Saturday, 30 January 2016

Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend!

Date: 30th January 2016 - Early Afternoon 

Location: Newton Park Lake - Return Route

Observation: Out through Bath Mill as normal, cars were in and out on the walk down, so not much of note through here. At Seven Acre, 2 Buzzard were circling around the Woods, one Buzzard was flying and calling with his/her talons out, as if it was going to land, maybe pair-bonding behaviour?

No Gulls in bypass field, but there were 2 Meadow Pipits calling and flying around behind me for a few minutes.

Walking through to Newton St Loe, this was looking back towards Bath.

Not much now until the Lake. Top Lake produced some good spots, sat in our normal spot for 30 minutes and seen including 1 Nuthatch, a pair of Robins and 1 Coal Tit. 

On the Lake the Goosanders were still present, down to 6 now (3 Female and 3 Male).
The Little Grebe and the Teal were still about at the Top End of the Lake also.

16 Common Gull's mixed with the Black-Headed Gull group.

Also, some nice Black-Headed Gull's preening in the sunshine:

The sun went in the return route, so not much to report. No Stonechat in Horse Fields, but a lovely fly-over Raven calling was the last of the walk!

35 Species Total.

Weather: Blue Sky, Some Cloud - Sunny + Warm

Other Species: 4+ Goldfinch, 2 Buzzard, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Coal Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Nuthatch, 6 Goosander (3 Male, 3 Female), 1 Little Grebe, 6+ Teal, 16 Common Gull, 1 Raven, 1 Green Woodpecker - Of Note

Big Garden Birdwatch:
30/01/2016 - 2.30pm-3.30pm

3 Collared Dove
8 Chaffinch
6 Blue Tit
5 Great Tit
4 Goldfinch
1 Greenfinch
2 Pied Wagtail
3 Feral Pigeon
1 Wood Pigeon
1 Robin
1 Blackbird
7 Long-Tailed Tit
5 Bullfinch (3 Male, 2 Female) 
1 Crow

Thanks For Reading !

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Blue Skies + Birds Everywhere !

Date: 28/01/2016

Location: Patch - Newton St Loe 

Weather: Blue Skies for start, turning cloudy at end. 
Other Species:
Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Kestrel, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Kingfisher, Goosander, Little Grebe, Raven, Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit, Starling.
- Walk Total - 43

On our feeder tree had Bullfinches normal Tits plus Goldfinches and Chaffinches and 3 Feral Pigeons taking year Patch List to 53. 
Out through Bath Mill as usual and first spot this little Treecreeper, year Patch List now 54 and doing well.

Here's one round the right way.
hHe continued to spiral up and round tree for sometime, great little birds ! 

Then up onto fields and Skylark up and singing ,at least 8.
This my first failed Skylark pic of year, I'm sure they will be many more, always hard !

After walking round to Seven Acre and watching many many Wood Pigeons leave the woodland this Buzzard drifted out and over my head, stunning ! Linnet also about.

Still on fields and a group of 4 Meadow Pipits paused then off! Also a large group of Goldfinch feeding on what's left of the teasel.

Just before crossing busy Pennyquick a large group of gulls mainly Black Headed with Lesser Black Backed as well feeding on Bypass fields.

Normal stuff in Village and Church then on to Lakes 2 Kingfisher Lower Lake.
Top Lake Goosander down to 7 Birds now 4 Female, 3 Male. Also Little Grebe and Teal.

Then while sat under my usual tree for lunch :)
Mr Kingfisher perched up in front of me.

Seeing my lunch thought he'd get some of his own and caught this little.
I think Stickleback

On out through Newton Park woodland and across football pitches saw this Roe Deer giving me the eye, I stared back for a while but left him to it.

On up to Park Farm and only 4 Yellowhammer today but weather now turning cloudy.
Carried on down lane to Pennsylvania Farm where a Marsh Tit was feeding with Great Tits and Blue Tits on there feeders, normal place for Marsh Tits is Newton Park woodland so a surprise !
Onward and another 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel plus grey skies.
Year Patch List now 57.

Thanks For Looking !

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Red-Breasted Merganser - Mergus Serrator

Date: 24th January 2016 - Afternoon
Location: Newton Park Lake - Return


Headed out through Bath Mill, pretty quiet with a few Wood Pigeons. Top Fields were also quiet, Buzzard was sat in tree overlooking the Bypass. Lower Fields were full of Gull's again, mostly Lesser Black-Backed and Black-Headed Gulls. Approx 60-70. 

At Lake, still no sign of Little Owl's (think they've gone). Top Lake we started counting the Goosander, got to 17 and then the next one to be counted was a Red-Breasted Merganser!!

He seemed to be very active, whilst we watched him for 50+ minutes, he was very interested in one particular Female where he was showing off doing his mating dance and followed her around. 

After looking closely at this Female and the other Females on the Lake, we confirmed they are all Goosander and the Male was the only Red-Breasted Merganser present, is this just one very confused Merganser ?

After 50+ minutes of watching the Merganser and his mating ritual he started going down to the other end of the Lake, so we followed him around, we looked away for seconds and couldn't relocate him, gave the banks and water a few good scan, and re-checked Lower Lake, but no sign of him! Will head back out Tuesday to see if he has returned. 

A pair of Kingfishers, flying around the Lake, calling to each other, a single Grey Wagtail is back on Top Lake also. The Buzzard was in far trees on Top Lake flying down to the floor and returning to the trees.

The Goosanders seem to be settling in and aren't as jumpy now, they seem to be coming alot closer when we are sat at the Top Lake, fingers crossed they stay and have a successful breeding year!

Headed back through Lanes, the pair of Stonechats present in 'Horse Fields' this means we have 2 pairs of Stonechats on our patch now!

'Horse Fields' had a small group of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails, who were feeding quite happily.

At the crossroads, the Kestrel was in his normal place, a few pictures and then off he went!

Overall, a very nice walk, hopefully this summer will be a good one!
A very nice surprise with the Red-Breasted Merganser and always nice to see new birds on our patch! 
Takes our Patch list to 83 species !
2016 total 50 so far.

Weather: Cloudy, Light Drizzle + Warm (15 Degrees!)

Other Species: Buzzard, Kestrel, Rook, Crow, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Wren, Siskin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Goosander, Red-Breasted Merganser, Teal, Stonechat, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Goldfinch - Of Note

Thanks For Reading!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Grey But Eventful Patch Walk

Date: 21/01/2016

Location: Newton Park - Patch 
Weather: Grey & Cold 
Other Species:
Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Skylark, Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Redwing, Raven, Goosander, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Yellowhammer, Teal - 42 Species Count


Headed out through Bath Mill, Long Tailed Tits along brook not much else. On top fields saw Kestrel and 2 Skylarks. Few Redwing about but fairly quiet.
At Lake Goosanders now 22! 1 Little Grebe, Teal, Grey Heron x2 and Kingfisher all present.

Also a Buzzard lake side in trees above the group of Goosander and a Raven calling from rear trees. Headed on out through College and up to Park Farm where I saw a pair of Stonechats and at least 20+ Yellowhammers!

Here's a group of 9 that's more than i've ever seen here, with more darting overhead and hiding in bushes.

As close as I got, very jumpy!

Out across Conservation Path and lots of Corvids about and this pale looking Buzzard perched waiting for an opportunity. 

Not many pictures today but a 41 species count! 
Then while I was filling feeders at home I heard all the Tits giving warning calls then a Sparrowhawk flew through feeder trees and away, must have been 5ft from me !! 
Taking total to 42. Nice !!

Thanks For Looking !

Monday, 18 January 2016

21 Goosander !

Date: 18/01/2016

Location: Newton St Loe - Patch 
Weather: Grey Skies, Cold - 3c
Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Redwing, Goosander, Teal, Siskin, Kingfisher, Mistle Thrush - Plus...

Observation: On crossing road saw Green Woodpecker on Meadowbank, new name for it ! As new Bath Mill have planted meadow seed, some plants still have flowers on, birds seem to be liking it. So new name Meadowbank .

Green Woodie checking out Meadowbank

Onward and headed out towards lake through Bath Mill and across fields bit quiet with only a few Black Headed Gulls on Lower Fields and around 50 Wood Pigeons fluttering or swarming from Seven Acre.

The normal Goldcrest in the Cattery garden bouncing all over the place !

Spied 2 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers out through on Church Path and Siskin around 15 on Lower Lake.
On Upper Lake WOW! 21 Goosander - 9 Male + 12 Female

Didn't expect them still to be about, nice ! Teal on Lake up towards bridge 
no Grey Herons or Little Grebe though ?

Also Kingfisher not to happy today didn't show his face !
 Back out through Village, Redwing group of 20 and home. 
2 hour walk today, small but nice :)

Thanks For Looking !

Thursday, 14 January 2016

12th +14th Patch Walks !

Date: 12/01/2016 + 14/01/2016

Location: Patch - Newton St Loe
Weather: Blue Skies - Temp 5c
Other Species:
Goldcrest, Buzzard, Goosander, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Redwing, Little Grebe, Teal, Nuthatch.

Tuesday 12th first quiet up towards lake although 3 Buzzards over Seven Acre.
At Lake 7 Goosander and Little Grebe present. Nuthatch lakeside ! Kingfisher seen.

One of the resident Buzzards always camera shy !

Along Newton Park drive usual Corvids, Kelston Knoll in picture.

Normal place the Kestrel looked nice in the sunshine.

Second day Thursday 14th better weather blue skies ! 
This Goldcrest wouldn't keep still, Cattery garden.

Apart from Chaffinch and Long Tailed Tit flocks on Alder Lower Lake all quiet.
Top Lake 2 Kingfisher scrabbling for perches.

Didn't notice until I stood up Kingfisher 10ft from me on bank edge!

Goosander numbers up to 9 now. Little Grebe still about also.

After explaining to another dog owner about dog leads !!! Headed back through Village. On Horse Fields 20 + Redwing feeding.
This Endith The Lesson ! :)

Thanks For Looking !

Monday, 11 January 2016

2 New Ticks.... Forest Of Dean (FoD)

Date: 11th January 2016 - All Day

Location: Parkend > Cannop Ponds > Fancy View > Cannop Ponds

Observation: An early rainy start to the Forest of Dean in the hunt for Hawfinches. Got to Parkend Cricket Pitch in time for the rain! On pulling in to the cricket pitch, 3 Hawfinches took off from the floor, they didn't return for the 40 minutes (they did call on and off in that time). We walked up to Parkend Church, small flocks of birds in the woodland, including 5 or 6 Crossbill, and a single Hawfinch. 

We checked all nearby trees, one of which produced a new tick for us! Brambling!!

Plenty to see at the church including Jay, Brambling, Siskin, Green Woodpecker, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker,  Song Thrush, Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

After 20 minutes we walked back to the Van, on the return route we spotted a flock of 6 Hawfinch land in the far tree, another new tick!!

We moved onto Cannop Ponds, where it started raining so we moved to the perches in the layby, put plenty of seed down and these are the favourite shots!


Marsh Tit

Coal Tit

Whilst it was dry we headed to Fancy View for a stopoff before heading back to Cannop Ponds.

Still dry, we walked around Cannop Ponds to see the Mandarin Ducks who were fairly active showing breeding behaviour!

Weather: Cloudy, Rain  Showers - 6 Degrees

Other Species: Jay, Raven, Crow, Brambling, Green Woodpecker, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Siskin, Mandarin Duck, Goldcrest, Buzzard, Bullfinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Starling - Of Note  - 38 Species Total