Friday, 7 December 2018

Birthday and new Patch tick

Date: 02/12/2018
Location: 
Chew Valley, Clevedon, Slimbridge, Cotswold Water Park, Marshfield,Hackpen hill, 
Newton St Loe.
Weather: 
Drizzle, overcast,some blue sky.
Species Highlights: 
Water Pipit, Black necked grebe, Black Redstart, Water Rail, Red Crested Pochard, Merlin, Linnet, Tree Sparrow.
Observation: 
Our week started at Chew Valley lake with 3 Water Pipit from Morton hide, a tick for Lauren, also saw the 2 of 3 Black Necked grebes, too distant for pictures and weather like pea soup!
Even this shot of the water Pipit and Pied Wagtail difficult to see.


From Stratford the search went on for the Red Crested Pochard & Lesser Scaup that had been reported, no joy but good to see this leucistic Coot, just. 
Pictures do get better in this blog i promise!


Monday morning and we drove down to Clevedon on the Bristol coastline to see the Black Redstart, Lauren found it within a few minutes of us arriving, giving her another tick.


Next M5 to Slimbridge and some Redpoll had been seen, but not by us. The Water Rail from Willow hide was showing very well as normal.


After a couple of hours wandering around the site seeing 2 Peregrines, Common Cranes flocks of Lapwing, Wigeon and Plover and the growing population of Bewick's we headed off to our next destination.



45 mins later we were at pit 44 Cotswold water park and good views of the resident Red Crested Pochard, around 40 birds seen, much better views than my attempt a couple of weeks ago!
Male with a mouthful.


female and another tick for Lauren, still no new ones for me!


Back down the M5 and on way home we dropped into Marshfield, pulling off A46 a flock of Red Legged Partridge were  covering the lane a great site, never seen so many.


Scanning the fields and Lanes we spotted this white Pheasant a east target you'd think but apparently it's been around since 2017 and still avoiding the dumb ass shooters!


Corn bunting, yellowhammers with flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare were in good numbers and also this stunning Merlin hunting the flocks, Lauren managed better shots as i was driving!


The sun was being to set giving the Red Legged Partridge a lovely golden glow.


Buzzard feeding on worms. 
A good day was had and 118 miles travelled giving Lauren a few more ticks leaving her on 187 thats 13 left.


Tuesday was my birthday so was determined to get those last 3 ticks and headed to the Marlborough downs, had so good intel on Tree Sparrow. 
Parked at Hackpen hill and started my walk, I remember the route along the Ridgeway from 20 years ago riding my motorbike along the tracks, good times!
1000's of Linnets were swarming across the tracks and fields with Corn buntings Yellowhammers in very good numbers.


This sky when i started was blue with lovely sunshine but just 15 minutes into walk mist overcast almost dark skies were overhead. my hunt for Tree sparrow took me towards Barbury castle but all i could see was Bunting, Y'hammers and House sparrow. 
Had a call for Robert on a BOC walk around Newton st Loe  telling me he'd just seen a Dipper!!!  
AAARRRGGG (I had to wait till thursday to check that out)


Great to see Red Kites gliding over the countryside, Saw many, i mean 100's of Red Legged Partridge along with Pheasants, hoping for just one Grey Partridge but nothing.


I walked for 7 miles at this point seeing lots but photography very difficult with light and no cover a car/van hide would have been better i think, heard this Kite calling, unusual i thought.


Just about given up and about 1/4 mile from my parking spot and I saw a Tree Sparrow !!


Saw 3 birds but very jumpy these the best shots i could manage,  if only i'd walked the route other way around! 
But still a nice day and put me on 198 for the year.


Thursday and Patch walk day, time to look for that Dipper.

A very slow day it seemed with very little up over on to fields with just the one Yellowhammer seen, did see a group of 6 roe Der the most i've seen for some time. Through village and Redwings could be heard overhead with groups in most tree's, still only 2 Fieldfare on entire walk.
Lake all swans back in place did see Dad Mute trying to chase of the remaining Cygnets, Teal number at 30 now but little else to report.


Got to where Robert had seen Dipper, no sign so headed to top woodland and small stream which runs into lakes. 
To my amazement just 10 ft from water edge and a Dipper jumped up and perched on log !!


Using the trees as cover and adjusting my camera setting i got a few more shots.



Bird was singing, maybe a sign of territories ? also seemed in good condition, i left the Dipper in same spot on small stream, hoping it stays. Glen Maddison had seen the Dipper on lower section back in April 2017 but it seemed very elusive. 
Very glad to have finally caught up with it. 
This bird puts Newton St Loe Patch total on 99 species, who would have thought back in 2010 when we started looking for birds our list was at 50 species now 99, this year we are slightly down, at moment year list is 83, last year our best at 87 but still time?



Thanks For Looking! 
&
  Thanks For All Your Support!

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