Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Buzzards, Kestrels & Sparrowhawks Soaring !

Date: 30/09/2014
Location: Patch - Newton St Loe

Observation: Started walk through campsite towards dog walk on entering the wooded bit a Buzzard took off about 10ft in front of me! While cursing i didn't get a photo another took off this time 5ft in front of me!! They were both sat around a magpie having breakfast.

Buzzard Doing What They Do

They continued to fly above wood so headed away and up to Seven Acre wood where another Buzzard or one of earlier ones flew over woods being followed by around 10 Crows. One Barn Swallow still hunting over Village none on telegraph wires. Nothing on bottom Lake, top lake students everywhere, it is a college after all! 

              A group of about 10 Meadow Pipits were feeding on College football pitch.

Very Jumpy, Distant Meadow Pipits

Followed on up to Park View Farm on crossing road at top I spied a Sparrowhawk with Wood pigeon impaled he took off with a magpie in tow! Again bad pic.

Sparrowhawk, Magpie and Wood Pigeon (Really It Is !)

Then while looking at Sparrowhawk a Kestrel flew above me and carried on to land on distant pole.

Instead of 12 o'clock lane headed down road towards Pennsylvania Farm 100 yards down Lane a Badger strolls across road stops, should have taken a picture at this point, and continued in to far bushes, now I take photo gone !!! The squirrel below looked on as i  hopped up and down in road at missing Badger ! 
Another Kestrel over Englishcombe Village and a group of 40+ Linnets feeding in recently cut corn fields at Haycombe Lane.

My Badger Shot ! :)

40+ Linnets Feeding In Recently Cut Corn Fields At Haycombe Lane. 

Weather: Blue Skies, Bright Sunshine 20'c
Other Species: Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Jay, Rook, Linnet,
Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, 1 Barn Swallow, Goldcrest - Of Note.

Thanks For Reading!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Low Level Birding!

Date: 28th October - All Day
Location:  Cheddar Reservoir - Chew Valley Lake
Observation:  A long walk around Cheddar Reservoir, the best was 500+ Coot! Really wasn't alot bird wise, a small group of Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch around the west side. A few gulls flying above catching flies. Around the east side was some Pochard + Tufted Ducks so decided to actually try and attempt to get some nice pictures! We stayed for a few minutes got a few shots and were distracted by a fly-past Sparrowhawk who didn't show again. Also 2 Rabbit, a Greater-Spotted Woodpecker and a Thrush sp. were all in same try catching flies aswell. As there wasn't much about we drove to Chew Valley Lake on our way home, lots of Buzzards along the top of Cheddar. We got to Chew and were told by a fellow birder we had just missed the Osprey catch a small fish and eat on the tree at Moreton Point. Typical! Again not much to report, we had our first look around Moreton, looks good for when birds are actually going to be there! Hopefully winter will prove good for some nice waders. Around to Herriotts, again not much around, just as we got into the van, a nice little Water Rail appeared in the channel, before running off into the reeds. Nice little surprise to end the day!

Weather:  Cloudy, Sunny, Warm
Other Species: 500+ Coot, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Osprey, Great-Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Water Rail

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Adventures of Portland Bill (not to be confused with the 1983 tv show !)

Date: 21 + 22/09/2014

Location: RSPB-Lodmoor, Wyke Regis, Portland Bill 
Observation: Left home in Bath at 2pm for Weymouth, got to Lodmoor around 4ish. Spotted 2 of the long staying Spoonbill almost straight away with Ruff & Black Tailed Godwit close to the bank a few photos.

Black Tailed Godwit @ Lodmoor

 Then of to Swallows Rest Campsite, great place for birds with Ferrybridge a 20 minute walk along coast and a few large fields as our view from van. Did a few nighttime, Long shutter shots of MilkyWay then to sleep for early start !

Yellow Wagtails at least 15 !

At 7.30 on opening door a flock of around 15+ Yellow Wagtails (A Citrine Wagtail also seen, no pic :( . 20+ Meadow Pipits were there to say good morning! After poached egg headed to Portland Bill for the main event! Started at Reforne road, by church headed towards SW Coastal Path, Kestrels were the first spot with amazing close up views.

Giving me Evil's !

Meadows Pipits and Barn Swallows Over head, and on ground.

4/5 Stonechats but Not much else till East Wears by Prison with Peregrines on kills and in air ! 

Breakfast for Peregrines !

Then while looking what we thought was Kestrel at a distance, as it came towards us binoculars focused to reveal a Goshawk with Ravens in close chase, bird flew north towards Ferrybridge.

Lauren's Pic I was on binoculars !

Look at me !

With more Kestrel's as we walked on with Wheatears posing at every rock ! As we approached the Bill we saw a Grey Seal bobbing around diving for about 5 mins then bobbed some more! Nice !

After chips and coffee a Clouded Yellow and Wall Butterflies kept us company up the strip fields. Then by Coastguard obs a friendly Stonechat posed for a few shots with Kestrel's hovering above us all afternoon.

Blackberry Stonechat

We left Portland and dropped in to Lodmoor on way home, Spoonbills still there with Ruff, Dunlin, Lapwing and Starlings looking good in the golden sunshine. 
All in all a great trip !!  

Weather: Warm some blue skies & sunshine

Other Species: Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Greater Black Back Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Wheatear, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Goshawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Spoonbill, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwits, Willow Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Shag, Ruff, Lapwing, Cetti's Warblers, Blackcap - Of Note .

 Raven giving it the Beans !

 Kestrel's Everywhere on Bill

 Another flight shot 

 Last The Ruff @ Lodmoor.

 Thanks for looking, now comment !!!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Thursday Patch Walk

Date: 22/09/2014
Location: Patch Walk- Previous zones 1+3+4+5 (Map Here)

Willow Warblers on The Dog Walk !

 Lots of Long Tailed Squeaking Away !

Went out through Campsite as usual and started up dog walk, heard a Goldcrest opened gate to be greeted with juvenile Goldcrest about a meter away from my face !! It looked at me and continued to feed at their frantic pace! Also a group of around 10 Long-tailed tits buzzing around wooded bit with 1 Willow warbler mixed in with Tits. Headed on up through field and to Seven acre wood, again Goldcrest and long Tailed Tit seem to be everywhere. Heard a Buzzard so stealthily crept to corner of wood only to see it sail off into the distance ! 

But it turned and came back towards me Mewing so i took a couple of photos.

Into village with not much around, saw a Jay and Female Kestrel in churchyard. No Owl Today, But Heron sunning himself on grass bank. In between the lakes saw female Blackcap and Goldcrest drinking from stream. Headed on out through college through some very friendly Cows, Bulls & Calves which was nice ! Just before Park View Farm saw a small group of Yellowhammer maybe 4, on across fields where more Yellowhammer this time around 7 birds.

Not much showing along 12 o'clock lane apart from usual Raven calling. Back onto lane and the pale Buzzard was sat on distant post by college.

Headed back to village where House Sparrows and Barn Swallows were buzzing the road still around 30 Barn Swallows with a lot of juveniles left, got a photo in 03/09/2010 with a few still in village, so not sure when they'll go this year?

Weather: A Misty start but a 22c temperature burned off mist, Blue skies to finish .
Other Species: Yellowhammer, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Buzzard, Kestrel, Willow Warbler, House Sparrows, Of Note.

Thanks for Looking !!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Cheddar Reservoir + Apex & River Brue Estuary

Date: 15/09/2014
Location: Cheddar Reservoir + Apex & River Brue Estuary.

Observation: Had to visit in laws at Burnham-on-sea so a trip to the Apex and Estuary were in order. Chiffchaff was about it in Apex but 100's of Redshank waiting for tide to go out were lined up on mud. Sun was bright so pictures were difficult as reflection on water was blinding.

Also saw the darker colored bird in shot below... not sure. Anyone ID ??

Then headed to Cheddar Reservoir on way home to see Little Stint, on arriving parked at Cheddar side car park walked up steps and there it was! Nice! Managed to get a Ringed Plover aswell. I like Plovers, was led down around 10ft from it! It carried on feeding until a large dog scared it off !
Weather: Bright, Cloudy, Sunshine,warm
Other Species: Redshank,Chiffchaff,Little Stint,Ringed Plover,Little Egret of note.

 Little Stint , They don't keep still !

Ringed Plover Low Level !

 Great Bird and it keeps still !


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

6 mile Patch Walk

Date: 10/09/2014
Location: Newton St Loe,Zone 1+3+4+5 
Observation: Started usual patch walk at around 11am today seemed very quiet up through campsite and up to Seven Acre wood. Just before I crossed road at Pennyquick met Ali BOC member who said not much about either !

 I will make a map and walk page to make it easier for non locals to find everything although birds do move! I usually walk around 6 miles on Patch so our sightings are spread out a bit.
     New Link on Right  Patch Map 

Treecreeper (Workshop Convert woodland, newly cleared so good to see birds here)

Another From newly cleared woodland ,Nuthatch.
Natural England doing work to make Grounds like they were in the 1800's !

Any way headed on to Village where 1 Barn Swallow was thats it ! On entering workshop convert wood saw 2 Nuthatch and 2 Treecreepers. Crossed Newton Park Drive towards fishing lake nothing on lower lake next lake was slightly better with 2 Goldcrest in fir trees and a fly past Kingfisher .
Top Lake Grey Heron

Headed on through following permissive path through small woodland and on up to Park View Farm here 2 Kestrels on Poles and a flypast Sparrowhawk. 3 juv. Yellowhammer in hedge on Natural England path. Roe deer in field eating blackberries then 3 Ravens at end of byway with a Treecreeper in woods on righthand side. Buzzards were up soaring on thermals as temp was warming up and home .
Weather: Blue sky temperature rising into afternoon.

Other Species: 2Nuthatch, 3Treecreeper, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kingfisher, 4 Raven, Grey Heron, 2 Goldcrest, Yellowhammer - Of note.

Yellowhammer Hiding But there !

 And a final Roe Deer 12o'clock Lane middle.

Thanks for Looking

Monday, 8 September 2014

Hobby + Willow Warbler Bonus!

An Amazing Sight !!

Date: 8th Sep - Late Morning - Afternoon
Location:  Newton St Loe - Zones 1,3,4+5

 Another First For Us (Since 2010)

Observation:  We headed out the lanes alot earlier than normal to see if it makes a difference to what birds we seen in the morning apposed to the afternoon, as were more of afternoon birders! We left around 10.30am and headed out for lake and started a species count. We had 10 species before we even got to the Dog Walk in the campsite, so was already looking good! A little Field Mouse hiding in the grass at the crossroads, 2 Goldcrest feeding in the fir tree in a garden in the village. Seemed to quieten down until the lake with only a few common species and some Barn Swallow. At the Lake, no fisherman or people nice! Only 1 Little Owl (juvenile, so parents were watching from somewhere) seen, and 2 Kingfishers flying around the lake. Some stunning Migrant Hawkers stopping for some pictures in front of us. Heard a Goldcrest, so stopped at the bench on Top Lake, also then seen Coal Tits, more Goldcrest and 2 Willow Warblers! (first of us on our patch). After the steep walk up the hill to Park View Farm, hoping to see the Linnet or Wheatear, field completely empty but we crossed the road onto the conservation path and half way down the first field, as seen a bird come zooming from the left of us scanned around the field and flew back STRAIGHT towards us and back the way it came from, a VERY nice surprise and a bonus, as again a first of us on our patch, next field had 4 young Yellowhammer feeding. We walked along 12 o'clock and seen a Roe Deer feeding, was nice to watch him without scaring him off! Walking back, we seen 2 more Kestrel, and a further sighting of the Hobby (must be the same one, which flew North back towards Bath).

A Crystal (Clear) Migrant !

I Think He's Beginning To Like Us!

Weather:  Sunny, Hot, Light Breeze
Other Species: Buzzard, Kestrel, HOBBY, Little Owl, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Kingfisher, Wren, Dunnock, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Grey heron, Long-Tailed Tit, Raven, Collared Dove, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Yellowhammer, Grey Wagtail, Song Thrush

Thanks For Looking !

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Trip To Weymouth & Portland Bill

Spoonbill @ RSPB Lodmoor

Date: 1st Sep-3rd September 2014

Location: RSPB-Lodmoor-Radipole & Portland Bill 

Observation: Headed to Weymouth, Lodmoor Reserve first where to 2 Spoonbills were happily feeding away, a Bar Headed Goose sat amongst at least 100+ Canadas, seem to be loads of Canada Geese Around ! A grey Showery sky was above me so headed for Campsite, Swallows Rest with views out over Chesil Beach and Portland! Cup of tea and walked to Ferrybridge a Yellow wagtail and Curlew was best.
Morning 2 a grey sky again greeted me :( Weather was suppose to Brighten up so drove to Bill. Decided on a walk around The Bill Coast path 8 miles in total. With Wheatears everywhere at least 30+. They seem to shout "Take a Picture of Me! " posing at every rock !

See !

At Prison saw a Peregrine Falcon patrolling the white misty skies ! Below prison saw 4 Peregrines calling and swooping, sat on path to watch while looking at my bad shots of them I heard a noise like a jet plane looked up and 2 falcons were diving at me, passed around 6ft from me !! Amazing !

Amazing acrobatics !

Carried on along path more wheatears and a surprise Whimbrel who let me get within 10ft, I was crawling along ground at this point but still ! 

                                                               Video here

A group of Linnet feeding and bathing in mud puddle 3 Buzzards sat on posts and the Lighthouse was ahead.
After Lunch bag of Quavers and a banana ! Headed back to van, stopped at King Barrows Quarries to see little owl, nothing. But did spot a Spotted Flycatcher.
Also stopped at Ferrybridge on Return, tide was receding, and saw a guy with massive lens up to his knees in water. Getting onto flats Ringed Plover everywhere ! Knott, Linnet all didn't seemed bothered !

Ringed Plover looking good !

The next day was home time but stopped at RSPB Radipole grey misty sky on arrival started walk, The sun came out a place seemed to come alive with Willow warblers, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warblers & Bearded Tits all showing well ! Bearded Tits amazing sound saw a group of three pinging there way around reserve, isn't there always a blade of reed in the way ! 

Headed back to Lodmoor Spoonbills still there and blue skies now typical! Headed home happy !

 Mostly Misty Grey Skies, Rain Showers, Some Blue, Temp 20c 

Other Species: Spoonbill, Little Stint, Bar-Headed Goose, Canada Geese, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Knot, Linnet, Black Tailed Godwits, Curlew, Whimbrel, Peregrines, Ringed Plover, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser & Common Whitethroat, Bearded Tit, Buzzard, Kestrel, Shag, Fulmar of note :)

 Portland ,Really its there !

 Wheatear Poser !

 Spotted Flycatcher

 Waders At Ferrybridge

 My Home 

 Whitethroat @ Radipole

 Willow Warbler @ Radipole

Common but beautiful Darter to end 

Thanks for looking !!