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Old Moor and beyond

After early morning jobs I decided since the weather was great I would try my changes at Old Moor again for a few more migrants and insects.

Well I arrived at 11am and set off towards the Family Hide to nail the Mediterranean Gulls this time, it took a while looking thru all the Black headed Gulls, and a few Lesser Black backed Gulls but I found them this time amongst the Black headed Gulls on the first island, two birds seen at long last. Other birds seen from here were the Sand Martins now making home in the man-made bunker, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Cormorants, Moorhen, Coots, Canada and Greylag Geese.

Down on to Green lane where there was a Reed Warbler singing away close to the path, I decided on trying to see it and with patience it finally paid off with some great views of a secretive bird, then I caught sight of a Green Woodpecker as it flew down the lane, Brimstones and Orange tips were flying by as I made my way finally to the Wader Scrape hide were I saw a single Avocet, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, and plenty more Black headed Gulls

Decided then on a walk down to Bolton Ings down along Warbler Way were there were plenty of Willow Warblers and a few Chiffchaff, but around the hide was a Common Whitethroat giving good views, Dunnock again, Pheasant a few Goldfinch. On the way back a few Speckled Woods were seen.

A quick walk around the Dragonfly ponds in the vain hope of some damselflies, but alas none were found.

Birds at Old Moor :

Avocet, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Starling, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren.

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I travelled back then and took in the Ingbirchworth area were I finally connected with a single Wheatear, relief didn’t think i was going to connect with one this year, lots of Woodpigeon and Stock Doves about.

On to the Langsett area in hope of Pied Flycatchers, but on arrival to the site I found extensive workings going on so I wasn’t hoping on picking any up and I didn’t but a solitary Common Sandpiper on the dam wall was a nice bonus.

The final place for the day was Broadstones Res. for the reported Grasshopper Warblers seen that morning, they were not found but a lovely male Whinchat was the bird find of the day. Along with the Whinchat was Common Whitethroat,Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warblers

Birds Ingbirchworth Area :

Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Sanpiper, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting,Robin, Starling, Stock Dove, Wheatear, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer.

Common Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

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Old Moor RSPB

Decided on a photography day today since the sun was out, and its been a while, so Old Moor was the destination, Butterflies and Insects were the target, and of course a few birds

Day List : Arctic Tern, Barn Owl, Bittern (Booming), Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, reed Bunting, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer,…..

Brimstone, Comma, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Goldfinch Tree Sparrow

Reed Bunting . Dunnock

Bullfinch Brimstone

Comma Orange tip

Peacock Speckled Wood

Woodlarks and Woodpeckers

On what started to be a dull wet day we headed off towards Nottingham and the South Budby Common near Sherwood Forest for a few heathland birds, on arrival the weather was beginning to get brighter so we were hopeful for the birds we had come down to see.

We headed off towards the heath along the well defined footpaths and we were soon picking up calls from birds the first being a Tree Pipit, we enjoyed good views of the pipit and its parachute flights before moving on, Green Woodpecker teased us all morning with its calling and not giving itself up for viewing, Lesser Redpoll were calling and flying over us as we moved thru the heath, but no woodlarks.

We decided on a move down in to the forest and towards the great oak, it turned out to be a good move we picked up a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, giving itself by alarm calling, then flying up into the tree,Nuthatch were calling and then seen down by the feeders along with Robin, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit but no Marsh Tit this time.

Back then up on to the heath looking for the hopeful, the day was getting brighter, our luck might be turning, we soon picked up a call of a woodlark but couldn’t find them, we decided on retreating for dinner and coming back now we knew where they were.

We were soon back after nourishment soon picking up Woodlark calls, they took some finding dispite the calling but we located them giving themselves up to great views.

After the woodlarks we moved back North and landed at St Aidans near Fairburn Ings where eventually we caught up with the Black necked Grebes 5 birds seen by us but talking to a guy who had seen 7 in all plus a Bittern, on the way down to the grebe area we picked up , Meadow Pipits, Reed Bunting, Black headed Gulls (loads), Red Kite (briefly), Little Egret, Oystercatchers, Sparrowhawk flew by and thru the reeds.

After St Aidans we called around to Swillington Ings where a Kingfisher was seen brielfy flying up river

Day List at :-

Budby Common : Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Jay, Kestrel, Lesser Redpoll, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Robin, Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler, Woodlark, Woodpigeon, Wren

St Aidans and Swillington : Bittern, Black headed Gull, Black necked Grebe, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Egret, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oysetrcatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Red Kite, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon

Black necked Grebe

Black necked Grebe

Langsett Area

Decided on a run out today to Langsett Reservoir in the vain hope of picking some migrants up on the way over and to see three target species Siskin, Red Grouse and Crossbill.

My travel would take me over via the Ingbirchworth Area were I searched various fields hopefully for a early Wheatear, all I caught up with were plenty of Curlew and Common Gulls with a scattering of Black headed Gulls and a single Meadow Pipit. 

Up on to Brown’s Edge Road were there was a large flock of Starlings, 300+, and mixed in a good grouping of Fieldfares and a pair of Oystercatcher, further on were displaying Lapwings.

Finally then Langsett Barns car park, toilet stop first, then out on to the footpaths, the top footpath was the choice and wasn’t soon before I found a friendly Robin and his friends Chaffinch, Lapwings, Mistle Thrush and Kestrel

Out in the woods I picked up a pair of Siskin, high in the tree top and with the occasional display flight, catching the sunlight in its wings, a joy to watch. On then and down on to the moor where target bird number two was found, eventually, Red Grouse took some finding this time but it did eventually give itself up, however the Crossbill didn’t Id have to leave that for another day

Bird List :

Black headed Gull, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Curlew, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Red Grouse, Robin, Siskin, Song Thrush, Starling, Woodpigeon

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Blackbird

Blackbird

Titchwell RSPB

A long break in Norfolk and I had to have a visit out to Titchwell Nature Reserve on the North Norfolk Coast, we were only stopping in a cottage 20mins away for the week it had to be done. Titchwell Map

Arriving at 7:30am to an empty car park and a Red Legged Partridge on the approach road I got my gear together and set sail for the walk down to the beach which would be my first port of call, stopping off at the visitor centre feeders were there was Robins, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbirds, Reed Buntings and a Mallard (waiting in anticipation of dropped seed).

Stopping again at the first reeds (just before the  Island Hide)  in the hope of Bearded Tit but not this time but a young male Marsh Harrier drifted by, looking at the freshwater Marsh on the way down I could see plenty of gulls (I’ll go thru these on my way back), Greylag Geese and Brent Geese out on the marsh, near the beach now so  a quick look on the tidal marsh I picked up on a nice male Pintail.

Out on to the beach I could now feel the cold as the wind went thru me so I decided on camping near the ruins and looked thru the waders collected on the beach, Oystercatchers were plenty as were Bar tailed Godwits, in and amongst were, Redshank, Sanderlings, a single Grey Plover, handful of Ringed Plovers, and a scattering of Dunlin.

Out on the sea I managed to pick up a pair of Red Breasted Merganser , and a few thousand Common Scoter (spectacular site). I was getting cold now with the wind, so I decided on walking back to the parrinder hide for a warm and get out of the wind, on setting off I got the flight call of a Snow Bunting going over head and then a glimpse as it sailed over my head…nice bonus

Now in the relative warmth of the Parrinder hide I started looking around at Avocets, Black tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Black headed Gulls and looking through the Black headeds there was a lot of Mediterranean Gulls (not seen as many before)

Onward and back towards the centre stopping off at the reeds again, this time the stop was worth it, only one mind a quick glimpse as a Bearded Tit gave very brief views flying from one small patch to another and disappearing very quickly.

Back at the centre feeders I managed to pick up a lovely male Brambling before moving onto the Fen Trail where I found my first spring migrant in the form of a Chiffchaff, moving around rather quickly. Around by the hide the Male Marsh Harrier moved thru and it was time for me to move thru but not before catching sight of a Woodcock in the car park bushes

Day List :-  Avocet, Bar tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit, Blackbird, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brambling, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Common Scoter, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jay, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pintail, Pochard, Red breasted Merganser, Red legged Partridge, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Sanderling, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snow Bunting, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodcock, Woodpigeon, Wren

Oystercatchers on the Beach

Oystercatchers

Broomhill Flash

It was going to be quality today rather than quantity on a quick visit down to Broomhill which is near to the Old Moor RSPB site. I had a few jobs to do at home first so I didn’t arrive on site till 10:45pm, I had word earlier that the birds I was looking for were still on site, so in with the small crowd that had gathered. Birds started appearing but not the ones we were looking for, Sparrowhawk over, Goldcrests, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch and Wren even a Mute Swan kept coming and going then after about 45 mins target species number one a Firecrest,  put in a brief appearance, brief put great views were had of this small bird before flying over to the other banking of the river, so one down two to go.

I walked up and down the road now looking for target two, another 30 mins later I came across it, right place right time, this one was a Yellow browed Warbler and again gave great views as it flitted around the bush, and again too quick for me for pictures.

On then for number three target, this one hopefully was near the hide but on arrival I could see a few people standing around, after parking up I joined them for the wait this time seeing Reed Buntings, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit , BullfinchRobin and even a Kingfisher thru the car park, then it’s here behind us, it must have been skulking in the bush, target three was a Hawfinch, I’d never seen one this close what a brute of a finch, but I wasn’t going to get to see it for long it flew off and out of sight. I waited around a little longer but no show, I had a quick view from the hide, birds from here Black headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, a pair of Goldeneye, Canada Geese, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe, and Cormorant.

Back outside and I waited again for 30 mins in hope the Hawfinch might return but to no avail it was now time to draw a line under the day, Grandsons Birthday called stronger

The Day List : 26

Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Dunnock, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Hawfinch, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wren, Yellow browed Warbler

Fairburn and St Aidans

My first of call was down Lin Dike at Fairburn Ings, the plan was to find the Great White Egret  down here,  move on to the centre and take some photos but that changed when a guy told me it had moved onto St Aidians again, so the plan now was to enjoy sometime down here then onto said site.

Down Lin Dike were Canada, and Greylag Geese, and a Pink footed Goose, yaffle of a Green Woodpecker, Great Tit, Robin, ChaffinchBlue Tit and on the waters Teal, Pochard, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard, after all that I had eventually  made it to the hide.

From Lin Dike Hide were mainly Black headed Gulls but I also saw Teal , a couple of Little Egret, Shelduck, Pochard, Canada Geese, Moorhen, Coots, and a Common Buzzard over

On then to St Aidans where the Great White Egret hopefully was, after a brief encounter with a fellow birder on arrival I found the egret on the nearby pond near the visitor centre. The egret was at a distance slowly making its way around the edges, it was good to see this species again last time was back in the Gambia in March 2017.

Time for a walk around the place, it was very muddy underfoot wish I’d have put my wellies on, looking over towards the hill Common Buzzards could be seen, 5 in the air at once joined by a Red Kite, great to see a few birds of prey in the air at once. Onward then to one of the smaller ponds where I saw Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, and Pochard.

I then made my way down to the gorse bushes hoping to find some smaller birds, from a distance a Bittern was in flight before settling back amongst the reeds, down at the gorse a pair of Stonechat were playing around giving picture opportunities, with patience. A Ringed Plover was on the nearby pool along with a couple of Pied Wagtails, and a Oystercatcher, Redshank, and a Male Marsh Harrier on the way back to the car to finish off a splendid day

Todays List : Bittern, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Red Kite, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted Duck,Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren

Stonechat

Stonechat Male

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard