Sunday, 29 October 2017

Winter Thrushes + Barn Owl

Date: 29/10/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Cloudy some sun, turning colder
Species Highlights: 
Barn Owl, Kestrel, Redwing, Greenfinch, Mistle Thrush.
Our feeders are full of Goldfinch this morning Lauren counted 38 a new record plus a female Bullfinch along with normal Blue & Great Tits.

Normal patch walk today, Nothing going on through campsite, been very quiet along brook recently. Up onto fields and Skylark numbers still around 10+ with a flock of Meadow Pipits buzzing across fields, so hard to id as to the light and speed they were flashing in front of me, i stand corrected if anyone says id different ?

Difficult from pictures i know !

Male Kestrel hunting on lower fields with Lesser Black Backed Gulls swarming over bypass fields, farming ploughing.
Mistle Thrush numbers climbing saw at least 7 in Church trees plus a few Redwing in Village.

Bottom lake Black Headed Gulls and Billy still. Top Lake Also quiet 2 Mute plus cygnet still was the best of it, Black Headed Gulls into the 30's.

Walked on up into College by Yew trees Song Thrush and Redwing still feeding although getting a shot a different matter! 

Under Yews thought i saw a Hawfinch!! It was dark and i was hoping, it was a Greenfinch 4 in total, shame seems to be so many coming through at moment, Coal Tits, Goldcrest also feeding under.

 Back along College drive and Crows. Rook and Jackdaw feeding.

Still a few Red Admiral about, keeping a record just to see.

More Redwing's on my return route with more Mistle Thrush too.
Female Kestrel in normal spot on the hunt.

She so jumpy doesn't let me get very close, used the cover of hedge row to get within camera distance.

And that was it a total count of 41 species, decided to check on owls as clocks went back today and Friday night i saw Barn Owl fly in front of me on my way to work. 

Walked out to village nothing, on return we heard a Call and Barn Owl flew high over our heads, very happy to see, not so happy with my picture but hey, a Barn Owl 
( that's what you call a RECORD shot!!) also heard Tawny call a few times, a Male.

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Egrets vs Perch

Date: 24/10/2017
Chew Valley Lake
Weather: Grey Clouds with drizzle
Species Highlights: 
Great White Egret
Went to Chew Valley, Lake Villice hide and spent a couple of hours photographing Great White Egrets, here's the results.

The Egrets constantly catching little Perch.

Mute Swan having a flap.

Not just Egrets a couple of Grey Herons also catching, must be hundreds of small fish in Villice Bay.

Almost feel sorry for the fish!

Little Egrets seemed more successful catching fish of all sizes where Great Whites seem to only take fish of around 6/7 inches.

Such smart little birds.

Needs a pair of goggles, i think!

Another one bites the dust.

So impressive and great to wile away a grey afternoon.

Speared bottom debris and all.

Sun came out a couple of times, unfortunately i had to go!

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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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