Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Bonby Carrs...Sunday 24th August 2014.

A morning free saw me travelling again the short distance over to the Carrs at Bonby and parking at my usual spot beside the Soak drain,it was briefly broken by a Juv. Wheatear which was sat in the middle of the road between Barnetby Top and Elsham.I got the kit together and a few layers on as there was a bit of a nip in the air today and made my way towards the river.After leaving the car i was greeted by the sight and sound of 3 Grey Partridge a nice sight to see and hear.It was fairly windy and there was plenty of birds wheeling about enjoying the breeze.These included a flock of 51 Swallow feeding over the pasture fields,several Common Buzzards and 2 Juv. Marsh Harrier.In the ditches bordering the pasture fields,at least two pairs of Sedge Warbler were still feeding young,with the adults watched collecting food and taking them into the nests.Also along the same area down towards the river were at least 10 Juvvie Whitethroat and a single Chiffie,the Whitethroats taking advantage of the burgeoning Elder berry crop.After eventually reaching the Ancholme,a single Kingfisher flashed by and a couple of Cormorants fished on the river itself,with a Grey Heron close by.The return leg back to the car saw more raptors being seen which included more Buzzard sightings,at least 6 Kestrel and a single Juv. Hobby.Insects were few and far between today and included a scattering of Common Darter,a few Noon Flies and a Small Tortoiseshell.Another pleasant few hours out locally.
What you looking at!.

Juv, Whitethroat.

Sedge Warbler.

Sedge Warbler.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Upper Derwentdale.....

A spare day together saw TDR and myself heading to Derbyshire to the stunning Upper Derwent Valley to walk from Fairholmes up to Packhorse Bridge and Slippery Stones.The forecast wasn't that favourable with mixed messages saying heavy showers and cloud with sunny periods,but for 70% of the time it was lovely sunshine with the odd spate of cloud.Quite a few birds were encountered on the walk and included Siskins,Nuthatches etc..but some real niceties included at least 4 Raven,2 Hobby and a Peregrine.The latter was watched playing and chasing 2 of the Ravens a great sight to see.A few insects were also seen and included Birch Shieldbug,Chrysotoxum cautum,a Fox Moth larva and 4 Migrant Hawker.The scenery alone is worth making a journey for and today it was noticeable how low the reservoirs were,the lowest we have seen them.So after our very enjoyable 6 mile walk we made our journey home after another great day out.

Packhorse Bridge.

Distant Ravens over Derwent Reservoir.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blacktoft Sands RSPB...Sunday 17.08.2014.

A change of scenery today and a trip just over the border into the home county at Blacktoft to see what was on offer.The previous day a Temminck's Stint had been reported and i thought to myself how long it had been since i had seen an autumn juvenile....a long time.Unfortunately the bird was not present today,but some nice sightings were added to the notebook otherwise.The most interesting sighting went to a wing-tagged juvenile Marsh Harrier,this bird has also been seen hunting at nearby Alkborough Flats and is sporting green tags with NT on each wing.The bird is thought to be from a ringing programme in East Anglia so has dispersed quite a way from it's natal area in a short time.Another juv and a second calendar year male were also seen,but it looks like most of the breeding birds have moved elsewhere or were busy hunting off the reserve.Waders featured quite heavily in the sightings during the visit and included at least 20 Spotted Redshank,7 Ruff,24 Black-tailed Godwit,2 Greenshank,1 Green Sand and 16 Snipe.A few interesting insects were observed and included a couple of Red Admiral.Not a bad visit,but the reserve is a shadow of it's former self with regards to numbers of waders thanks to it's neighbour at Alkborough.Another nice day out and about enjoying this fine hobby.
Greylag Geese.

1st winter Lapwing.

Adult winter Spotted Redshank.

Adult winter Spotted Redshank.

Adult Redshank.


Record shot of the Wing-tagged Juvenile Marsh Harrier.

One of the Konig Ponies.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bonby Carrs...Saturday 16th August 2014.

Green Sand record shot.
A few hours spare today saw me heading to Bonby Carrs while sleeping beauty was in bed after her nightshift.After leaving the car the first bird i saw was a Juv.Marsh Harrier as it hunted over the cereal fields and headed off towards Worlaby after it spotted me.A different bird was seen later hunting over fields in Appleby Carrs.A single Little Egret was fishing in one of the pools as on my last visit,but again no passage waders on the pools,very strange.There were some good numbers of passerines in the hedgerows with at least 55 Goldfinch,215 Linnet,2 Juv. Whitethroat and the best,a Juv. Whinchat which was watched chasing a Juvvie Goldfinch,before it disappeared.There was still some good numbers of cattle still out grazing on the pastures and this in turn attracted a decent number of at least 31 Yellow Wagtail and a hand full of Pieds and i daydreamed about finding a Citrine,now that would be something else!.Eventually i reached the river and the first bird that greeted me by flying up from the bank side was a single Green Sand,a passage wader at last.Other sightings here after much scanning included at least 9 Common Buzzard close by and in the surrounding airspace,a female Sparrowhawk and 2 Hobby.The return leg back to the car saw at least 30 Swift moving along the valley and the only insect of note,a Red Admiral was seen feeding along one of the hedgerows.A nice walk in the sun with a few nice sightings to keep me interested today,as always at this great site.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Donna Nook NNR And Covenham Res......09.08.2014.

Another effort down the Linc's coast today saw me firstly visiting Donna Nook and then on the way home i dropped in at the Reservoir at Covenham,this is what was seen and recorded.After getting the kit together and parking the car in the now non-existent car park,i began by searching and walking around the realignment area.It is the first time i have visited since any water has been put onto this area and to be fair it looked pretty good and has some great potential,with plenty of nooks and crannies for wading birds to hide in.My list of sightings began with a Juv. Little-ringed Plover close to the car park and 2 Juv. Wood Sandpiper which 'Yip yipped' as i approached.The LRP was the first of 8 seen and the Wood Sand's,the first of 3,with a single bird seen at the far end of the site.It was nice to see so many birds using this site as a feeding and resting area and other totals seen included 15 Ruff,20 plus Redshank,7 Common Sand,3 Green Sand,2 Greenshank,6 Grey Heron,53 Teal and an impressive 41 Little Egret.Overhead 51 Golden Plover flew south and 5 Whimbrel fed on the edge of Grainthorpe Marsh.Another noticeable species using the site was Brown Hare,with at least 7 being seen,giving some great views of this lovely mammal.After meeting up with fellow birder James Smith we walked along the foreshore back up to Stonebridge,seeing more of the same until we reached the area adjacent to the car park,when i spotted a Juv. Cuckoo.Thankfully the bird showed really well as it searched for caterpillars to feed on and i managed some nice images of this sadly declining bird.After dumping some gear and a refreshment stop James travelled home and i made my way out to the tide edge.The walk seemed to take forever,but at least the weather was good.I eventually made it and began to look around for any birds present.A flock of 17 Sandwich Tern were gathered on the beach in amongst the mixed gulls,but little else was seen out on the beach apart from a small flock of Sanderling.Over the sea a flock of 42 Common Scoter and a single Common Tern flew south.I then made my way to Quad 3 and looked on the flashes and around the extensive area of scrub and bushes with only a handful of Whitethroat,a single Willow Warbler and a Common Sand seen.Several butterfly species in this area included Common-blue,Wall,Meadow Brown,Small Skipper and a single Red Admiral.I eventually made it back to the car park and then decided to drop in at Covenham Res. on the way home.On arrival at the Res. it was apparent there were quite a few people on boats and wind surfing which isn't always a good omen and the only highlights seen after walking the full circuit were 8 Common Sands,6 Yellow Wags and a couple of broods of Tufties on the Res itself.So after putting in some serious effort today i made my way back home a little knacked to say the least,but had another great day out and about.
Little Egrets and Grey Heron.

Brown Hare.

Courting Wall Browns.

Juvenile Cuckoo.

Juvenile Cuckoo.

Juvenile Cuckoo.

Little Egret.

Sandwich Terns,with onlooking Grey Seals.

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Beautiful Lake District.....Monday 5th August - Wednesday 7th August 2014.

A few free days saw Trace and myself heading over to this stunning part of the country,the journey over being broken by 2 Red Kite on the outskirts of Harrogate,which was a nice bonus.After we arrived in the Lake District National Park on Monday afternoon,we visited Coniston Water and Hawkshead,both relatively close to were we where staying at Far Sawrey.Next morning i was up bright and early at dawn,to explore the local area to the B&B and walked down to the shore of Windermere.The scenery and sunrise was breathtaking to say the least and i managed some nice images of the lake and its inhabitants.Nuthatches seemed to be calling from every group of trees and i managed some nice views of Marsh Tit and juvvie Blackcap.After a very nice brekkie we had pre-planned to visit Wast Water,so off we headed.The drive was interesting to say the least passing through first,Wrynose and then Hardknott passes,the latter is not for the faint hearted.The lake itself is an amazing,wild place and certainly is the most stunning of the lakes i have visited,the atmosphere was set off nicely by a duo of Ravens 'cronking' overhead as we explored the area.Instead of driving back through the passes we decided to drive up around by Cockermouth back to Keswick and visit Derwent Water,a great decision as we saw an incredibly close,roadside Common Buzzard,3 more Raven,one of which was a roadside bird observed in the air with two Common Buzzard and a Stonechat.Before we visited Keswick we dropped in at the Forestry Commission/RSPB car park and viewing point at Dodd Wood on the banks of Bassenthwaite lake.After a bit of a steep walk up to the viewpoint we were treated to views of one of the juvenile Osprey's that had just fledged the night before,brilliant stuff.This is the first English bred Osprey i have seen,apart from the introduced birds at Rutland and it was also great to learn from the very helpful staff at the viewpoint that there are now a further 5 pairs nesting in Cumbria.Next stop was Derwent Water,but sadly the weather had broken down and was becoming cloudier,but a Pink-footed Goose was a bit of a surprise with the local Greylag flock.By Wednesday morning the weather had properly set in and it was torrential rain as we left beautiful Cumbria,but as we headed home through Wensleydale the sun came out after another lovely trip away.
Coniston Water.

Mallard at Coniston Water.

Juv. Black-headed Gull at Coniston Water.

Mute Swan,Lake Windermere.

Mute Swan,Lake Windermere.

Sunrise on Lake Windermere.

Wast Water.

Wast Water.

Pink-footed Goose,Derwent Water.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Frampton Return....A Superb Visit,Sunday 03.08.2014.

With the prospect of a mouth watering list of birds on offer at the superb RSPB reserve at Frampton situated on the Wash,i made the journey down today bright and early.The main target was the reported adult White-rumped Sandpiper and i hoped i might also get some record shots with a bit of luck.I began by looking from the 360 hide from where the bird had been seen the day before.At first there was no sight of this Yankee visitor,but after about 40 minutes it suddenly appeared with a couple of juvenile Ringed Plover,at first quite a distance from the hide,but slowly but sure it made it's way towards us,eventually giving stunning views through the scope and allowing me to take some decent shots of the bird.On a few occasions it was observed feeding alongside a Dunlin giving a great chance to compare the two species different structure,plumage details and feeding action.The White-rumped being a much sleeker streamlined bird and had a faster feeding action.The latter feature was a good way of spotting the bird if you took your eye off it for a few minutes.It was flushed on a couple of occasions,but always returned to the area in front of the hide,until it was flushed for the final time by a passing Hobby.Other goodies seen while waiting and watching for the bird included at least 6 Little-ringed Plover,Juvenile Wood Sand,Peregrine,2 juvenile Spoonbill,juv/female Garganey,15 Common Tern,42 Little Egret,at least 20 Ruff,4 Common Sandpiper and a brief flyby from the resident Glossy Ibis.After enjoying all this excellent action from the 360 hide i went back to the car,unloaded some gear and shedded a layer or two and began to explore the rest of the reserve.Some nice insects were seen and included female Emperor,male Southern Hawker,4 Brown Hawker and my 'First' Migrant Hawker of the year along with Common and Ruddy Darters from the world of Odonata and 2 Painted Lady,several Peacock,Small Skipper,Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper from the world of Lepidoptera.A very noticeable sound while walking around the reserve was the constant stridulation of male Roesel's-bush Crickets from the rank grassland a great sound to hear.Back to the birds and walking along the borrow pits beside the flood bank was another Wood Sand,a family of Little Grebes and a hundred plus Sand Martins resting from their migration.Some great views of Black-tailed Godwit,Ruff,Lapwing and Greenshank allowed some more great photo opportunities and after a chance meeting with Colin and Sheila Jennings,i was back in the 360 hide photographing the cracking Glossy Ibis.The bird showed brilliantly and much better than on my last visit,when it was only seen distantly on the wet grassland and a big thanks to Colin and Sheila for the tip off.So after another excellent visit to Lincolnshires premier wader site,i travelled home a very happy boy.
Adult White-rumped Sandpiper.

Adult White-rumped Sandpiper.

Juvenile Wood Sandpiper.

Juvenile Lapwing.

Male Ruff.

Adult Black-tailed Godwit.

Glossy Ibis.

Glossy Ibis.

Male Ruddy Darter.

Painted Lady.

'Old' female Black-tailed Skimmer.