Friday, 30 July 2010
Just as i was getting to the hide, i heard the unmistakeable trill off a Grasshopper Warbler, so i cupped my ears trying to locate the bird, but as they are such good 'ventriloquists' it was difficult, but then i spotted a couple of blokes down the path with a scope and ventured over. I was rewarded with excellent (45x) views of the 'gropper' in full song, brilliant!
Back to the hide and i wanted to get some sights of some of the interesting birds which have been about. Going up the steps i saw an interesting gull on top of the dead tree in the middle of the tween pond scrape, so in the hide i got my scope out and laid eyes on my first UK sighting of a Yellow legged gull! One down!
the hide soon filled up and i was restricted to one side looking over the wheatear field, while everyone else was pointing out interesting birds that i couldn't get views of the other side! I bided my time though, and in the meantime got excellent views of a couple of kestrels, both females, perhaps juveniles. Also of note were loads of Lapwing (as is the norm at the moment!), several whitethroat still active amongst the brambles, and the gropper was still going crazy.
Once a space opened up the other side, i moved across and scanned the reedbed and clifton pond. There were a good number of Little Egrets to be seen, 6 being the most in view at one time. A female Sparrowhawk sped past the hide with prey in talons, spooking a few Lapwing. I also got a distant view of my first Green Sandpiper, and one came in closer later on. Another nicee surprise was a solitary Wigeon which was milling about near the main island, the first of the season! A common sandpiper was also seen.
Much better today then! I wish i could have stayed a bit longer as there was meant to be a weather system moving in which could have brought in a few migrants, but i guess i can go back any time really!
Thursday, 29 July 2010
I saw 2 common sandpipers, which i wasnt sure of as i knew there were greens about, but i think in all honesty it was commons, as they were quite light in colour... not sure though!!! One little egret was present tonight, a kingfisher was seen near the trent and there were around 200 lapwings about. As for the yellow-legged gull... not sure i took a picture and i'll get some second opinions but its probably just a lesser black backed!
Clumber Park - GREAT WHITE EGRET
- this i had to see, but alas no money til friday so this would have to wait, so instead i looked closer to home
Attenborough NR - DUNLIN, GREEN SANDPIPER, REDSHANK
- the first two i've never seen and i dipped on seeing a dunlin in may this year at the same site, the redshank i've only ever seen abroad
So the next morning i hopped on my bike and made my way to attenborough, however it wasn't to be, and none of the aforementioned birds were there. it wasn't a fruitless trip though, as i got excellent views of 2 Little Egrets, over 200 Lapwing, a reeling grasshopper warbler, and a male kestrel which was causing some ID problems in the hide due to its positioning and the wind ruffling up its feathers. I was disappointed not to see the waders, but it was nice to go.
With wages in my pocket, and the Great White Egret having been spotted again on thursday, i got up early friday morning and got a train to worksop, from where i had a gruelling bikeride to clumber park to see this bird. I had trouble deciding which bridge was the 'ornamental' one which was in the description of the birds location, and ended up circling the entire lake before realising that it was in fact Clumber Bridge, which is where i'd started anyway, as there were a group looking down telescopes for the bird. Unfortunately, despite looking for nearly two hours, the closest i got to a Great White Egret was a Grey heron.... Typical.
It was nice to visit the park though and i'll be returning soon as its a hotspot for birds, and on this trip i did see some nice species, such as Yellowhammers, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Linnet, Kestrel, buzzard and on the farmland at the far end of the park were many birds in the hedgerows, mostly made up of greenfinch, goldfinch, house sparrow and linnet, with a few yellowhammers singing away too. The reedbeds in the 'wetland' was home to many Reed warblers and Buntings too.
Now as i write i'm about to go to attenborough again, as i've seen that the following birds are present
- Little ringed plover
-black tailed godwit
and more interestingly (for me)
-YELLOW LEGGED GULL
lets hope i see at least one!
Thursday, 22 July 2010
I've been fishing a bit which has allowed me to see a fair bit of wildlife, and while i was at the trent last week, i saw 3 Kingfishers going up and down the river and perching in some overhanging branches on the far bank. There was also a Common Sandpiper that kept popping up every now and again. Black Headed gulls and Common Terns were also in abundance.
On Sunday the 18th i had the chance to go to a developing RSPB reserve called Langford Lowfields, about 6 miles out of newark, so i hopped on the train with my bike and went down. The reserve isn't open to the public for another 7 years (!) and the RSPB have been managing it since 1998, so the only way to go round is via a guided walk with the warden. The theme of the walk revolved around the Marsh Harriers which have been breeding there this year (a first for nottinghamshire), and we got incredible views of these handsome raptors, both male and female out hunting and flying together over the extensive reedbeds. We didn't get to see a food-pass though, which was a little disappointing but they nearly did it!
Monday, 12 July 2010
Wildflower meadow at Branshill Moor
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
The ticklist hasn't really increased ever so much, but this is to be expected at this time of year, however it has increased by 5 species, some of which i was very happy to see.
- Linnet - i've seen a few of these now, always paired up in farmland habitat! Typical! Nice too as its the first time i've seen them in the UK
- Red-legged partridge - seen at clifton on the weir field and down south near bristol. UK firsts too
- Little egret - Loads of these white herons at RSPB rainham marshes in essex - very happy to see these, another UK first, but special to me as i've wanted to see one for ages
- Ring necked parakeet - A lifer for me, quite odd to see these in britain, but they seem very happy and established in the trees at hampstead heath, where i saw them
- Red Tailed Hawk - this vagrant bird has been at clifton for ages but has always eluded me, i have finally seen it now, but it was while i was at attenborough nature reserve where i scoped it from the tower hide.
So now the list stands at 113 species! not too bad, although 9 are vagrants/escapees.
Can't quite remember much about what else i saw this month, but i went to clifton and attenborough a few times, as well as colwick park. I've gone out on a lot of 'non-birding' walks this month, hence all the invertebrate photos, but i've been out looking at flowers too. i also had a good couple of days birding in london and rainham marshes.
Most of the trips out have been dominated by sightings of juvenile birds, especially swans geese and ducks, but i have also seen plenty of other birds. here's some highlights
- Kingfisher at colwick park
- 4 kingfishers, lots of common tern, 49 lapwing and over 100 sand martins at attenborough
- Lots of warblers, great spotted woodpecker, red legged partridge and lots of lapwings and reed buntings at clifton
- Reed buntings, herons and egrets at rainham marshes (as well as marsh frogs and lizards!)
- Yellowhammers, Linnets, House Martins, Swallows, a Skylark and a Buzzard on the farmland near my parents house
I also compiled a list of birds that i saw in the london city area (including hampstead heath) and it numbered around 40 species, a nice list for the capital - highlights included:
- House sparrows (due to their decline in the city)
- Pied wagtail
- Great spotted woodpecker
I'll post some pics in the next post.... probably tomorrow now!!! This blogging business is harder than i thought!