Sunday, 27 January 2013

Four seasons in two days...Only in England!!!

Could not believe the change in the weather in 24 hours we go from 5 inches of snow to green grass.
Only in England eh!
How can we go from this (above) to this (below)

Came across a large flock of mixed birds which included the following Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Yellow Hammer ,Brambling, Great Tit, Dunnock, What an odd mix I can only assume that they were gathering together to keep warm. Still stacks of Rooks Crows and Jackdaws and a monster flock of wood pigeon.

Can you spot the pyrrhula pyrrhula?
The LDV is a magical area and I have stopped trying to second guess what might happen down here.
Yesterday this area was just Ice today its like a large lake Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Shovelor, Shelduck, and loads of Whoopers. Grey lags and Canadas's in big numbers as were tufted duck, and Mallard.

and the mystery bird?????/
Will be back out for more tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Not birding just walking....

Decided to have a walk around in the snow this morning and it was more a case of walking and not birding.
The snow was about 5inches deep and a mixture of ice powdered snow slush and mud.

Plenty of woodpigeon as usual vocal crows and rooks with a good mix of jackdaw thrown in.
Fieldfare and redwing numbers down on recent days but still plenty about.
Yellowhammer and bullfinch in good numbers as were tits wrens robins and dunnock.

moving on the air was filled with huge numbers of geese gulls pigeons and corvids.

But in general the smaller birds were somewhat lacking.

Nice to see my gaggle of comedy moorehen are still doing well not a drop of water in sight and at least twenty of them flicking around. Robins vocal as was the great tit.

At the carrs nice to see the superb job that is in progress by Craig and the team the feeding station looks great. (Cheers everyone).

Spent the last couple of hours in the GS hide and could not help but notice the constant stream of gulls going over it was literally non stop for two hours. Stacks of fowl geese and waders golden plover flyby (12) and snipe numerous. Sadly lots of shooting activity.

Where are they all going????
Finished off with a nice Barn Owl flypast and a Tawny owl calling from the trees.
So its good night from me and goodnight from him.....................

Not at the carrs just in case the LDV team are looking.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Over 1000 Wood Pigeon,100+Pintails,Bewicks,Whoopers,Marsh Harriers Mipits

Had a cracking lunchtime early afternoon session on the LDV we actually got some half decent light for a few hours!!! I the great man upstairs was a birder!

Had a walk around and came across a huge flock of Wood Pigeon easily over 1000 birds then had a walk on the usual path other than the run of the mill tits,wrens robins etc there was not a great deal so I moved on lots of rooks and crows about but again nothing of any great interest. A lone kestrel flew across the fields and my usual gaggle of 25+ moorehen were as comical as ever.

Decided to head back when I took a detour as I could see even more woodpigeon flying around, came across this heap of whatever and noticed in the ditch to the left a good size flock of reed bunting 10-15 back at the heap and I noticed upto 30 little birds scurrying about obviously eating something in the heap, I tried to get closer.....

Moved onto the bridge and noted 1000's of teal and wigeon very upset by something in the area (no not me!) more on that later.

 Bloomin Twig (Doh!)
Sorry but could not resist the above two....
Still could not work out why there were so few birds around.
Finally made it to North Duff Carrs came across a lovely thrush and a tiny goldcrest on the way in I then  met up with a stranger to these parts Arnie I think he said his name was!!!

It then dawned on me why there were so few birds out and about there must have been at least three open shoots going on and all the birds had assembled on the carrs. 1000's of birds!!!!!

Pintail coming out of our earholes easily 100+ also brilliant views of Goldeneye, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Golden Plover, Lapwing,100's of Tufteds Greylags Mutes Whoopers and at least two Bewicks.

Wildfowl on the river getting seriously spooked......heres why....

then this.........
and finally this....
In fairness there were two Buzzard's and Two Marsh Harriers Patrolling the river.
Most of the bird action was in front of the farm in the corner where the male scaup put in an appearance so I couldn't resist a peek...

Decided to get back to the flock of meadow pipits and skylarks as the light was fading fast had one barn owl and stacks of skylarks in the fields barn owl put in a late show but he was distant and by 3pm the light was so bad I gave it up for the day even my mate below had thrown in the towel,,,,


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Turdus pilaris

Another brisk walk on the local patch this morning and I noticed a huge flock of Fieldfare (300+) they were obviously very hungry and were also very vocal.Nothing else except for the usual robin,wren,great tits and blue tits although all the blue tits I came across were all feeding on the floor.

Moved onto Aughton and had a look around the church could see lots of teal and wigeon across the ings but not much else so decided to have a look around Bubwith bridge one of the huge Aughton buzzards was seen roosting in the top of a roadside tree it flew off as soon as I stopped the car.
Nothing like as many birds as yesterday but there were a lot more walkers out today as the flood water is dropping fast, more on that later.
Good size flocks of lapwing and yet more fieldfare and redwing still plenty of snipe around and 6-8 redshank.
Reed buntings were numerous (8-10) as were chaffinch and the local sparrow population is still looking healthy.Several collared dove were flying around and a constant stream of incoming gulls were seen

popped into the GS hide and thankfully I was greeted by my regular barn owl pheasants and partridge running around in the fields, plenty of crows rooks and jackdaws hanging around.
Shortly after getting settled in an empty hide all the visible teal and wigeon on the river were seriously spooked by something, I followed the flock and observed a single Marsh harrier gliding down the river.

I was then joined by three other birders and within 5 minutes one of them had picked out the male scaup dozing off on the icy water loads of pochard and 100+ tufted duck were seen.Pintails looking good in the fading light lots of whoopers near the still flooded garganey hide but numbers were well down on yesterday.

Garganey hide!!!!

decided to risk a walk to the gargeney hide to see what the floods had done.................

Think this will take some drying out!!!!

more redshank and snipe flying over and a huge flock of starlings, walking back to the GS hide I had chaffinch, great tit,blue tit robin and a very busy goldcrest.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Cold and misty day..

Had a look at to see how much white stuff had landed overnight 2-3 inches was the answer and I quickly realised that the bird feeders were totally empty!!!

Having filled all the feeders and the water trough I returned to the warmth of the house,straight away a single fieldfare flew in and started to tuck into the feast I had laid out in the garden.He/She was quickly joined by two dunnocks a robin and several blackbirds,then the starlings arrived to help clear the bread on the snow.

I decided to have a walk around the village and noticed several bullfinch rummaging around in the shrubs,what was obvious was the huge number of fieldfare in the hedgerows (100+) GSW flew over and a large flock of long tailed tits were observed desperately trying to find food in the shrubs.

I then spotted something moving around in the shrubs turned out to be a dunnock.
walked a bit further flushing out dozens of fieldfare in the process they really are very vocal and hungry.

I decided to move on and see if any barn owls were about found one but sadly he refused to come out of his box obviously much warmer where he was I decided to leave him alone and move on.On arrival at Bubwith bridge it was clear that the river had dropped by a significant amount and visible to all was a huge number of waders golden plover,redshank and snipe in number.wigeon and teal also in big numbers.

Again more fieldfare and several redwing were observed.

I must admit the poor lapwings looked frozen but they were very vocal and were seen to be flying high and then dive bombing other members of the group.

Back at the bridge no sign of the otter that had been seen earlier in the week but there was a small lock of what looked like meadow pipits (6)

Snipe were now all over the place hunting and probing for food in the mud.

I then decided to move onto the GS hide at north duff carrs the light had not been great all day and the mist was descending fast so int the hide stacks of lapwings and a huge flock of Whooper swans (80+) mutes around as well as the usual teal and wigeon,wrens foraging outside the hide and at one point 7 yes 7 robins were seen outside the hide fighting and looking for food, two bewicks flew in late on and as usual the huge gull roost was building up nicely I hope we get some better visibility tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

7 Barn Owls!!!

Had a quick walk around the local patch and managed to catch a large flock of mixed birds was delighted to see the following in the flock corn bunting, bullfinch,brambling,chaffinch,greenfinch,goldcrest,yellowhammer,reedbunting, I then moved on and watched the hungry blackbirds getting stuck into the remaining hawthorn berries. A song thrush flew across my path and it was good to see large flocks of fieldfare and redwing still hanging around.

moved on and came across not one but three barn owls good to see they are coping with the floods etc.stacks of wigeon and teal and a good flock of pinkfoots (50) making a racket.

moved onto skipwith common to be greeted by two more barn owls not much else to shout about but it was an interesting walk.

Went back to the village to see another barn owl fly across the road and into the shrubs, made it to the GS hide for the last hour and watched a very agile dabchick paddling around outside the hide.A big flock of dunlin (60+) were observed trying to find a roost for the night and the usual gull roost was later than normal but still big numbers.Whoopers and mutes were visible but no bewicks seen.

driving back to the bridge barn owl number 7 flew across the road. cracking afternoon!!