Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sunny Slimbridge

Date: 29/12/2014

Location: Slimbridge WWT


                    Started on this frosty morning, took 25 mins to defrost van !! -6.5 bit chilly but sun shining bright. Got to Slimbridge around 10ish car park filling up already ! 

Headed round to Rushy Hide but all full with very big lenses so headed down to Willow Hide for Water Rail, the most photographed Water Rail in the world was out on ice, showing great .

Got a few shots in the sunshine and looked good.

Looked in to other hides but ice on most waters meant ducks and waders numbers were low. Tried Rushy again same lenses still full !

Had a look for Bittern at Kingfisher Hide but not seen today, a small group of Long Tailed Tits did show nice.

South Lake for a cup of soup then back round to Rushy really wanna photograph Bewick's this the best hide for that, but still full same lenses must be 2/3 hours ! We pushed in a bit got a few tight flight shots.

Headed back to Willow, Water Rail still putting on a show light starting to shadow now, a Reed Bunting and Bullfinch spotted here also and our first every Bank Vole.

Another from the (great) Willow Hide 

On way back everyone was leaving Rushy thought great! Time for flight shots got in to now empty hide looked out windows around 5 Bewicks left pretty bare but all in all a great day !
Species Count - 28 Wild Birds

Weather: -6.5 to start day but sunshine all day! 

Other Species: Water Rail, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Bewick Swans, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Black Tailed Godwits, Teal - Another 20+ Species Wild

Thanks for Looking !

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Another Patch Walk!

Date: 28th December - 1PM
Location:  Patch Walk - Newton Park Lake

Observation:  A belated Xmas walk, done our normal patch walk out to the lake, walking through Campsite and up to Dog Walk, mostly Blackbirds and Robin, Dunnock, Wren and Long-Tailed Tits. The Buzzard took off in nearby trees and flew off mewing. Heard a noise which we thought Squirrel hacking at first, but turned out to be Fieldfare feeding on Apples with small group of Blackbirds. A few more House Sparrow back (seemed to disappear for a short while). Onto the Lake a fairly big group of Redwing in orchard. Seen our first Nuthatch since  September, which was a nice surprise! 1 Little Owl on his normal tree and 1 Mistle Thrush on top lake being protective over his tree where the Redwing were trying to steal the last of his berries! On the wander home, seen a Bullfinch, Buzzard and Kestrel.

Just as we got home, talking about the Fox we heard screaming last night about 2am. Pointed to where the sound was coming from last night and there she was sunbathing! Seemed fine, as after a couple of minutes taking some pictures, went back into the bushes.

Weather:  Blue Sky, Cold, No Wind
Other Species: 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Raven, 1 Little Owl, 1 Fieldfare, 30+ Redwing, 2 Greater-Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Jay - Of Note

Thanks For Looking !

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Roundup Of 2014 !

Here's a quick round up of 2014, a superb year we've had for birding in our area and around the UK.

Firstly a big thank-you to both our frequent and first-time readers (who stumble across our site by accident!) your steady views, shares and comments, makes it worth while.

Our blog was started in April 2012 because of our resident Little Owls, to keep track of them, but 225 blog posts later and over 15,000 views, here we are!

We have had a total of 71 total species recorded (In our local 5 miles patch) and 34 new/rare birds between us during 2014, nationally - Not bad if we don't say so ourselves!

We will leave you with our 5 favourite birds from our patch in 2014:

KINGFISHER - Closest + probably the only time we've seen him

HOBBY - Came speeding straight across the field in pursuit 

 PEREGRINE FALCON - Seen him a few times now, this is the most recent sighting around 1000 yards from our house.

 LITTLE OWL (Of Course!) - The reason we started the blog and weekly walks out to see him, although seems a bit scarce this year.

WHEATEAR - An unusual and surprising sighting for our patch!

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Thanks Again + Here's To 2015 !!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Pre Christmas Wander

Date: 22/12/2014
Location: Full Patch Walk 
Observation: Walked the full patch today. Lots of work going on at Newton Mill campsite, new chalets going up instead of tents and caravans. Diggers, workmen and not many birds about. Headed on up to dog walk where a large group of Long Tailed Tits where feeding and making a right racket a Wren stopped for a shot then it returned to quiet.

Sparse Pickings A Pigeon !!

Grey Wagtail,Chaffinch and Pied together Pre-Christmas drinks ?

Nothing until village but only then collared doves and goldfinch. Out to lakes, Little Owl was in a different hole and different tree, Teal from 14 down to 5. More Building works at Newton Park College so not much about did see Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail and Chaffinch all sat together ?!  On up to Home Farm and a small flock of Redwing with 1 Fieldfare buzzed overhead across fields to 12o'clock lane a Roe Deer Sat unaware of me. 
Manged to sneak up on this,  Model unkown on byway.
A fly past Buzzard and Sparrowhawk And Home was in Veiw.

12 O'clock Byway

Weather: Grey Skies,11c some wind.
Other Species: Blackbird, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest, Little Owl, Redwing, Fieldfare, Grey Heron, Teal.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Chew Valley Lake

Date: 16/12/2014
Location: Chew Valley Lake
Observation: Still a bit imoblized with my fingers but drove to chew valley today. Buzzards on quite a few telegraph poles on way down at least 5. On arriving the Great White Egret was off Stratford, and distant. Then drove round to Heron's Green just usual here with not much stirring so continued on round lake stopping at Woodford GND not seen but a large group of Canada Geese and loads and loads of Cormorants !! 

Some Merganser and a Red Breasted Merganser male were about.

On around to Picnic Site one, workmen on lake shore so back round to Herriotts Bridge where a Egyptian Goose showed up ! 

Also couple of Common Gulls mixed up with Black Headed Gulls.


Weather: Grey, Cloudy Skies, 8c 
Other Species: Buzzard, Teal, Great White Egret, Egyptian Geese, Common Gull, Merganser, Red Breasted Merganser.

 Thanks For Looking !

Monday, 15 December 2014

Redwing Flocks Arriving

Date: 15th Dec (10 days to go!)
Location:  Local Patch Walk (Newton Park Lake - Circular)

Observation:  Had a few hours to spare so a quick patch walk was in order, plenty of Redwing about and a singular Buzzard in woods. 2 lovely Goldcrest feeding in bushes (also had our first Goldcrest on the feeders today, spent a few minutes on the tree and flew off, species count is defiantly going up, Waxwing will be next hopefully! A large flock of Redwing in Newton St Loe by churchyard. A Grey Heron hunting in the field before the Lake, catching slugs! Just the normal residents at the Lake with 1 Little Owl, practicing his camo! Not a great walk for photographing but plenty of flocks about.

Weather:  Cloudy, Cold, Calm Winds
Other Species: 1 Buzzard, 1 Raven, 2 Goldcrest, 50+ Redwing, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Little Owl, 15 Teal, 1 Meadow Pipit - Of Note

Thanks For Looking !

Friday, 12 December 2014

Garden feeders - Slow Motion

Date: 11/12/2014
Location: My Garden feeders 
Observation: Arriving home at dinner time counted at least 50 birds on or leaving tree as I approached ! 

So in, kettle on.. then sat in front window. Camera on tripod as Tuesday dislocated 2 fingers, so at moment hard to hold camera !

Goldfinches making a right racket ! With 10 on tree at once, as soon as a car or person walks by goldies all disappear only to reappear 3 to 5 mins later ! While watching a Greater Spotted Woodpecker landed on Peanuts all but a brave Blue Tit stayed on feeders only to be pecked off by the Greater Spotted Woodpecker ! 

16 species in around 30 mins not bad did short video of the event !
Love the sound on slow motion bits sounds like monkeys !

Around 10 Redwing buzzing overhead too !
Buzzard flew straight over feeder tree looking down, all birds scattered !

Weather: Windy, Showers, Light rain
Other Species: Redwing, Goldfinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, LBGull, Crow, Magpie,Blackbird, Robin - Of Note

Thanks For Reading !

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A 7d mkii And Slimbridge

Date: 08/12/2014
Location: WWT Slimbridge 
Observation: Started for Slimbridge with new 7D mkii, sunshine and blue skies it looked good ! So many new setting on mkii to try out and try to master, focus seemed quicker with lots of flight shots in focus.

Greylag Geese A Good Start

It would be rude not to take some shots of the incoming Bewick's

Some shots manual some on AV or aperture mode

Head on and in focus !!

The Bewick's seem happy with it !

 With plenty more to see, count them if you want ! 
Around 1000+  flock of Lapwing

MMM... Worms

 Although not all in focus, I like this 

Maccoa Duck Female, Low level

 The Common Cranes putting on a good show, 7 Cranes here today 

 Then from the Willow Hide I spied a Water Rail a nice surprise to end the trip, alot more work to do with camera I think .Overall I think 7D mkii is better than 7D, focus is quicker, feels smoother when taking shots but AV mode not sure think manual is for me. 

Weather: Cold with blue skies and some cloud 
Other Species: Water Rail, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Bewick Swan, Ruff, Plover, Lapwing - Plus Slimbridge Usuals.

Thanks for Looking !

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

No Egrets @ Chew Valley

Date: 02/12/2014
Location: Chew Valley Lake  
Observation: With the Great White Egret at Chew and showing well thought i'd pop down. When I arrived it was in Herrriot's Bridge channel side nice! Light was bad but he stayed for at least an hour catching Trout & Perch. He had a Kingfisher for company for a few minutes.

Moved round the Lake to Morton, Goldcrests in the trees and Greater Spotted Woodpecker then Herons Green not much here so went to Woodford Lodge for a look for Great Northern Diver, didn't see him.

There were 2 Little Egrets squabbling on Jettys and a great looking Little Grebe. Also about 60+ Cormorants fishing.

Weather: Grey Cloudy BLOODY cold ! 
Other Species: Great White Egret, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Yellow Legged Gull, Buzzard, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker - Of Note

 Thanks For Looking !

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Sound of 40,000+ Pink Footed Geese !

The Sound Of 40,000+ Pink-Footed Geese Coming Into Roost

A short video I recorded of 40,000+ Pink-Footed Geese coming into roost in the evening, amazing sight to see !!

Holkham Nature Reserve - Norfolk

25/11/2014 - 4PM

Thursday, 27 November 2014

27/11/204 - Patch Walk - Newton St Loe

Date: 27/11/2014
Location: Patch Walk 
Brook was running fast so no Kingfisher today but start of dog track Chiffchaff posed for a picture then he was off ! 

Squirrels around 4 in small wooded bit were busy collecting nuts, not much else up byway to cross roads where usual Buzzard was being mobbed my a single Magpie. On lower fields by Globe pub there was around 150 Black Headed Gulls. Into Village bare.Into Church yard Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest a group of around 20 birds feeding in trees.

Mistle Thrush

Redwing,Thats Why !

Out to Lakes Little Owl present more Goldcrest 3 Grey Herons, Kingfisher and the Teal are back 12 birds on Top Lake. Headed back through village saw some Meadow Pipits on the Swallow wire. Almost back and a little Goldcrest showed a few times bad light but nice to see bird in open ! and still !

Amazingly Yellow Feet !

Weather: 8c, Cloudy, No Wind

Other Species: Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Redwing, Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Kestrel, Jay, Goldcrest, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Meadow Pipit, Teal.

Thanks For Looking !