Monday, 27 March 2017

Boddington Reservoir :: 25 March 2017

Back from a week in Italy visiting the Company's HQ (the "Mother Ship"). A bit to do at home and in town to get prepared for Mother's Day so set off later in the afternoon than intended. Decided on a circuit of Boddington Reservoir, for a change, and given the available time before tea and the arrival of our evening visitors.

We came across a red-legged partridge just before reaching the car park, Chiffchaffthen saw a reed bunting while changing into walking boots and as always a friendly robin watched on. Many great-crested grebes on the water plus black-headed, lesser black-backed and common gulls. As we walked the breeze stiffened and we were glad of our jackets. A little egret beside the tower and then towards the halfway point, now out of the breeze and in the sun ... glorious.

Back down on the path to the main road where we came across blue and long-tailed tits. We saw another bird pass through without being able to identify it. Shortly it gave itself away, singing at full tilt - my first chiffchaff of the year.

On the final stretch we watched a chap land a sizeable common carp, to the delight of his young son. Very soon after a small bird flew adjacent to the main road, landing on the trunk of a tall tree. TreecreeperIt was obviously a treecreeper and scurried up and around the tree. A minute later it was joined by another - great to see.

Sightings (27) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chiffchaff, common gull, coot, dunnock, great crested grebe, great tit, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, red-legged partridge, reed bunting, robin, treecreeper, tufted duck, woodpigeon and wren.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

WkWT Brandon Marsh :: 11 March 2017

No coffee before we went out onto the reserve on this occasion. Straight away we could hear a great spotted woodpecker drumming somewhere between the New Hare Covert track and the Visitors Centre. TreecreeperBy the tall trees we also found a treecreeper who danced between the trees and over our heads. As the treecreeper was lost from view it was replaced by a nuthatch, although high in the canopy.

Nothing significant from Wright hide and when we got back to Goose Pool we decided to stop for a coffee back at the Centre. As we reached the south end on Grebe Pool we were lucky enough to spot a redpoll feeding. A successful morning even if we'd stopped there. Redpoll

Back out and a march down to East Marsh hide. Snipe visible from there and after a few minutes a total of five counted. Nothing from Carlton but on then to the final hide. Two buzzard resting in the distant trees were joined by a pair of great spotted woodpecker. Grey heron entertains a hoard of visitors being guided round.

On our return we came across a mother and son watching another redpoll but unfortunately I got too close before realising what was going on and was too close for a photo fearless redpoll! Stepping backwards to make space the bird flew off.

More redpoll in trees as we approached the Visitors Centre, then homeward bound.

Sightings (36) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunnock, great crested grebe, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greenfinch, grey heron, greylag goose, herring gull, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, lesser redpoll, magpie, mallard, moorhen, nuthatch, oystercatcher, pochard, reed bunting, robin, shoveler, snipe, teal, treecreeper, tufted duck, woodpigeon and wren.

Friday, 10 March 2017

At home, Banbury :: 10 March 2017

A bit of a surprise in the garden today when two red-legged partridge decided to visit at breakfast time. Damned lucky I took the time to glance around - Red-legged partridgebit of a rush to get the girls to school and difficult to get a photo at an angle through the kitchen window. Fortunately I picked them out underneath, and mostly behind, the kerria along the back wall. I wonder what else might visit if I lived in the countryside. A nice addition to this year's and the garden lists.

A nice coincidence as I thought I saw a pair when driving to Bridgnorth, Shropshire yesterday but was unable to stop due to the line of traffic I was in.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Wildlife Trust Summer Leys :: 04 March 2017

After a busy couple of weeks, this was a welcome stroll around @wildlifebcn Summer Leys with her indoors. An early breakfast and off, travelling through sunshine but arriving slightly overcast - it didn't take long for the weather to catch us up.

As usual the first stop was the Pioneer hide. Good numbers of gadwall, lapwing and black-headed gulls. Three little egrets were sitting low in branches to the far left from the hide, heads out of view - a most unusual sight. A pair of male pochard we in front of them with one soon taking flight.

BullfinchOut onto the reserve for a circuit and as soon as we cleared the hide we saw two green woodpeckers working their was along the trees - also lots of birds in small flocks as we went, joined by a solitary redwing.

From the feeder hide we saw lot of the usual garden birds, joined by quite a few reed bunting. However, if you want to get Charlotte excited about the birds she sees it can only be bullfinch and jays - the three bullfinches duly obliged.

Met a chap going the other way who gave details of where the red crested pochard could be found. Sure enough the short diversion yielded another tick for the year list (now #85), although views were distant and only allowed for a record shot.

From the next open hide good numbers of teal Tealwere foraging with yet more gadwall behind. Perhaps the most gadwall I've seen on one visit. Soon after we saw a grey heron low in flight and watched as he strolled into the water for a spot of fishing.

No sign of the great white egret that had been on-site recently; I suppose just another Saturday morning dip ... all too frequently birds seem to move as the weekend arrives.

Our 2 mile circuit complete I checked that there was nothing new from the Pioneer hide and set off home. Will be back in the spring to catch the migration and to catch up with my regular garden warblers at their usual spot.

Reed buntingSightings (39) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, bullfinch, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, great crested grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, grey heron, greylag goose, lapwing, little egret, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pochard, red-crested pochard, redwing, reed bunting, robin, shelduck, shoveler, starling, teal, tufted duck, wigeon and woodpigeon.