Saturday, 31 December 2016

Last Patch walk for 2016

Date: 31/12/2016
Location: Newton St Loe- Patch
Weather: Very grey overcast some drizzle
Spreadsheet link
Highlight Species: 
Fieldfare, Buzzard, Kingfisher, 8 Bullfinch, Kestrel, 8 Goosander, 
Plus a Possible Green Winged Teal !
Observation: 
Not raining and wife and kids away so up and out for a last wander round patch.
It didnt disappoint ! First of a few Bullfinches counted 8 on the whole walk and not on our tree, which is where i normally see them.


Redwing and Fieldfare kept popping overhead on most of the walk with 2 Greater Spotted woodpecker also. At lake lots of Black Headed Gulls at least 120 !  Goosander are back after it being frozen yesterday but only 5 Teal.... and the return of a Coot . 
Whoohoo !


Teal... Green Winged or not Green Winged ?
1. smaller than other Teal.
2. never mixes with other Teal
3.seems to have a smallish brown colour on wing after green(but couldnt get photo of this)
Have asked for help on id. At the moment its looking like a anti social Eurasian Teal !
have got other photos but not a open wing shot . i'll keep trying.


Walked back same way and the Kingfisher was on bottom lake again , briefly.


At Village Redwing and Fieldfare in tree's by church. Bells were ringing earlier for at least a hour very noisey ! No birds when i passed earlier.


By entrance to back drive of Newton Park College there's a small Apple tree and under it Redwing feeding.


About 5 on floor and in tree but very jumpy.


While watching a single Fieldfare landed, iso 3200 and slow shutter but not bad.


Small sticks so annoying !



Moved a couple of paces and they all flew off ! 
last shot before they did.


A female Kestrel overseeing the fields where we normally see Meadow Pipits and Stonechats, luckily saw both earlier on walk. But always nice to see Kestrel.


On arriving home this Mistle Thrush was feeding on the Berries, great balancing.


Took these through the window on f5.6 iso 5000 and shutter 160!  came out pretty good .
Ended walk on 43 species .

Looking forward to next year. 
This years species count was 81 That's 10 better than previous year ! who know 100 species 2017 ? here's hoping !!


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Friday, 30 December 2016

Last Patch Walk of 2016 (unless i go out tomorrow ! )

Date: 30/12/2016
Location: Newton St Loe- Patch
Weather:
 Frosty start but sunshine blue skies until end where cloud and duller conditions.
Spreadsheet
Species Highlights
2 Marsh Tits, 3 Buzzard, 3 Nuthatch, 3 Stock Dove,2 Kingfisher.
Observation: 
Lauren ideal get up early she said and do a patch walk, so with a heavy frost we headed out through Bath Mill with very little to show for the early start. Up on to fields and the fog and mist still hanging over the the valley but looking pretty good.


Picking up a few ticks like Fieldfare, Redwing, Buzzard and House Sparrow at village, all the expected stuff. Saw this Mistle Thrush high up in Convert Woodland. bit further away than on our tree where it was yesterday...not the same one !


On to Lakes and bottom lake a bit of ice,thin. Lots of fisherman but didnt stop Mr.& Mrs Kingfisher perched up on far side.


Up on to Top lake and frozen well bottom end was anyway still only one female Mute swan but over 50 Mallards only 2 Teal ice making it hard for them apart from 50+ Black Headed , 3 Lesser Black backed gulls and only 2 Moorhen that was yer lot on lake. In the woodland surrounding lake though 3 Stock dove bit unusual here normally see them top fields but it all counts! Goldcrests and Nuthatches also.


Top end of lake by bridge this lone Roe Deer feeding and drinking from the non frozen bit. It shows why 
ALL DOGS should be on leads here ! Of the Dog walkers we saw only 50% of dogs were on leads !


Thought we'd walk on to top Woodland but nothing at all here so started to walk back through woodland and heard some Marsh Tits with Goldcrest .


I think this is what they call Showing well !


The 2 Marsh Tits we saw didn't keep still much, 
but still enough to get some great shots of them !


Such little beauties ! The dark woodland at this point seemed to get much brighter and the marshies even stopped for a second .. Thanks !


Walked back along past lakes scanning for Siskin or Redpoll but None were seen. This Grey Wagtail showed nicely though, picking up the seed we dropped earlier.


Thinking that this would be last tick of the day still managed 20 Meadow Pipit and 2 Stonechat in Horses Fields and to finish walk 2 Yellowhammer ! 
Excellent and ending walk on a respectable 46 ! 
Not bad at all, take a look at Spreadsheet to see this years birds and counts, let me know what you think !



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12 hours in amazing Dorset

Date: 29/12/2016
Location: Dorset, Lodmoor & Radipole
Weather: Blue Skies and Stunning
Species Highlights: 

Dunlin, Little Egret, Godwit, Kingfisher, Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Snipe, Beared Tit, Med Gull, Buzzard, Gadwall, Shoveller. Plus a stack more.
Observation: 

A restless night and a early rise i headed to Weymouth, i looked on weather it seemed blue skies and sunshine reported and for once it was right !

This Cananda Goose my first spot on first light at Lodmoor.


Walked through resevere towards Beach and  this was what greated me 8:15 and sun up.


More Geese taking flight for breakfast. 
Great orange glow coming from sun.


Did 2 laps of the Lodmoor reserve with the light second time around better for bird photography 5 or 6 Reed Bunting with Dunnocks and many Robins and Blackbirds about.


Only 1 Little Egret but feeding and looking amazing in the light.


Dunlin also Feeding, i was the only birder on reserve ! All to myself !


Lots of Snipe, bit further away these, such great camo.


Little Grebe's on it for Breakfast, little crackers!


So this Kingfisher from the shelter on the reserve when i walk arount to West Path  she was still there slightly hiden by reeds. 
Strange Colour just shows how the sunlight acts on these little stunners!


On getting back to van this Magpie was almost posing and made a excellent end to my visit to Lodmoor, the common ones sometime the best .


The short drive to RSPB Radipole and within minutes of entering reserve found these !


I say found the smalll group of other photographers helped !
But a group of 10 or so Bearded Tits swaying in the breeze on the reeds, with plenty of "Ping, Ping, pinging " going on  Plus shutters ratling off too !


After watching for about half a hour left them to it to see what else was about .


The Weymouth Reserves alway such a friendly places with some old faces i know, plus new faces i follow on Twitter or Flickr but didnt know by face but do now !
Anyway stood in shetter listening to stories of missed Bitterns and Marsh Harriers minutes before i got there, always the way then Danny Dench shouted Bittern ! 
The Bittern flew parelle to shelter !


Managed to rattle of quiet a few shots perfect even if i do say so myself !


Love the Urban Background in this one, shows what a excellent job the RSPB do in Weymouth !


It didn't end there either, the Marsh Harrier's kept popping up over reeds the female showing the best. With a few perfect passes looking amazing against the Dorset skyline.


Marsh Harriers , Cor !!


After making a loop around reserve went back to the shelter for a bit more chatting and another Bittern it seems, this one flying back from where it flew to earlier. 
Had many more great shots of Bitterns and Marsh Harries a superb day was had.
Really happy with new lens it seems to be working well !


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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Sunny December Patch Walk

Date: 28/12/2016
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Cold, Very Clear Blue Skies and Sunshine
Highlights
3 Green Woodpecker, 2 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers
3 Buzzard, 9 Goosander, 3 Kingfisher, 26 Teal,
 1 Common Gull, 3 Meadow Pipit 
Spreadsheet

Observation:

Headed out around Patch with Blue skies and sunshine, a beautiful day. Saw Male Kingfisher on Brook but it flew and continued to fly every time I got with it, it seemed for 1/4 of a mile of it!
Still plenty of Blackbirds in a around Dog Walk, apple trees at least 15 with Redwings also there but none wanting their picture taken. 
Best I could manage.



On first fields a couple of Black Head Gulls plus this Common Gull, A Buzzard also present.


Lots of people today it seems everywhere no footpaths, no problem, apparently they can wander wherever they like! 
Counted 9 walkers coming across fields, where no footpath is within at least 1/2 mile, when I asked what they we up to, said they were just walking. It seems 1 person got lost and the other 8 people just followed them!!

Anyway back to birding another birder on patch, sw@swafineart.com.
Early this morning spotted 5 Cormorants on normal tree plus Treecreeper which I failed to see.



When I got to lake only 2 Cormorant were present, but looking great in the sunshine.


Also on lake 9 Goosander, numbers seem to be rising. A long way to go to our record 22!


Had 5 Male and 4 Female today but as normal keeping there distance, I sat and watched for about 40 mins also seeing 1 Buzzard, 26 Teal, 6 Moorhen + Black Headed Gulls who continually harassed the Goosander.


Also saw m/f Kingfisher buzzing up and down the lakes but not stopping in camera distance.
The Black Headed Gulls looking great in the Sunshine.


After sitting there and about to leave saw this Grey Heron opposite me! Amazing I didn't see it before, it was keeping so still. The Buzzard was directly behind him in trees making the Mallards very jumpy.
I doubt the Buzzard could catch one!



Another photo from sw@swafineart.com the early bird Eh! 
This looking down from the Top End of Lake.




So many people about decided to walk on to check on Owls, None.
But did see a couple of Nuthatches and plenty of Great and Blue Tits.


Left Lakes and walked back through Village at WD & A fields saw 3 Meadow Pipits but little else back into Bath Mill and a final Female Blackbird in Berries opposite home.
Finished walk on 40 Species.



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