Sunday, 26 March 2017

Chiffchaff, Skylark, Meadow Pipit's.. Summer Has Arrived!

Date: 26th March 2017
Location: Newton Park Lake > Haycombe Cemetery
Weather: Blue Sky, Warm and Sunny!
Other Species: Highlights - 8 Feral Pigeon, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 8 Yellowhammer, 1 Jay, 1 Kestrel, 6 Buzzard, 12 Skylark, 14 Linnet, 5+ Goldcrest, 3 Nuthatch, 4 Green Woodpecker, 3 Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 4 Grey Heron, 16 Teal, 1 Cormorant, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Treecreeper, 12 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chiffchaff
Full List Here - Spreadsheet

Observation: Both me and Wayne doing the patch today, we headed out via Bath Mill, with the normal birds on show, Goldfinch, Great Tit's, Blue Tit's and Wood Pigeon. Onto the Dog Walk a singing Chiffchaff and some Long-Tailed Tit's were seen.

Walking on up to Seven Acre Woods, a fly-over Grey Heron was in search of the River Avon or Newton Brook, very unusual to see flying over the fields!

Plenty of singing Skylarks and fly-over Linnet and Meadow Pipit's were boosting our count!

Numbers of Skylark increasing nicely with 12 counted on Seven Acre Fields!

Whilst Wayne was photographing Comma and Brimstone Butterflies a distant Buzzard and Kestrel came into view but didn't stay around long after being mobbed by Crow's!

Through the Village was pretty quiet with no sign of Barn Swallow's or House Martin's just yet. 6th April our earliest sighting on the patch, wonder if this is going to be beaten this year! Plenty in the country already!

Send-A-Cow fields empty with no Corvid's about, maybe pairing up for nesting. At the Covert plenty to see, Nuthatch and more Chiffchaff singing away.

Only 3 Grey Heron at the Heronry today (all on nests), number has dropped significantly since last visit, hopefully they boost again!

At the Lakes, Bottom Lake was quiet with 3 Mallard and some feeding Jackdaw, this one flew towards me to pose for the camera.

Top Lake, a few students about (ignoring the footpaths and sitting on the water's edge!) but lots to see, 3 Coot, 1 Little Grebe and 2 Tufted Duck still present!

Female Teal being disturbed, but made some nice flights shots!

Pair of Tufted Duck

A single Cormorant having a good old preen in the sunshine!

Whilst talking to some fellow bird-watchers, we spotted this Iridescent cloud, caused by ice droplets or small water droplets, great looking cloud!

A brief view of this Treecreeper, a flight shot (sort of!) in the woodland.

We went up over Home Farm and down past Pennsylvania Farm today, 2 Yellowhammer, 2 Pied Wagtail, and some Collared Dove and Meadow Pipits, kept boosting the numbers.

Back up along Haycombe Lane, was pretty quiet again, some more Crow's, Jackdaw's and Lesser Black-Backed Gull's were the best until....

6 Yellowhammer were seen in the hedge-line towards Pennyquick, a nice end to the walk!

Finished on a 44 species count, not bad for a 6.5 mile walk!

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Slimbridge Ending With Sunset

Date: 23/03/2017
Location: Slimbridge + Newton St Loe Patch
Weather: Starting Cloudy then Sunshine
Other Species: 
White Fronted Goose, Brent Goose, Garganey, Golden Plover, Oystercatcher.
Barn Owl, House Sparrow (Pair)

Went to Slimbridge with Robert today, mainly to go for the Garganey but always good at Slimbridge and my 54th visit! 
Straight into the South Hide to see if we could see Garganey but nothing spotted, so the Black-Tailed Godwit's kept us entertained with Avocet and Black-Headed Gulls screaming around the Lake.

Pochard's also looking stunning in the now bright spells.

With no sign of a threat from above, everything on Lake went skyward, great to see.

Wandered over to Holden Walkway dropping into the hides along the way. Wigeon in flight little else from first hide.

Lots a tree cutting going on but spotted 2 White Fronted Geese, hanging on I would think soon to depart.

From the Holden with the 120+ Barnacle Geese a Brent Goose, at least 1 new bird for my year list.

 After wandering around reserve checking out the captives we went to Zeiss Hide where a Spotted Redshank was spotted, bit far for me to even see so not countable but a Lecustic Greylag flew by. We left a headed to South Hide to check on Garganey.

The Garganey turnned up!! Mmmm.... well the captive one anyway.
Still a great looking duck.

From the South Hide as we approached it, lots of scopes coming out all saying the Garganey has just flown off! Typical but the Little Grebe was right in front Hide, nice!

Just about ready to leave and it did show distant but a Garganey! 
Job done, mission accomplished.

A very nice day was had, and 2 new year ticks. On getting home had a new visitor on my feeders a second House Sparrow a Pair!

On the piece of astro turf which is about a meter long which I've mount in tree had 
2 House Sparrow
2 Bullfinch 
2 Goldfinch
1 Blue Tit
1 Great Tit 
Not bad at all for a meter square.

Had a spare half hour after tea so went looking for our Barn Owl, saw it but not hunting like last year. I'll keep trying. Did see this Buzzard, in fact when it got dark he was still circling over Village.

Great watching the sun descend while watching for the Owl, Sun seemed huge.

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A 4 Season Patch Walk

Date: 21/03/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Blue Skies, Hail, Rain, Wind and Thunder!
Species Highlights: 
Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Tufted Duck.

Blue skies when I left home and out through Bath Mill as usual, leaf blowers on full blast so no birds heard or seen along brook! Up on to dog track, Chiffchaff in full song.

On to fields and a distant Roe Stag across fields with at least 9 Skylarks skyward and singing, just past seven acre a sparrowhawk came swooping over hedge line even got a picture! Sort of! Buzzards over woods and the Kestrel seen in normal spot.

Best in village 3 Pied Wagtails, still waiting for our first House Martin or Barn Swallow. Green Woodpeckers heard. More Chiffchaff's and Goldcrests down past Send a Cow. Grey Heron's, fewer in Herony only 7 in trees with a few more scattered along brook. 
Bottom Lake, 2 Mallard and a Moorhen! 
Top Lake, 7 Mallard, 1 Cormorant, 11 Teal, 2 Mute Swan, 5 Coot, 4 Moorhen. Very poor count on Lakes normal count for Mallard is 40/45 but i suppose 3 Tufted Duck a bonus that's one up from the 15/03.

A Single Cormorant looking splendid.

A Grey Heron decided to make a very close pass in front of me!

More Chiffchaff and Goldcrest's singing in between lakes.

Singing away, little stunners!

Thought I'd take path down to Corston today and back along river. Stopped to talk to Lauren on phone and 2 Treecreeper popped up.

Finished phone call and a Sparrowhawk circled above me, followed by a Buzzard.

Really please don't get to see many Sparrowhawk's. 
2 in one day as well!

Thinking that was nice and a Hare suddenly appeared 2 shots and bounded off!

Eyes in the back of his head?

With rain as I reached the river then Hail then wind plus a few rumbles of thunder just to add to atmosphere not much else to add to list 3 more Buzzards and a couple more Chiffchaff's this one with his lunch!

 Good numbers of Chiffchaff this year already with a count of 8, best count last year on walk was 12.

Finally a Comma Butterfly taking my Butterflies to 4 Species this year, 55 to go!
Walk count ended on 46 species so not bad at all.

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