Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Misty Patch Walk

Date: 18/10/2017
Newton St Loe
Very very grey and drizzle all day!
Species Highlights: 
Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat.
Normal walk today except it was raining or drizzling for the entire walk plus the visibility was awful, hence the poor photos today. Bath Mill seemed to full of Robins all singing along through brook. On up to fields and a small flock of Meadow pipits calling overhead in mist with Skylarks and 2 Linnet also. Just past Seven Acre saw a Stonechat, male and 3 Dunnock staring at me from hedgerow. A Male Kestrel being mobbed by 2 Crows, as i came to viewpoint towards the Globe spotted this Buck Roe Deer, just. While watching 3 Jay took to the air.

Watching the Jay feeding distantly i was really pleased to get views of this Sparrowhawk.

He was some distant away but considering the conditions not too bad a shot. Normally see them flashing past , the last couple of walks i've noticed this male usually high over Seven Acre. He seemed to be feeding or after whatever the Jay were having for lunch.

Other group of Meadow Pipit coming from the Globe fields.

Into village Collared Dove and it seemed more House Sparrow, i estimate at 45+ in Newton Farm Shop and surrounding hedgerows. The first Herring gulls on patch since May! Plus a large group of Black Headed gulls with Crow, Jackdaw and Rook all feeding in the very dam fields. 3 more Jay just past church. 

No change on lakes Cygnets still with mum and dad, i think any day now they'll be chased off by the adults, the previous years, 4 months and they're off.

Mistle Thrush calling saw around 8 birds but no Song Thrush today.

Still raining and still very misty with a low fog rolling in now!
So i was pleased to get to 41 species. The female Kestrel was the last bird, feeding on her normal fence line.

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush

Date: 16/10/2017
Location: Blorenge,Wales
Awful light with a orange mist shrouded sun and high winds from Storm Ophelia!
Other Species: 
Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, Buzzard, Raven

The Rock Thrush had been showing since Thursday last week, a weekend of work so first chance was today, weather not good at 8:30am when we arrived at Pwll-du Quarry it was very windy and light was poor. We checked the 3 quarries along the hill with no sign, a few other birders were also looking and at 10:30am we decided enough and started walking back. As we approached quarry 2, a small group of birders had relocated it! 
Excellent, despite the weird weather conditions.
(Orange sun, sand in air from Sahara, and wind from Storm Ophelia and Rock Thrush being a bit distance got a few record shots) excuses over!

We left and headed off for a few Waterfalls and Landscapes.

We went to Pontsticill Reservoir hoping for the water spout but not in flow, but a nice place to have a bacon sandwich. 

Weather much nicer down here with blue skies and sunshine.

The crystal ball said go back for Rock Thrush so we decided to pop back after a short detour to Pontneddfechan for some waterfalls.

After a short walk... Lauren thought "not a short walk", but a pleasant walk through the woodland we came to Sgwd Gwladys.

The 'Ladys Falls' are formed where the Afon Pyrddin drops 20 ft (6m) over a lip of the 'Twelve Foot Sandstone'. 
Amazing and the chance of a few Dippers, but not today!

On way home weather looked much better for Rock Thrush just look at that view! 
What it doesn't show you is the wind! It was extremely windy, almost blowing us over the edge!

When we arrived that's exactly what had happened to the Rock Thrush, it seems it went to ground around 1pm re-found at 3:30pm then as we arrived it flew over edge not to be seen again, we left at 4:15pm having had a great day and a few record shots at least.

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tuesday Patch Walk

Date: 10/10/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Grey clouds some rain
Species Highlights: 
Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Stonechat
Headed out around patch after a very quick visit yesterday to do Webs Count below.

Not a great deal going on at lake, still waiting for Teal plus a few other ducks to appear. Although yesterday did see a Siskin in between lakes, that takes our 2017 patch tick total to 82 equaling the 2016 final count .So one more bird would beat our previous record, fingers crossed.

On to today, out through Bath Mill extremely quiet, up on to fields and Skylarks numbers at around 6 birds but more on floors im sure. Farmer cutting Sweet Corn fields so lots of activity and a fair few crows in fields. Spotted a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by Crows along with a Buzzard also having a rough time with Crows, record shot!

A few Linnet around but numbers lower than last week, Village Pied Wagtail but little else. Send a cow Woodland still producing a few birds Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Buzzard and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. As i was crossing Bath Spa drive another Sparrowhawk flew across path and away into Herony field.

At lake little change from previous day except the Coots have gone missing, a circling Raven and a darting Kingfisher. 
Had a altercation with a female dog walker who when i asked if she could put dog on lead as Billy our single swan on lower lake was on path, decided to abuse me calling a Traffic warden, and i should get a life ! LOL! 
(Signs up saying ALL DOGS MUST BE ON LEADS)
I made sure her 3 dogs didn't get billy and carried on.
Back towards Village a Single Greenfinch near church, House Sparrows still good numbers and lots of Juveniles taking it easy.

Snooze time.

Did hear their hedge was gonna be ripped out, i hope not but i'll keep a eye on Farm Shop.

Another Buzzard getting hassle over village

Light was awful and rain was falling as drizzle. The Buzzard won i think soaring away from the Crows.

Really please that the Stonechats have returned to horse fields saw 2 birds feeding.

Heavy dark skies, rain pending, i'm still 20mins from home!

10 mins away and i think it's missed me.

As the normal i was on 39 species when into view and almost over my house this Male Kestrel appeared hunting on Sunny bank 40 Species and dry.

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Newton St Loe

Date: 04/10/2017
Location: Patch - Newton St Loe
Grey, Cloudy with small amount of Rain
Linnet, Skylark, Kestrel, Buzzard, Stonechat, Yellowhammer.

Off round Patch today not best of weather but was surprised what was about, Top Fields alive with birds the lack of Pheasants recently was amended today with 5 Juv in first fields with Skylark also back at least 10 birds chasing each other and semi singing.

Also Linnet, lots of Linnets 2 large groups of around 100+ birds, yes just 3 in photo!
Also my first Red Legged Partridge heard of the year was beginning they'd disappeared also saw 6 unknown Partridge type birds, flew over hedge line but could have been
Red Legged, couldn't locate in fields despite looking for 20 mins! 

Hoping for Grey Partridge. Plus a single male Stonechat was seen.

Normal stuff in Village, but larger groups of birds apart from Great Tit number seemed very low?
 At Lakes 4 Grey Heron, Kingfisher and no Little Egret, shame was getting used to him.

 Black Headed Gulls numbers rising on Lake and this Cormorant looking rather nice.

Fed the Mallards and Adult Swans but the 5 Cygnets seemed happy at other end of lake feeding. Not long and I expect to see adults chase them away, Billy still on Lower Lake.
Also Teal, the last few years we've had Teal but no sign yet. At least a month late.

Walked up to Home Farm Buzzards and a single Yellowhammer but little else.
Along lanes spotted this a Wasp's nest.

Really interesting to watch the work going on.

A very busy colony!

Carried on back down into Newton stuck on 39 species when Mrs Kestrel appeared and started to hunt from the wires.

Catching crane flies or Daddy Long Legs I think.

Last photo and my favorite she flew off I so did I ending on 40 species.

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Spoonbills, Osprey and Turtle Dove

Date: 02-03/10/2017
Location: Slimbridge-Northwick Wharf
Cloudy & Sunshine but turning colder.
Species Highlights 
Spoonbill, Osprey, Turtle Dove.
Headed up to Slimbridge for a bit of Spoonbill action and we were not disappointed as on arriving 2 Spoonbill juvenile were right in front the Rushy hide, sleeping but occasionally popping there heads up, having a stretch then back to sleep.

While they slept interesting to watch the Black Headed gulls practicing diving in around 3 inches of water. Also on Rushy a Curlew Sandpiper but a bit distant.

Another Stretch.

Not quite a stretch together but both awake!

We left Spoonies to it and headed off around reserve to see what else was about 5 Snipe from the Hogarth hide, could locate Med gulls also on lake.

After doing the rounds came back to Rushy just in time it seemed as one, then the other Spoonbill took to the skies. I would have been happy with this shot...but

But this one's a bit better i think, in all its glory!

After the Spoonbills left, we think down to the estuary this cool looking leucistic Greylag came in.

A Red Kite was spotted and most of the birds on Tack piece rose to the skies including this 2 Common Cranes, always good to see.

A quick kiss from the Teal's and Monday was over.

03/10/2017  Chatting to a fellow birder at Slimbridge and he told me about a Osprey showing well. so day off decided to go take a look. £6:70 Severn bridge toll and 30 mins later pulled up saw bird looking splendid on tree but unfortunately that was it, it flew not to be seen by me again. Now what ? 
RSPB Newport wetlands not far away so headed there.Not much going on there, good for coffee and dog walkers but that was all, should have went to Goldcliff, next time.

Thought on way home i'd pop in to Northwick Wharf and Pilling Wetlands, tide was out but Curlew, Oystercatchers and plenty of Black Tailed Godwits were showing, distantly.

Bad picture but a group of Starling being flanked by a Peregrine. I watched the Peregrine chase a Snipe from reeds, he was not successful.

Wheatear, Pied Wagtail and larger groups of Meadow Pipits were buzzing around in front sea wall.

Around 6/7 other birders were scoping around looking for something, I'd forgotten that 2 days ago a Turtle Dove had been found, i'd also not checked my Twitter to see what was about. After chatting to other birders Alan and Martyn Not good at names, nothing was seen and people started to drift off, then I spotted  a bird which i was 80% sure was a Turtle dove fly from hedge row, on mentioning it to them it flew from where i seen it land to almost in front of us !! 
Bonus !

It seemed very content to just sit and watch us at around 15 ft away!

I'd only ever seen them in UK at Otmoor, Oxford plus Mallorca and Portugal so to see one so well was excellent.

The sun came out too making its plumage look stunning.

More birders arrived after a few tweets went out and the bird came even closer to us.

It would feed for a few minutes then sit and wait.

After 150 pictures i decided to leave everyone else to it, and walked the short distance back to van feeling very happy on having a excellent day.

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