Wednesday, 25 August 2010


yes a july update at the end of august. yet again i''ve been a bit lazy with the old blog (been very busy moving house and festival-ing though).

July was the month of the bike, which allowed me to get out and about more often, without having to pay for buses, with the added bonus of being able to go a little further afield. This has resulted in me going on many excursions, but i've found i've been doing less general birding and just looking for rarities at certain hides, etc, as i've just been riding past a lot of areas.

However it has been an excellent month and i have seen a fair few new species, including some 'lifers'.

Here's the new ones:
  • Corn Bunting - a special sighting for me as i've known about the location of these birds for ages but never been able to get there. Listening to their song reminded me of when i first saw these in spain (in great numbers), good to see this declining bird in notts
  • Grey Partridge - As i was in the same bit of farmland that supported the corn buntings, i spooked off a covey of these birds, around 9 in total. good to see as this is another red list species
  • Black Tailed Godwit - I've only seen one of these before, back in october at attenborough. A look on the reserves website told of several of these amongst little egrets so i popped down. Got stunning views of this bird just coming out of summer plumage. Pretty much marks the start of autumn migration too :)
  • Marsh Harrier - The first of 3 new birds i saw in one day at the outstanding Langford Lowfields reserve. A guided walk to see Nottinghamshires first ever breeding pair was successful in giving us the chance to see these majestic birds, patrolling the extensive reedbeds in search of prey to feed their young. Excellent lifer!
  • Hobby - Again at Langford, we saw a couple of these birds, including one which gave excellent views as it hawked dragonflies from around the reedbeds. I've now seen a number of these amazing little raptors.
  • Yellow Wagtail - the last of the 'Langford 3'. Only got very fleeting views of this species, around 4 or 5 juveniles hopping around in a shrub over one of the waterways at the reserve. Made up for these poor views by seeing one at close (ish) range at clifton a couple of weeks later.
  • Yellow Legged Gull - Only seen this species once back in spain and i've always been on the lookout here in england as they often turn up here and there. Reports have increased of late and while out at Attenborough i got a very distant view of one sitting atop the dead tree in the tween pond while sitting in the tower hide
  • Green Sandpiper - Been out looking for these for a while but always came back having only seen common sands (which isnt a problem!), while at attenborough with a host of other birders however, i was allowed a view of one in a scope. However it was very far away and i had to take the mans word for it. I've seen several since however and they are really excellent little waders!

So thats it then, the list stands at the end of july at 121 birds so far this year. Not too shabby and getting very close to the target of 150 - i've already got a few new ones for august... watch this space!!!

Other highlights included

- Watching a Hobby attack hirundines near Netherfield Lagoons

- The Buzzards raising a new family at Clifton

- Hundreds of Lapwing at Attenborough, counts of over 200

- A trip to Clumber, really need to go back - excellent spot

- Lots of Little Egrets and Common Sandpipers at Attenborough

- A female Sparrowhawk hunting over the Trent near beeston

And probably much more.........

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Netherfield lagoons, 31st July

On saturday i decided the best hangover cure was to get on my bike and go to netherfield lagoons, i didn't know when i left that it was an 18-mile round trip! It was worth it though as i passed through colwick park on the way so saw plenty of wildlife.

I stopped at the marina at colwick for a breather and was rewarded with the sight of a Kingfisher flying past only a few metres away. There was also a pair of Great Crested Grebes with one juvenile, i hoped to get a picture of the little one but it wouldn't come out far enough so i just made do with the adults!

At the sluice there were quite a lot of Sand Martins and a few Swallows that i watched for a while. On the main lake near the bund were plenty of gulls and i also got a few shots of a Moorhen feeding her young.

I moved on to Netherfield Lagoons, which is a good site which throws up a few county rarities quite often and recently there has been an influx of passage migrants which i'd hoped to see including redshanks and greenshanks. Unfortunately my telescope isn't quite good enough to get clear views of the main area of interest at the lagoons as it is quite far from the path, as once you zoom past 20x magnification things get a bit blurry - i guess you get what you pay for!!! The sun glistening off the water didn't really help either. I did get views of lots of Lapwing, a good number of Gulls, mainly black-headed but a few Lesser blackbacks too, and there was also a Pochard sitting amongst the mallards too. There may have been something else in there of interest but i couldnt see it!

Other birds of note were a Willow Warbler which was singing near the path, a Green Woodpecker and a few Blackcaps. The highlight of the day however was watching hundreds of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the trent near the railway bridge. All of a sudden they flocked together and started screeching, the cause being a Hobby coming in to hunt, i watched it for a while but it kept disappeearing from view, and eventually it must have flown off. Very good to see though! A flock of Canada Geese also flew through.

There was also a lot of Teasel in flower, which had attracted a lot of 6-spot Burnet moths, a few Common Blue butterflies, and loads of Bees, including this very large one, not sure what it is but it was over an inch long!