Sunday, 26 February 2017

3rd New Tick of the Year

Date: 26/02/2017
Location: Newton St Loe - Patch
Weather: Grey Skies, Windy
Other Species: 
Skylark, Bullfinch, Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Buzzard, Little Grebe, Goosander, Teal.

Headed out through a very quiet Bath Mill and up on to Fields, Skylarks up singing in all four fields around 8/9 Birds but probably more on the floor.

Tree's all planted now and looking good. On out through Village normal stuff. Farmer cutting hedges so fewer House Sparrows about. 
Goldcrest in good number on most of walk today, numbers in excess of 10 singing away.

Grey Heron in the Heronry starting to get busy, a total number now at 8 not the most this year but starting to gather nesting materials.

On to bottom lake and nothing going on couple of Mallard and Moorhen. Top Lake, 1 Goosander female 30 + Mallard and Mute Swans which I fed.

Was reading about the ageing of Swans and it appears the Mute Swans ages are normally between 15/20 years old. To reach 20 is rare, the oldest RSPB bird which was ringed and is now 15 years old. 
In USA, a Mute Swan was ringed in 1990 and is still going strong making this bird 26 years old! 

A group of Black Headed Gulls cleaning them self's on lake then 7 Common Gulls all landed and also started to feed. But wait on checking gulls noticed a Mediterranean Gull!!

It was constantly cleaning it self.
 Funny to watch the Black Headed Gulls watching the newcomer!

Another new tick for Newton St Loe, taking us to all time 92 and this years 3rd new species! Year list so far is 66.

Watched for 30 mins did some tweets and then it was gone, flew off with Common Gulls.

A excellent walk today only a species count of 36 but the Med Gull made up for that!

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Monksdale Road Bath & Waxwings

Date: 21/02/2017
Location: Monksdale Road - Bath & Waxwings
Weather: Drizzle and Grey
Other Species: 
Greenfinch, Dunnock, Rook, Crow, Magpie, Robin, House Sparrow, Waxwing.

A report from previous day on some Waxwings at Monksdale Road in Bath had to be followed up, location is 1.5 miles from my patch! @GlenOrioleglen had reported them day before, I missed tweet but this morning he tweeted again and I was there!

On arriving I was only person there it was raining and felt a bit strange sat in Van with binoculars and camera trained on entrance bushes to allotments, I waited for around 30 mins and was thinking they've gone..... When!! 

One showed and struggled to get a juicy rose-hip berry.

The magnificent Bird posed around 5 meters from me!

It only stayed the road side of the bush for 2/3 mins then flew up into nearby trees, to join another.

They flew down to feed 3 or 4 times but each time the wrong side of bush for me to see. Then one flew down on to Footpath to pick up a few fallen berries.

Cars passing by it didn't seem to worry as it threw this berry down the hatch!

Stunning colours on rear. Best rump award 2017 goes to the Waxwing!

From the floor it flew straight towards me and landed in tree above where I was parked, Too close almost! From there they fed once more then flew off in the direction of my house. 
I'm hoping! 
Anyway around 5 other people managed to see while i was there and the best Monksdale road ever looked!

Checked Haycombe Cemetery on way home as there are lots of berries up there, so next few days they could get some new visitors .

On arriving home the feeders were full of finches lots of Goldfinches.

Also Bullfinches feeding on my home made perch. Another stunning bird.

Monday went to Chew Valley Lake and saw 3 Great Black Backed gulls fairly close to Dam Wall.

That gull still there saw him twice once at Herriott's an Herons Green, I'm going for Herring Gull x Lesser Black Backed.

Gotta love Gulls this Lesser Black Backed 1st year looks cracking.

More hybrids this Chiloe Wigeon or at least escapee on Herriott's.

I'll end tonight blog with a bit of Muted Love.

Thanks to everyone I spoke to, and it was nice to meet you!

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Home Feeders In Spring Sunshine!

Date: 18th February 2017
Location: Home Feeders
Weather: Blue Sky, Sunny + Warm (13.5 Degrees)
Other Species: 3 Bullfinch, 10 Goldfinch, Chaffinch, 2 Coal Tit, 5 Great Tit, 6 Blue Tit, 6 Long-Tailed Tit, 2 Wood Pigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Blackbird, 2 Magpie

Observation: With sunshine and a recent delivery of seed, tree's were full of birds, so the first Birding from The Window of 2017 was in order.

First up were our Bullfinches which visit daily today we had both Male and Female posing for some images. We had 3 in total today.

Just the single Female Bullfinch today.

Even the common garden birds gave some great shots!

Close-up of this scruffy Long-Tailed Tit.

A total of 10 Goldfinch in the sunshine today!

Always scrapping and fighting over the best spot on the feeders!

Even a flight shot... Almost!

One of the two Coal Tit's today.

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

River Axe Estuary

Date: 16/02/2017
Location: River Axe Estuary 
Weather: A little Blue, Mostly Cloudy
Other Species: 
Redshank, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Lapwing, Curlew, Short Eared Owl, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Kestrel.

Headed coastal for some Owl action, high tide was at 11am so checked out Black Rocks first and there was a lot a distant action with large numbers of waders 500+ Redshank, 500+ Lapwing, 1000 +, Dunlin, Curlews and Shelduck's all feeding on the receding tide. 

The Dunlin even put on a bit of murmaration!

Lapwings also up but couldn't see what spooked them?

Black Rock with Cardiff and Millennium Stadium behind, I think :)

The main event loomed closer and headed for my viewing point. Soon after I was in place more people arrived then more and more counted 22 in the end scattered all over fields with 2 drones at one point too!

Not looking promising. But Owls did appear after a hour or so wait.

With people everywhere they didn't have a lot of room to hunt.

I saw 2 SEO but others said 3.

Managed a few shots, but owls were usually high.

Best shots of the day was when it flew over the small group I was stood with heads.

You gotta love them, maybe half term not so good, I'll try again soon.

After around hour and half owls went further away and made a distant return around 4:45 losing the light I called it a day. 

But as Arnie said "I'll Be Back!"

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Chew Valley and Bath St.Johns

Date: 15/02/2017
Location: Chew Valley Lake + St. Johns, Bath
Weather: Rain all morning, some sun afternoon
Other Species: 
Scoter, Scaup,Goldeneye + Normal Suspects @ Chew 
Then Bath St Johns Church, Grey Wagtail, Female Blackcap, 3 Peregrine Falcons.

No walk today as rain forecast so headed down to Chew Valley Lake using Van for hide. Saw the Common Scoter and 14 Scaup from Picnic site plus this gull?

Twitter chaps seen to think either a pale Lesser Black Backed (or maybe Lesser Black Backed x Herring or LBB x YL

 Not sure but think he's laughing at us!
Maybe a even a Heuglin's that would be nice!

The pair of Egyptian Geese were feeding , stunning geese.

Started to brighten up now so headed round to Herriott's to look for Ring Billed Gull.

On getting round the other side it rained again, lots of Common Gulls cool to see different ages clearly and the Black Headed Gulls from juv to adults.

Mostly Black Headed but Common Gulls and a few LBB gulls didn't see Ring Billed Gull here, but visibility bad!

Raining harder now so headed home, had a brain wave Peregrine Falcons at St Johns, Bath so headed that way.
On arriving immediately saw the juvenile perched up I think ring says XP?

560mm in bad light but still looks great! Only saw one Juvenile.

Also saw a female Blackcap buzzing around tree by church, really it is!

This the Male AA blue ring. Watching himself on the very good  Web Cam Here.

And the other Adult making friends with the lion. Couldn't see ring on this one.

So after the nod and wink from the youngster it was time to go home.

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