Monday, 8 October 2018

Dipper, Spotted Redshank, YL Gull, Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk to name a few

Date: 07/10-08/10/2018
Location: staying local.
Weather: Blue skies with grey today
Species Highlights: 
Dipper, Spotted Redshank, Greater Scaup, Yellow Legged Gull, Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel.
Observation: 

Woke up Sunday and decided on getting a few ticks for Lauren to catch up so popped into Pensford and we were rewarded with this great little Dipper, after 3/4 shots it shot of down river and out of view.


Next stop was Chew Valley and my favorite hide Villice, the light was superb but not alot to see, the Heron was looking at himself i think.



But we spotted tick number 2 for Lauren a Greater Scaup, female.



Just as we were about to go a Spotted Redshank appeared and marched back and forth in front the hide.



Great looking bird and with some wonderful light this made the afternoon.


Next stop was Heron's Green Bay and a Jack Snipe, honest it's there seen through Trevors £3000 scope but my picture for photographic proof!


With 3 ticks for Lauren, she spotted number 4 a Yellow Legged Gull. 
No joy with our last target a Lesser Scaup but a good Day.


Monday Morning and i was free to wander as Lauren working so back down to Chew and Villice again, around 5 Great Whites and a few grumpy Heron but nothing else on view.


I've got so many pictures of Great White Egrets!


As soon as the GWE would land a Grey Heron would fly in squawking
and off the GWE would fly.


The highlight of the morning was this fantastic Sparrowhawk, It was hovering over a submerged Common sandpiper, which it was chasing. I never saw the Sandpiper re emerge from the water but guess it must have flown off when i was watching Sprawk hovering.


Such a little beauty.


I left Chew and headed over to Allan Chards on the chance of a Firecrest which he saw yesterday in Eastville park, but after a wander around with people saying you should have been here 30 mins ago as 2 Otters were seen 
Still I've never seen a Otter!! 
But a Bonus on dipping the Otter and the Firecrest was this Tawny owl squashed into this nest box, Allan had a picture of 2 Tawny in this box!


I left after a couple of hours but dropped into Newton St Loe on way back, All very quiet bird wise but leaf blower on full blast and groundsmen out in force pruning and and tiding top lake. Top path overlooking lake saw this Kestrel, she did not happy I disturbed her, I kept my distance but more students were approaching her.


And that was it she flew off.


Found this little chap posing just below where Kestrel was perched.


I did return route and a Cormorant was on Bankside.


He didn't seem bothered and yawned as I passed him. 
So many pictures in last couple of days i thought I'd share them with you!


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Thursday, 4 October 2018

2 weeks of snapping

Date: 23/09/2018- 04/10/2018
Location: 
Cheddar, Slimbridge,Westhay,Weymouth, Portland, Chew Valley Lake.
Species Highlights: 
Grey Phalarope, Little Gull, Black Tern, Bearded Reedling, Great White Egret, Hoopoe, Lesser Yellowlegs,Osprey.
Observation: 
It been another 2 weeks since last blog and we've been out and about with plenty to see. On the 23rd September Sunday Lauren needed to improve her Grey Phalarope Pictures and the longish staying bird was still at Cheddar along with a Little Gull and a Black Tern.

I think we can say shes improved from the previous week!


Such a obliging bird and over 100 in the country!




We then walked around the Reservoir looking for the Little Gull and looked what landed shore side!



Not too be out done the Black Tern also perched up.


Little Gull in flight.


Little gull and Black Tern, busy at it!



After a successful day on way home popped into Chew and the Great Whites were on top form, such great birds to watch fishing, although this a failed attempt.



But eventually they get the fish.



Black Headed gulls not being out done with some circus tricks!


Monday is Laurens day off so a lovely sunny day and we went to Slimbridge, but with very little on show apart from another Black Headed Gull looking fantastic in the perfect light.



We did have Chiffchaff, Spotted Redshanks, Cranes but all a bit distant so i got in a bit of practice for our Canada trip with a Ringed Neck Duck, I think it may be a tad more frozen in Canada in January!



We left while it was still sunny and dropped into Chew, Villace hide where another distant Spotted Redshank was found, a few photo opportunities.



Water Rail popped out briefly.



I recently bought a 100mm 2.8 Macro lens and getting in some practice, amazing when you looked close at tiny things!



On the 26th Wednesday I decided to try again at Westhay for those Bearded Reedlings they didn't disappoint.


Only saw 5 birds but such little stars!


Sorry a bit more macro, Nursery web Spider.


Female Common Darter.


Male Common Darter.


Again passing Chew on way home lovely and Common Sandpiper.


Lauren called me when home saying, "get your lens there's a cool fly!" 
So I managed a couple of shots before it disappeared it's called a....Looped Flutterfly of the Trembling Wing family, great name eh. its only 5mm.


A weekend of work and dodgy knees, we had planned a trip to Dorset a first off Lodmoor to see the Lesser Yellowlegs to help with our #200 birds of 2018, it was a now show, typical! we walked around scanning and chatting with no one seeing it, more Phalarope, Egrets and Godwits.



Great little reserve with some great photo opportunities.


Lauren being the Social media queen spotted Portland Bill had a Hoopoe so we raced over to Easton and success. 
It was species number 189 for me and 172 for Lauren, it didn't stay long and disappeared into a garden out of view.



Carried on down to the Bill and plenty of Kestrels, Lauren  Shots.


Saw at least 6 different birds hunting and sitting in spots.


While she was birding i spotted a Clouded Yellow and she even managed to improve her Clouded Yellow shot not difficult, if you remember her shot of one from Fairford!


We headed back to Lodmoor for another look for the LY and success! I spotted it on the west path from the bandstand a far distance away.



Not a lifer as we had the Cheddar bird in 2016 but still it was year tick & 190/173.


A Hobby was catching a few Dragonflies that were buzzing over the reserve.


Came across this Gull? 3rd year Yellow legged?
Would appreciate any suggestions (email) Please


The Godwits looked great on the well lit West path.


Almost up to date, 2nd October and Chew Valley lake again. the Great Whites featuring hard for them not to!




Had a bit more company for this lovely Greenshank.


Also Little Egrets.


Great Whites shouting at the Grey Heron who hates them fishing on hids lake!


Found this little chap a Noon Fly, on fench in between hides.



The following day 3rd i went to Westhay mainly for the Bearded again but a no show while i waited so hobbled around to London Drove to see if i could see the juv Osprey that had been fishing in the lake there.
Unfortunately as i arrived it was being chased away by jawdaws and this was the only shot i got, i waited 3 hours but it didn't return, it did return around 4pm!


So no Bearded and not really the Osprey shots I wanted I headed home but not before dropping into..... you guessed it Chew, was glad I did as a Greater Scaup female was on show...191/200.


Not much else from Villace hide although the Great White Egret AAF, It was ringed at Ham Wall on 27.6.16.



Today was patch walk day and fairly quiet around Newton St Loe, for a complete list check our spreadsheet but the highlights were Top fields 15+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Sparrowhawk, into Village and it looks like all the Martins and Barn swallow have gone south.

Above village a pair of Raven honking.


At least 4 Jay seen around patch


1 Chiffchaff with this group of 15 Long Tailed tits also about, but not with the group, 1 Green woodpecker, 3 Greater Spotted 5 Mistle Thrush.


On Lake it seems 2 Mute Swan have disappeared maybe flown off with some pressure from dad who is quite aggressive?
But some good news Robert Hargreaves saw 4 Teal, top Lake and today 4 more have joined them, Mallard number have also risen to almost 40 we just need the Goosander and the water level to rise a bit, with all the work on lake finished its just rain needed.

Almost in focus!


Ended walk on 39 species, Butterflies 2 Small white, 3 speckled wood and 1 Peacock, a few Dragons around 10+ Migrant Hawker and Common Darters.
 So that's it all up to date. till the next time :)

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  Thanks For All Your Support!

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