Friday, 6 March 2020

Waxwing to Mandarin

17th-Feb - 5th March
Newton St Loe, Chew Valley Lake, Blackminster, Slimbridge.
Mixed from Rain to blue skies
Species Highlights: 
Sparrowhawk, Waxwing, Whooper swan, Mandarin Duck, Yellow-Legged Gull. 
Over the last few weeks, this beast has been whipping through the gardens front feeders, luckily Lauren managed to get a picture of him, its the first time we've seen him perched on our tree shortly after this was taken he caught a Goldfinch and flew off to munch his dinner.

A scary sight for any smaller bird!

A bit of decorating stopped my birding for a week so my next outing was a Thursday Patch walk, a report of a Red Kite was tweeted but also I found on the top lake a male Mandarin, a tick for the year and 4th ever on patch.

The Whooper Swan seems to have made friends again with the Mute Swans and was spending more time in close contact with them.

He seems in great condition doing plenty of wing flaps and stretching.

I sat down on the far bank and he even came over to me.

Goldcrest are always in good numbers around the lake dispite Bath Spa cutting down some of the Yews.

Storm Dennis hit over the previous weekend causing some damage to garden fences, In the village, this horse barn where Barn Swallow nested last year took a battering ending up on its roof!

On the way home, a Green Woodpecker was seen looking for bugs, patch year tick.

Sunday and we went to Chew to look for this very smart Yellow-legged Gull.

It didn't take too long and he came into the closest bank, giving us excellent views.

A fabulous bird for sure, the info on the ring says it's from Switzerland, first seen at Chew on July 25th, 2016. It was ringed at Sempech, Switzerland on May 25th, 2016.

On way home, we drove up over lanes and spotted 2 Red Kites, Patch tick.

Also this unusual bird We posted it on twitter and the consense to say 1st winter Peregrine?, What do you think?

Monday ~morning we a beautiful day with bright blue skies, a Waxwing had been found at Blackminster, Worcestershire so a drive up was required. As we drove over a railway crossing we saw a few bird watchers seemingly not watching anything but on parking up, we spotted the bird in a nearby tree.

The only Rowan tree in the area and we were stood right under it! There was no choice as the railway crossing was right next to us, the bird really didn't mind and made several visits to the tree to feed.

The twitchers.

Greenfinch, Collared Dove kept us entertained while we waited for the Waxwing to return.

Such stunning birds glad we made the effort.

Glaucous, gull and Smew were nearby but checking out fields and a walk around we found neither, so we dropped off at Slimbridge.

Always good to see Curlew 20/30 birds present but a bit distant.

The Flocks on the Dumbles are starting to disperse now but still plenty to see.

Black-Tailed Godwit.

This Goldcrest showed well flitting around the undergrowth.

My Thursday patch walk started in the rain, with very little to show until the Lake where major up evil, the path around will be shut for 3/4 weeks, essential works to the path??

Not good for nesting birds again, the Grey Heron had started to nest but another failed season for them, let's hope they nest in old Heronies down the drive, the water level on the lake has drop to half-empty too so teal struggling to feed also.

But on the upside 2 Canada Geese have arrived, first spotted by Jon Margetts and pleased to stay still about, our first record of Canada's on the lake although we've seen flyovers.

Happy families Canada Geese ( the other was hidden), Whooper Swan and Mutes all cleaning together.

Wayne Year Bird List: 130
Lauren Year Bird List: 125

Patch total stands at :60

Thanks For Looking! 
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