM.It hadn't brightened up it was pretty gloomy and rather cold.

All the action I found was in the N causeway screen hide where I found my good friend Don Sutherland who had got some stunning shots of a Kingfisher that had showed right in front of the hide.I turned green with envy.

 I spotted 2 Kingfishers but they were well off to the right of the hide.

Luckily for me Dave and Graham had come into the hide and their keen hearing had them onto some Golden Plovers flying by.This is all I could get.

I was soon alone in the hide and as I waited for the Kingfishers to show I was entertained by the Cetti's Warbler which starting singing but I only got a couple of quick glances and a Cormorant and a Great Crested Grebe that both came into range. 

The Kingfishers were both still in the reeds far off but one showed a lot better.

A bit later one came a lot closer but alas not close to the hide.

It flew off briefly and then came back to the same spot but showed a lot better enabling me to get my best shots of the year.

Friday, 17 February 2017


With the forecast decent yesterday morning I headed off to Moseley again this time to see the Waxwings seen in a small car park off Windermere Road.

Got there at not long after 9.00 AM and saw that the flock of about 40 although not feeding on the berry trees they were pretty close high up in a nearby tree.Here's a shot of some of the flock.

Didn't have to wait too long before some of the flock dropped down to gorge on the berries.They soon flew off into the distance and did not return for about 20 minutes.This was the pattern for the rest of my 2 hour stay they would feed for a while then fly off returning 20 or so minutes later.

I left after a couple of hours driven off by the cold wind that was now blowing but had managed to get some decent shots of these beauties.

Although this isn't the best shot I took I like it a lot because getting shots of Waxwings that show the great wing markings is not easy.

I also managed some berry eating shots.

After I left the Waxwings I called into see the Iceland Gull again but it wasn't there.I did bump into Alan Dean and Glen Giles who were there to check out the YL Gull I posted shots of in an earlier blog (there had been lots of discussion on the net some thinking it was a Caspian Gull).I joined the in depth discussion as they studied the bird that was showing well that morning.My contribution to the discussion was " Hello Alan" "Good morning Glen". 

Here is another shot of the bird. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Whilst still parked up in Moseley yesterday I thought having got some decent shots of the Iceland Gull I might as well walk the short distance to the place where some Waxwings has been seen.

As it turned out it was not a short walk and by the time I got there I was pretty knackered.Even more annoying the berry trees that the Waxwings were visiting were in a small car park and it would have been a doddle to drive there and park right by the birds.

The good news was that were 3 trees in the car park all being white Rowan berry trees with plenty of berries left.The bad news was that when I was there there were 2 Mistle Thrushes that were defending their berries aggressively and the Waxwings stayed on the trees for a few seconds before flying off.No great shots but always great to see.

 At a quick and pretty cold visit to Marsh Lane this morning the best bird found was a Black Tailed Godwit.The only shot I managed was when it flew off.


I've been birding for more than 12 years now but I am ashamed to admit I've never seen a white winged gull before so when an Iceland Gull was reported on a pond at Swanshurst Park in Moseley I only dithered for a few days and went over there last Thursday.

Parked up in the park car park at not long after midday and walked down to the pond.It was bitterly cold and only one birder there but hundreds of Gulls including many of the larger ones were there.The birder told me the Iceland Gull had not been seen that day.After waiting for nearly 2 hours and getting frostbite I gave up but not after getting some shots of a Yellow Legged Gull that the birder had found.   

I went down again the next day a bit earlier this time.If anything it was even colder than the day before and I didn't see any other birders during a stay of over an hour.More importantly I did not see the Iceland Gull.I left very cold and depressed.

I went over there again yesterday lunchtime only because it was sunny and not so cold.This time I parked in Swanshurst Lane as it's only a short walk down the bank to the pond.As I got to the water's edge the sun was right in my eyes and it was hard to see the birds.I had a quick scan before I set off to the far side to get the sun behind me and the first bird I checked out of several hundred there was unbelievably was this :- 

How lucky was that.It was there. Yipppeee !!!! A life tick for me.When I'd calmed down I walked round to the far side and with the sun behind me I was able to get some decent shots.The third shot gives an indication of it's size. 

People were feeding the Gulls and when one dropped it's food on the water there was quite a squabble over the food.The Iceland Gull flew around a lot on the prowl and although it's only a juvenile it was very aggressive grabbing the food.

Monday, 6 February 2017


After getting some decent shots of the Whooper Swans in Kenilworth I then set off to Wolston to try again to get some decent shots of the Waxwings that I failed to get there a week ago.

Got there not long after 10.30 AM and was told by some friends there that they had seen 26 and they were high up in a nearby tree.

I didn't had to wait long when a few of them flew down onto the nearby Rowan berry tree.They didn't stay long but over the next half an hour they kept popping down for a quick feed.

.They get into some tricky positions as the gobble up the berries.

Managed a few flight shots.