Saturday, 24 November 2018

Golden Plover on Patch

Date: 18th-22nd/11/2018
Location: 
Stockhill, Cotswold Water Park, Slimbridge, Newton St Loe
Weather: 
From Blue,cold to Grey drizzle
Species Highlights: 
Golden Plover, Crossbill,Water Rail, Jack Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Yellowhammer.
Observation: 
My travels this week started on the Sunday 18th with Chew Valley then Stockhill trying to get a few ticks for Lauren, none at Chew but Stockhill and was very pleased to see a group of Crossbill feeding in the pines along main track.


Needed a ladder really but great to hear them and see them feed for a few minutes.


Next off was Cotswold Water Park with a Old Mate from my Post office days,  Headed to pit 125 for a long staying Great Northern Diver but it seemed had gone, but did get a Red Crested Pochard from middle of the lake but tick number 197.


On walking around pit 125, 59,68 and 74 didn't see much it was very cold and drizzled for most of the day the highlight was the largest collection of Little Egrets i've ever see at least 60+ birds with 2 Great White Egret were seen.



After seeing so little decided on Slimbridge for some guaranteed Bird action, Martin Smith hide first and after looking for like 10 mins with other birders I finally spotted the Jack Snipe buried in the grass.


The Willow hide was on form with 2 Water Rail seen throughout the day showing extremely well.


Checked out the other hides, from the Holden watched a Peregrine chasing small flocks. This Jackdaw looked particular nice against the Dumbles


Looked back in at the Water Rail, yep still showing with a constant stream of a admirers.


A fair few Bewick's around the site and from the Rushy they were flying around.


I kept popping back to see if the Jack Snipe had moved but it stayed hunkered down for most of the day, Wigeon were very jumpy, but shows how many birds were on site.


Light was awful, very grey, this Sparrowhawk was from the Willow hide returned twice but missed his prey.


Amazing how flat how he looks when diving.



Some sunshine just as i was about to go, but stayed in the Rushy for the last few shots.


 Male Teal.


Pintail.


Tufted Duck.


To finish a full framed Bewick no crop!


Thursday Morning and my patch, started on leaving front door and seeing a patch first, a Muntjac deer running along Sunnybank!!
After seeing the local dog walkers having a nice chat, i know!
I scanned fields and spotted.....


Golden Plover, WOW 14 birds seen.


Light was head on so walked back to other side of field, some of the birds looked much paler, but thought it must be the light? Skylark behind.


Really great to see them makes you wonder how much we all miss on our patches!



By kneeling down and poking camera through hedge managed a few closer shots. 
Think it my closest ever Plover!


Wider shot of 10 birds.


All time Patch tick 98 and year patch tick 82 I need 5 more to beat last years 87, getting close.


Headed on smiling to myself and was shocked to see a group of Yellowhammer back in their normal spot overlooking Globe fields, 2 even perched for so half decent pictures.



Normal stuff around with Redwing still in numbers around Send a Cow Woodland also 2 Grey Heron along back drive. At lakes the Mute Swan family have gone again! Jen back up on top lake, 2 Cormorants and 10+ Black Headed gulls.


20 Teal along with a single Male Goosander top end.


From Keep Redwing could be heard with small flocks of Tits buzzing around but only 2 Fieldfare seen.


Kestrel last tick, again!

On a much sadder note found this Tawny Owl, it looked like it was hunting and got tangled in Barbed wire fence, I previously heard one calling in the small woodland here, very sad it was still quite flexible so guess it must have been previous night.


Not sure how it got so tangled, It took a real effort for me to get it off wire.


Poor thing. I ended walk on 43 species, not counting Owl. 
Golden Plover and Muntjac highlights for sure.



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