Thursday, 29 January 2015

NYC Birding - Winter Storm Juno

"Please Do Not Feed The Birds" 

I arrived back from New York City early this morning, I was due to fly back on the 27th Jan but after flight cancellations due to the Winter Storm Juno hitting the city during the week, I had to stay longer in the Big Apple (what a shame!). This meant more time exploring the city and getting new bird ticks to try and beat Wayne (the other half of NSL-Birding) with life list totals.

 Ring-Billed Gull

As I was staying with family members and friends who weren't into bird-watching, I set a few hours aside every couple of days and tried to walk through Central Park as much as possible, although it proved in NYC there's birds everywhere, whilst shopping I spotted a small group of Sparrows outside Macy's ! In that group there was 1 White-Throated Sparrow, whom I put some grain down for, and within seconds I was surrounded by them!

White-Throated Sparrow

I caught the boat across to the Statue of Liberty, and there were stacks of Ring-Billed Gulls and Starlings, aswell as a small group of Brant Geese and Canada Geese. After a walk around the Island and some night shots of the Manhattan Skyline, I was up early the next day for a bus trip around the city, whilst waiting for a bus change, I spotted some little birds feeding in the bushes, 2 of which were Tufted Titmouse and then a Downy Woodpecker appeared!

Tufted Titmouse

Downy Woodpecker

I jumped off the bus and had a quick wander through Central Park, I heard the Red-Tailed Hawk within minutes but just couldn't find him, so moved on, there was a roost of Mourning Doves in one tree, with Blue Jays in the next tree across calling. I was just leaving the park when I saw some feathers falling from the tree above, it was only the "Pale Male" Red-Tailed Hawk on a kill about 10 foot above me, I snapped away and caught up with the others.

Blue Jay

Mourning Doves

Red-Tailed Hawk

The next day we woke up to snow (before this Storm hit) about 4-6 inches in most places, so another trip to take some pictures of Central Park in the snow was in order, again plenty of Blue Jays and seen at least 3 Red-Tailed Hawks around the park all sat just to far away for my 135mm lens.

Then a bright red bird flew straight in front of me and landed 3 or 4 foot away from me! A Northern Cardinal, amazing bright colored bird, which quickly attracted a crowd of non-birders. Overhead was a hunting Red-Tailed Hawk which is causing havoc with the Feral Pigeons / Rock Doves. Last bird of the day was a pair of Rusty Blackbirds, calling to each other.

Northern Cardinal

Rusty Blackbird

A week later and 7 new ticks, along with an extra 6 I got a few years back whilst in NYC, the storm was on it's way so all flights were cancelled and a travel ban was placed for NYC for that evening, exciting, after having to move hotels and re-book onto flights, we settled in for another 2 days (1 night) and spent more time in Central Park where I seen more of the same aswell as a Red-Bellied Woodpecker (only had my phone on me, so no pictures of this one unfortunately!)

After an amazing birthday spend in New York, and getting stranded, I'm glad to be home, and more blogs will be back soon! I will be returning to NYC to spend more time bird-watching there soon!

Thanks For Reading, Please Share This Blog!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Forest of Dean + Ticks

Date: 26/01/2015
Location: Parkend - Nags Head RSPB, Forest of Dean 
Observation: With Lauren still away in New York, and Snowed in! Her List is up to 10 new birds I think so it was of to the Forest of Dean for a couple of ticks. Not the stick on yer leg suck your blood kind ! 

Its the first time here so explore and wander! So with reports of Parkend being the place to go headed there early being tight decided not to pay toll, headed up towards Gloucester after traffic, should have paid the toll! 
Arrived at Woodgreens saw a Hawfinch and no camera handy !!!! Headed down to Nags Head RSPB and parked up, Goldfinch, Coal Tit and Greater Spotted Woodpecker on walk along to Cannop Ponds .

At Cannop Ponds Saw Nuthatch 4 Female Goosanders 

At main car park just missed a Dipper ! But 5 or 6 Mandarins Duck were Floating along.
Nice Tick 1

Headed Back round towards Parkend up to Church. Surprised to see so many people Scopes and cameras! Just missed Crossbill in puddle 5 ft in front of photographers!

Crossbills were in Trees above but white sky didn't help pictures .

But A Ticks a Tick ! 2

While watching Crossbills a Goshawk buzzed overhead then as I left 2 Sparrowhawk appeared over woods .

After walking down towards Parkend Train Station saw I think a Willow Tit ! 

On getting home checked sound it was making i think it is, another first ! 3 
             Headed back towards Nags head and to van. On Way home went to Fancy Viewpoint just a reckie almost dark so nothing about. Parking everywhere in Forest a definite return soon ! 

Weather: Grey Skies - no light :( 

Other Species: Coal Tit, Willow Tit or Marsh, Nuthatch, Mandarin DuckCrossbillGoshawk, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Siskin, Sparrowhawk & Lots of Great & Blue Tits.
Plus everything else I missed !

Friday, 23 January 2015

Cheltenham & Slimbridge

Date: 22/01/2015

Location: Cheltenham, Pittville Park & Slimbridge
Observation: As Lauren the other half of NSL-BIRDING and daughter is in New York getting new ticks on her list thought I'd better try to do the same, so headed to Cheltenham to see the long staying Dartford Warbler within minutes of getting there spotted bird being followed by two other birders from the Peak District ! 135 miles away !

               After seeing bird, hide, pop up, fly off, return, it landed for a few shots.

The Stonechats were always there marking him.

and a flight shot !

Watched him devourer a caterpillar ! 

After about an hour headed down to Slimbridge, it would be rude to pass it by!

With hope of the Water Pipit headed straight round to Kingfisher hide :( no Pipit. So went around reserve towards my favorite hide Willow.
The resident Water Rail didn't disappoint making a visit into the open every 10 mins or so

 Other birds here Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Greenfinch and Tits.
On the tack piece it was FULL of birds Wigeon, Plover, Lapwing and Godwits making up most of the numbers.

Jam Packed

With Curlew 10+ at the Holden Tower 

 Last hide of the day was Rushy, a few Bewick's washing and chilling in the sun. 
A great day And 1 tick !

Weather: Hazy sunshine + mostly cloudy
Other Species: 
Cheltenham- Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Dartford Warbler
Slimbridge- Oystercatcher, Barnacle Goose, Lapwing, Curlew, Buzzard, Common Crane, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Bewick’s Swan, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, Water Rail, Reed Bunting + more

Thanks for looking now say hello !

Monday, 19 January 2015

A Good Day to Soar !

Date: 19/01/2015
Location: Newton St Loe - Patch 
Observation: Monday morning and blue skies 'WooHoo' decided to go for the full patch walk, crossed the road and sat in the sun on campsite hill was the Fox again. A good start, with lots of building work going on at campsite the brook was a little quiet.

But on dog track there was a Bullfinch just a female 20+ Redwings and several Goldcrests were buzzing through the trees.

Redwing on blue

After walking along lane towards village 4 Buzzards where mewing high over Seven Acre Wood. 
At village one Blackcap male in trees with 4 Dunnock + 2 Goldcrest

At village square noted this Grey Wagtail hunting for food in the thatch roof. Also 2 Nuthatch and a Marsh Tit, was too slow get shot !

At lakes Little Owl not seen but 7 Mute Swans and 1 Grey Heron on Bank, 20 Teal on upper lake. Two more Buzzards at far end of Newton Park College Grey + Pied Wagtails at Home Farm and a single Meadow Pipit 3 More Buzzards a good day for a soar ! 

Great, Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow, Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon abundant today.

Also a Chinnock chugged over Patch 

Weather: Blue skies, sunshine - 5c -11am - 3.30pm
Other Species: 2 (Male) Blackcap, Nuthatch, 7 Buzzards, Kestrel, Marsh Tit, Redwing, Bullfinch, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipit - Of Note.

 Thanks for Looking !

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Rainbow over Patch

Date: 15/01/2015

Location: Patch Walk - Newton St Loe 
Observation: Started walk to campsite with blue skies thinking dumb weather forecast! Got on to dog track and it poured down thinking O great ! Then the sleet started :(
After 5 mins blue skies again so headed on up lane, nothing much a single Redwing overhead. At village few more House Sparrows about and 2 Pied Wagtails. No Little Owls today sleeping in hole no doubt! A group of about 10 Chaffinch fielding lake side. A Treecreeper was down by the raging waterfall. On return route at village 20+ Redwing, 5 Common Gulls feeding in field then to end walk this beautiful rainbow right over patch !

Weather: Blue skies, Rain, Sleet - then more blue, clouding over to end
Other Species: Treecreeper, Common Gull, Crow, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Redwing, Raven

Well It Was Forecast !

 Not Looking Good !

 Nuts Everywhere

One Of The Feeding Lakeside Chaffinches

Treecreeper In Camo Mode

Some Of The 20+ Group Of Redwing 

 Rainbow Over NSLBIRDING's Patch ...Feeling Lucky :)

Thanks For Looking !

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Update For 2015 !

We are please to announce as of 2015 we have teamed up with 
Kennedy Wild Bird Food LTD.
We have been asked by a few people where we get our seed from and this is defiantly the place! They offer very reasonable prices on all seed including large bulk buy of seed. 
We often have to fill our feeders daily as the birds enjoy this seed so much and have had over 50 birds on our two trees at one point.

We started putting feeders back in 2007 and haven't stopped since, but due to the high volume of birds and wildlife we get around our trees and on the feeders means we have currently 5 feeders and a tray feeder up with a range of different seed in, to suit all the birds we get, so buying 25kg bags of seed and grain from Kennedy Wild Bird Food really saves us money and lasts for a few months!

The customer service and speed of delivery we receive from them each time is next to none and all items arrive next working day which is free.

The thing that drew us to this company was they offer a loyalty scheme every-time you order with them, you earn points which add up to money off a future purchase.

They are constantly offering special offers and discounts so why not have a look and order from them today! 
Use our discount code for 10% off your first order: 'NEW10'





Thanks once again for all the continued support, views, comments and frequent reads, it is greatly appreciated. 
Happy Birding For 2015 !

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Botanical Gardens, Bath

Date: 08/01/2015
Location: Botanical Gardens, Bath 
Observation: On way back from Dentist walked up to Botanical Gardens at Victoria
Park, Bath. A Kingfisher has been showing well recently. On entering park Grey Squirrels were everywhere with at least 15 spotted on walk round very small park, 
Wood Pigeons numerous too.

A Jay flew in to nearby trees and 3 Bullfinch - 2 female + 1 male was spotted. No sign of Kingfisher at park walked round 3 times. Headed down to other pond 20+ Mallards, 20 Black Headed and more Squirrels.

Pigeon @ Botanical

Magpie Strutting

 Theres a Great Reflection on Duck Pond 

Left Victoria Park headed home along River Avon by old gas board bridge I had seen a Kingfisher here once before, sure enough Kingfisher resting on perch 2 dives underwater and off, didn't catch nothing.

Weather: Blue Skies - With some cloud
Other Species: Goldcrest, Moorhen, Coot, Jay, Crow, Raven, Mute Swan, Mallard, Black Headed Gull, Kingfisher, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit,Bullfinch, Magpie.

Thanks For Looking !