Thursday, 29 May 2014

Yellowhammers On The Move

Date: 29/05/2014 - 1PM
Location: Zones 1,2+5

Observation: Went up to byway to see Whitethroats but a jumping juvenile was all I found but did see 4 Yellowhammers, last year were further up byway much closer to campsite now.On carrying on to Seven Acre a young Buzzard was calling for food, with Mum & Dad circling over woods. Got to lakes in between showers, where little owl was hunting and swan now down to three cygnets. Still only around 20 Swallows around farm shop.
Also a tractor was cutting grass verges on the lanes !
Weather: Raining,overcast, warm
Other Species:  Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Green Woodpecker, Buzzard x3, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Little Owl, Red Legged Partridge, Mute Swan (inc 3 Cygnets), 
 Grey Heron x2

Monday, 26 May 2014

Booming' Fantastic - The Levels

 Date: 26th May 2014 - All Day
Location:  Somerset Levels - Ham Wall, Shapwick Heath, Greylake, Westhay + Catcott
Observation:  We started off at Westhay, where we done a quick walk to the hides, highlights were booming Bitterns and a group of 5 Hobby and lots of Reed + Cetti's Warbler's singing. We then moved onto Catcott, where from the car park hide, there were only 12 Mute Swans, so moved swiftly on to Greylake, where we stayed in the car park for half hour photographing the Chaffinchs, Buntings and Dunnock's feeding on the seed. We then done the new boardwalk, again lots of Bittern's booming with some flyovers and also lots of Reed Bunting and Warblers singing in the reeds, mostly hidden but odd one would pop up leaving you enough time to lift your camera before flying off! Only a few Swallows, Swifts and dragonflies around today, a few Four-Spotted Chaser's landing on the reeds. From the hide at Greylake, a Mute Swan
(+9 cygnets) and a Little Grebe, aswell as a distant Raven. Lastly we moved onto Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall and again lots of Bittern's heard booming with a flyover. Also 3 Great White Egrets flying over to Ham Wall. On the way to the new hide at Ham Wall, 2 Common Tern's landed and started fighting over a fish on the wooden platforms. We then seen a Cuckoo fly overhead which landed in distant trees and started calling. With that, another 3+ started calling also, two of which very close to carpark and one on FULL view but too far for close picture, but amazing to hear and see none-the-less! A very successful bank holiday Monday!
Weather:  Cloudy, Dry, Warm
Other Species: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Bittern, Cuckoo, Buzzard, Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Great-Crest Grebe, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Wren, Dunnock, Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Common Tern

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Evening Stroll

Date: 25th May 2014 - 6PM

Location:  Newton Park Lake - Zones 1,2+5
Observation:  Decided to go for a quick wander out to the lake to try and get the Little Owl hunting before dark. Near the crossroads, were a Whitethroat pair, singing on the hedge tops, very elusive for pictures though! At the crossroads, were 2 Skylark, which hovered at around 10 feet just out of range for a decent picture once again! Not much more now, got to the lake seen the Little Owl land, and got a few pics before he flew off and hid in the foliage. Mute Swan and cygnets on Top Lake doing well apart from 2 cygnets seemed to be missing but could have been hidden in reeds. Also, 2 juvenile Grey Heron's chasing each other around the lakes. Only seen around 10 Barn Swallows today at the Village (alot less than normal). We started to lose the light soon after so not good for spotting or photographing anything!
Weather:  Blue Sky, No Cloud, Warm, Other Species: Mute Swan, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Skylark, Barn Swallow, Grey Heron, Little Owl, Grey Wagtail.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Folly Farm & Chew Valley

Date: 15/05/2014 - All Day

Location: Folly Farm & Chew Valley Lake

Observation: Blue skies today so went to Folly Farm, on arriving heard Tawny Owl in trees so headed up hill where Wren and Blackbirds were abundant, didn't see owl :( .
Had big lens on thought i'd change for views and a bit of macro, Kestrel lands 50 ft from me ! Typical! So sat an admired view then headed to Chew Valley Lake. Reed Warblers chatting away was best, apart from Great Crested Grebe family feeding little one a nice juicy Perch !

Weather: 20c, Blue Skies

Other Species: Folly FarmBuzzard, Kestrel, Jay, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Wren, Blackbirds, Tits, Chiffchaff

Chew Valley - Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Scaup, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe.

Press Images To Enlarge

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Juvenile Grey Heron

Date: 14/05/2014 - 12PM

Location: Zones 1, 2+5

Observation: Did the usual walk to lake. A few Skylark up singing also, female Kestrel hunting got to fishing lake car park, Roe Stag hiding in bushes just stood and stared at me! Got to Lake where 2 Juvenile Grey Heron were cleaning in the sun one flew but other just carried on.

Nice! On returning to home 2 Bullfinch on feeders m+f. Not many swallows about but stacks of flies up!

Weather: Warm, Blue Sky with Broken Cloud

Other Species: Bullfinch, 3 Buzzard, Kestrel, Skylark, Whitethroat, 
Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Blackcap

Monday, 12 May 2014

Cuckoo - Cuculus Canorus @ Slimbridge !

 Date: 13th May 2014 - All Day

Location:  WWT Slimbridge - Gloucester

Observation:  Spent the day at Slimbridge, started off very quiet. Lots of little ducklings and goslings about. An hour into the day, we seen the first worthwhile bird, which was a Kingfisher, they were very active in and out the nesting hole with fish. 20 minutes watching the Kingfishers, we hear a Cuckoo, first time we have EVER heard one, spent a few minutes trying to find him, then he come and landed on a clear tree about 20 foot from us, a few shots later and he flew off. Very nice surprise!! Around to the Crane nest, just missed switch-over but, Male was settling down on nest so a few quick shots before disappearing into the reeds. That was about it for wild birds, so before we left we went around to the Kingfisher hide again, and Kingfishers were still very active but still too far away need a telescope!
Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny, Broken Cloud
Other Species: Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Kingfisher, CUCKOO, Mute Swan, Common Crane, Greylag Goose, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Avocet, Buzzard, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata

Date: 11th May - All Day
Location:  Newton St Loe Circular - Zones 1,2,4+5
Observation:  Decided to do the normal 6-mile walk today and seen around 40 species of birds in total. The best was 2 Spotted Flycatcher (possible third) in Zone 5 right above our seed perches! The other one was around in the woods, flying from tree and tree feeding. Also a fledgling Wood Pigeon (which we initially thought Stock Dove!) and also a family of Long-Tailed Tits, with 4 newly fledged chicks. In Seven Acre, the resident Buzzard was about, took off from floor and flew above us with a field mouse in talons, nice little surprise! A few swifts and swallows overhead into the village, Greater Spotted Woodpecker feeding on peanuts opposite farm shop. Nothing apart from usual suspects until Lake, where a few Grey Wagtails and Goldcrest were about and a couple day old Chaffinch, staying hidden in tree, with parent close-by. Also a stunning female Roe Deer, who was very obliging and photogenic, not very often you can say that! Nothing else notable for last 3 miles of walk though!
Weather:  Sunny, Warm, Very Windy
Other Species:  Buzzard, Kestrel, Crow, Rook, Spotted Flycatcher, Moorhen, LBBG, Green, Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Long-Tailed Tit, Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, Swift, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Usual Sunday CVL!

Date:  4th May 2014 - All Day
Location:  Chew Valley Lake
Observation:  Popped down to Chew Valley Lake for a few hours, surprisingly not much around, apart from the normal! Plenty of flies, but only seen a few Swift and Barn Swallows. Highlights were probably around 5+ Buzzard, quite a few noisy Reed Warblers (none seen). Quite a few goslings and ducklings on the lake. Lots of Mallard and Grebes still on nest. Seen a nice male Ruddy Duck but didn't stay in the open for long and only got one picture before he was gone! 
Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny, Warm

Other Species: Great-Crested Grebe, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, Ruddy Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Swift, Barn Swallow, Reed Warbler, Grey Heron, Buzzard