Saturday, 28 December 2013

Kestrel's all over the place.

Merry Christmas to everyone who reads or follows this blog and thanks for your support.

Stayed close to the village today and after having just had my first Kestrel for months i was rewarded with another three today.

The first two were entangled within a hawthorn bush fighting over a recent kill what a racket they were making.
the loser sulking on a telegraph post.

Still lots of frost around and birds starting to struggle to find some food, but not the Redwings and Fieldfare had at least 250 birds only about 25-30 were Redwing.

Continued along the lanes and noticed a large flock of Sparrows but on closer inspection found within the flock were Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Dunnock and a Robin.

Moving on I could see a distant GSW and also in the birch trees I could see three birds feeding, I tried to get close but all the birds were a bit flighty today probably due to all the shoots that were taking place in the area.

Having got underneath the birds they seemed to take no notice of me as they were busy feeding.

Decided to try the Carrs at North Duffield as the lanes were getting busy with weekend dog walkers and horseriders.

Just as I arrived so did a flock of upto 150 mixed Canada and Grey lags as well as 3-4 Pink footed geese.

35+ Whoopers still around and the single Black Swan a flock of 250+ Lapwings arrived with 25+ Ruff and the same amount of Dunlin. Shelduck and Pintail flying down the river and a procession of Gulls and Cormorants visible. Sparrowhawk scattered all the Lappies but did not spoil the day.

So the list for the day was Magpie,Rook,Crow,Jackdaw,Woodpigeon,Siskin,Longtailed tit,BlueTit,Great tit, House sparrow,TreeSparrow,Chaffinch,Bullfinch,Greenfinch,Wren,Robin,Dunnock,Starling,Pheasant,Partridge,Redpol,
Moorehen,Coot,Whooper swan,Mute swan, Black swan,Sparrowhawk,Kestrel,Goldfinch,Goldcrest,Ruff,Pintail,Shelduck,GSW,Hen.

And probably some that i have missed.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

At last a Kestrel

Quick walk around the patch this morning resulted in some little gems.

Wasn't expecting too much this morning as a stiff cold wind was blowing across the valley, but I decided to plod on and was rewarded with a cracking Siskin and a stunning male Bullfinch.

Still loads of Crows and Rooks busy in the newly ploughed fields and a couple of huge Herring gulls flew over.

Then after at least 6 months of not seeing one a Kestrel was hunting in the fields.

Down on the Ings this Robin was a nice greeting (given the time of year) it followed me down the path and as I looked across to the new feeder a huge Buzzard emerged from the undergrowth.
 About 30 Whoopers feeding in the distance was good to see as they were not to be found anywhere yesterday.
 A few Fieldfare were vocal in the hawthorn hedges and Chaffinch and Blue tits were in good number.
Water levels starting to rise as Teal and Wigeon were making the most of it.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

And a Partridge in a bird hide.

Had a wander down to the local hides this afternoon a few Fieldfare about and a nice Sparrowhawk.From the Geoff smith hide I could see 4 Swans in the distance so decided to have a look from the gargany hide. The LDV team are making a cracking job of repairing the paths ready for the oncoming water.(thanks to all concerned)

On arriving in the hide I was greeted by this poor unfortunate soul not sure how it got here but it was clear from the feathers in the hide that at some point it had been trapped inside.

Looking out across the ings still not much water about but Teal and Wigeon were making the most of it.
Swans turned out to be Mute's and no sign of any Whoopers, will try again tomorrow weather permitting.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Some good news and some not so good....

Decided to visit all my 7 known spots on the patch which over the years have almost guaranteed me a Barn Owl sighting.

Sadly nothing doing! even my best site nothing, what has happened to all the Barn Owls in the Lower Derwent Valley?

any input appreciated.

Could not help but notice that the hedgerows are still groaning under the weight of uneaten fruit and then as if by magic in came a huge flock of Fieldfare at least 200+ birds.

Had a look at the new footpath that's under construction and then spotted a new feeder it was under siege from an assortment of Great tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, and one single Brambling.
 distant views of 30+ Whoopers and one Black Swan.
 View from the Geoff Smith hide dare i say it but we need some H2O!!!! 
 New footpath under construction at the North Duffield Carrs.

 New feeding station sadly no pic but there was a brambling hanging around this feeder.
 One final stop off at one of my nailed on Barn Owl spots but sadly more chance of seeing an England cricket victory!!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Filey brigg all to myself.

Thought i would have a trip to the coast and give Filey brigg a go. Weather started out ok but started to go downhill fast.

Cloud moved in quickly and by the time i got to Filey brigg i could not help but notice that i was the only person there!!

Must try and find out how to id this bird....

 Very obliging Redshank on the way back to the car.

Oh and the reason i was the only person on the Brigg? the tide was coming in at a rapid rate and i just managed to get off in time!!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Redwings arrive.

Had a quick walk around the patch today and managed to get onto approx 25-30 Whoopers they were a bit spooked as there was a local shoot in full flow. It did not seem to bother them too much.
Noticed big numbers of wood pigeon crow and starlings all competing for food in the fields.

Male peregrine soon scattered these. Nice to still some dragonflies hanging on not sure what type they are think they are red veined darters but had at least a dozen.

First Redwings of the year feeding on the local hedgerow berries and good numbers of Fielfare (75+)

Skylark and a family of about 6-7 Longtailed tits capped off a nice walk.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Still no Barnies!

Still not seen any Barn Owls in the valley it is now a real concern, it looks like the early floods this year have had a catastrophic knock on effect with regards to the mice and vole populations.

Had a stroll along the derwent today and was pleased to see two Kingfishers chasing each other along the bank.A few Teal about and distant views of about 30 Whoopers.

Distant views of about 30 Whoopers.

Fieldfare were active about 25+ making their own distinctive calls. Didn't notice any Redwing among them.

Plenty of evidence of Otters on the river bank but as usual did not get to see any.
The water at the moment is crystal clear and seems to be teaming with fish so maybe i will bump into the elusive Otters at some point.

Th weather at the moment is cold with the remains of last nights ground frost evident but having said that i came across this Thistle which seems to having a late burst of flower (seems late to me!)

The crop of willows has been harvested so as you can see the nearby power station is at full throttle.
The Mute swans seemed to be enjoying the late sunshine until they were disturbed by the local farmer in his land rover but they did not seem that bothered.

I will try again tomorrow and maybe find out a bit more about the lack of Barn Owls on the patch.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Intruder in the house!!

A couple of weeks ago i was admiring my ever expanding troop of sparrows in my garden, the group are now up to 100 strong and are steadily eating me out of house and home.

Then all hell broke loose! A terrible screech was coming from the lounge and it sounded as though something was coming to a very sticky end.

I walked into the lounge to be confronted by a female sparrow hawk chasing one of my sparrows around the room, it had come in through the conservatory doors and was about to dismember the poor sparrow. Literally for 10 seconds it was so intent on lunch that it did not realise i was in the room.

When it finally noticed me it was out like a shot with the petrified sparrow a tail feather behind it.

more on this later.

Sunday afternoon walk down the valley resulted in some top stuff. Pheasants and french partridge scurrying around as usual and have managed to avoid the local guns. Dozens of Goldfinch and Linnet as well as good numbers of Meadow pipit.

Moorehen were a plenty as were coots and cormorant. Grey heron struggled in the gusts of wind but the local Kestrel and Buzzard were showing off their aerial prowess.

Lots of Great and Blue tits were busy in the hedgerows and as i followed the course of the river derwent it was noticeable that otter footprints were evident all the way along the banks.

Then a stunning Kingfisher shot across the river. Brilliant!!! Snipe hanging around.

Crystal clear water that must be a good sign?

Then if things could not get any better not one but two Green sandpipers were feeding on the river mud flats too distant and nervous to get a piccie.

Still stacks of Dragon flies about and butterflies a real Indian Summers day Fantastic.

And the naff pic of the sparrow hawk?

This bird put on a stunning performance flying just above the river in hot pursuit of a sparrow.

Question? was it the same one from my house??? 

I wonder.