Monday, 23 October 2017

Redwing Back on Patch!

Date: 23rd October 2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Cloudy With Some Light Rain
Species Highlights: 
Redwing, Linnet, Mistle Thrush, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Yellowhammer 

Observation: Out through Bath Mill, pretty quiet with just the normal birds being seen: Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon etc. A single Chiffchaff was seen sat on the approach to the Dog Walk. 
Walking on up to Seven Acre, a large group of Linnet took off at least 50 birds buzzing over fields.

Singles of Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Yellowhammer also seen.
Male Kestrel in village along with a Sparrowhawk being chased by 3 Rooks.

Then distantly i spotted 2 Redwing last year's date was 06/10 so a couple of weeks late, saw 3 more at Send A Cow along with Song Thrush, Nuthatch, and Starling

Greater Spotted and Green Woodpecker also around Send A Cow.

Not much going on through woodland and on up to lakes, Billy (Mute Swan) still present on bottom lake along with Kingfisher. Incoming Mallards, i'm sure they know me, i soon as i approached top lake the fly towards me waiting for seed.

6 Grey Heron present but no Teal still! 
Robert saw 2 Teal a couple of weeks ago but they don't seem to have stayed.

5/6 Mistle Thrush around lake with a total of 9 birds on walk.

Now to the Mute Swans as i predicted the cygnets have been chased off by mum and Dad. Leaving just one, this cygnet was late to hatch, i think 2/3 days later than the rest so next time i visit she'll also be gone leaving just the two Adults, plus Billy on lower.

It started to rain but this little perky Wren Posed for a snap. 
Into Village 3 Pied Wagtails over Farm Shop and a female Kestrel was our lot. 

Species total of 44 not a bad total just some bad pictures!

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush, Pwll Du, Blaenavon

Date: 22nd October 2017
Location: Pwll Du Quarry, Blaenavon, Wales
Weather: Cloudy, Heavy Rain Showers and Cold Wind
Species Highlights: Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Meadow Pipit, Raven

Observation: As the storm from last week had passed, there was a short break in the weather, so we headed off to Wales, hoping it was third time lucky! We visited early last Monday, blog post here: 16th October just as Storm Ophelia, had created that dust cloud, we managed a few pictures....just and moved on.

Over the past few days, we had seen some superb images so our return visit was a must. We arrived shortly after 12.30pm, just as the rain and wind started! We got kitted up and headed around to the third quarry, getting slightly concerned as everyone seemed to be walking back and we heard someone mention it hadn't been seen for over 45 minutes.

On arrival, the rain hammering down, after a short 15 minutes wait, the Rock Thrush showed distantly on the quarry.

As the rain got heavier, the Rock Thrush took shelter further into the rockface. A few Wheatear were seen around this area, all posing nicely!

After a further 15-30 minutes, the Rock Thrush showed briefly before flying down to the floor, showing down to 10 feet at times.

After snapping away for 20 minutes, the Rock Thrush returned back to take shelter. It did later show a few times at the next mound but by this time we were very pleased and cold after 2 hours, so headed back home.

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Misty Patch Walk

Date: 18/10/2017
Newton St Loe
Very very grey and drizzle all day!
Species Highlights: 
Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat.
Normal walk today except it was raining or drizzling for the entire walk plus the visibility was awful, hence the poor photos today. Bath Mill seemed to full of Robins all singing along through brook. On up to fields and a small flock of Meadow pipits calling overhead in mist with Skylarks and 2 Linnet also. Just past Seven Acre saw a Stonechat, male and 3 Dunnock staring at me from hedgerow. A Male Kestrel being mobbed by 2 Crows, as i came to viewpoint towards the Globe spotted this Buck Roe Deer, just. While watching 3 Jay took to the air.

Watching the Jay feeding distantly i was really pleased to get views of this Sparrowhawk.

He was some distant away but considering the conditions not too bad a shot. Normally see them flashing past , the last couple of walks i've noticed this male usually high over Seven Acre. He seemed to be feeding or after whatever the Jay were having for lunch.

Other group of Meadow Pipit coming from the Globe fields.

Into village Collared Dove and it seemed more House Sparrow, i estimate at 45+ in Newton Farm Shop and surrounding hedgerows. The first Herring gulls on patch since May! Plus a large group of Black Headed gulls with Crow, Jackdaw and Rook all feeding in the very dam fields. 3 more Jay just past church. 

No change on lakes Cygnets still with mum and dad, i think any day now they'll be chased off by the adults, the previous years, 4 months and they're off.

Mistle Thrush calling saw around 8 birds but no Song Thrush today.

Still raining and still very misty with a low fog rolling in now!
So i was pleased to get to 41 species. The female Kestrel was the last bird, feeding on her normal fence line.

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Date: 16/10/2017
Location: Blorenge,Wales
Awful light with a orange mist shrouded sun and high winds from Storm Ophelia!
Other Species: 
Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, Buzzard, Raven

The Rock Thrush had been showing since Thursday last week, a weekend of work so first chance was today, weather not good at 8:30am when we arrived at Pwll-du Quarry it was very windy and light was poor. We checked the 3 quarries along the hill with no sign, a few other birders were also looking and at 10:30am we decided enough and started walking back. As we approached quarry 2, a small group of birders had relocated it! 
Excellent, despite the weird weather conditions.
(Orange sun, sand in air from Sahara, and wind from Storm Ophelia and Rock Thrush being a bit distance got a few record shots) excuses over!

We left and headed off for a few Waterfalls and Landscapes.

We went to Pontsticill Reservoir hoping for the water spout but not in flow, but a nice place to have a bacon sandwich. 

Weather much nicer down here with blue skies and sunshine.

The crystal ball said go back for Rock Thrush so we decided to pop back after a short detour to Pontneddfechan for some waterfalls.

After a short walk... Lauren thought "not a short walk", but a pleasant walk through the woodland we came to Sgwd Gwladys.

The 'Ladys Falls' are formed where the Afon Pyrddin drops 20 ft (6m) over a lip of the 'Twelve Foot Sandstone'. 
Amazing and the chance of a few Dippers, but not today!

On way home weather looked much better for Rock Thrush just look at that view! 
What it doesn't show you is the wind! It was extremely windy, almost blowing us over the edge!

When we arrived that's exactly what had happened to the Rock Thrush, it seems it went to ground around 1pm re-found at 3:30pm then as we arrived it flew over edge not to be seen again, we left at 4:15pm having had a great day and a few record shots at least.

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tuesday Patch Walk

Date: 10/10/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Grey clouds some rain
Species Highlights: 
Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Stonechat
Headed out around patch after a very quick visit yesterday to do Webs Count below.

Not a great deal going on at lake, still waiting for Teal plus a few other ducks to appear. Although yesterday did see a Siskin in between lakes, that takes our 2017 patch tick total to 82 equaling the 2016 final count .So one more bird would beat our previous record, fingers crossed.

On to today, out through Bath Mill extremely quiet, up on to fields and Skylarks numbers at around 6 birds but more on floors im sure. Farmer cutting Sweet Corn fields so lots of activity and a fair few crows in fields. Spotted a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by Crows along with a Buzzard also having a rough time with Crows, record shot!

A few Linnet around but numbers lower than last week, Village Pied Wagtail but little else. Send a cow Woodland still producing a few birds Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Buzzard and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. As i was crossing Bath Spa drive another Sparrowhawk flew across path and away into Herony field.

At lake little change from previous day except the Coots have gone missing, a circling Raven and a darting Kingfisher. 
Had a altercation with a female dog walker who when i asked if she could put dog on lead as Billy our single swan on lower lake was on path, decided to abuse me calling a Traffic warden, and i should get a life ! LOL! 
(Signs up saying ALL DOGS MUST BE ON LEADS)
I made sure her 3 dogs didn't get billy and carried on.
Back towards Village a Single Greenfinch near church, House Sparrows still good numbers and lots of Juveniles taking it easy.

Snooze time.

Did hear their hedge was gonna be ripped out, i hope not but i'll keep a eye on Farm Shop.

Another Buzzard getting hassle over village

Light was awful and rain was falling as drizzle. The Buzzard won i think soaring away from the Crows.

Really please that the Stonechats have returned to horse fields saw 2 birds feeding.

Heavy dark skies, rain pending, i'm still 20mins from home!

10 mins away and i think it's missed me.

As the normal i was on 39 species when into view and almost over my house this Male Kestrel appeared hunting on Sunny bank 40 Species and dry.

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