Saturday, 28 July 2012

Going Cuckoo

Had a good walk this morning. Nothing unusual to report although I did see a few raptors in the shape of a Sparrowhawk,2 Buzzards,a Kestrel and a Hobby.One of the Little Owls was active around the paddock and there were 11 Pied Wagtails and 2 juvenile Green Woodpeckers.
On the lake there were 8 Mandarins and a Tufted Drake.
I managed to locate the fledgling Cuckoo and spent my time trying to get some shots of it.So below are some of my efforts:-

Sorry about the layout but I'm a bit of a technophobe!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Sunday Revisited

After Sunday mornings highlight the day got even better in the afternoon when I went for a walk down to the lake to see what dragonflies were around.I saw plenty of Black-tailed Skimmers, 2 Brown Hawkers,an Emperor, a male Broad bodied Chaser and a Common Darter but only managed some shots of a pair of B-T Skimmers :-

The best was yet to come! As I walked back up Furnace Lane I heard a bird calling in the hedgerow on the side of the lane.I tried but couldn't get any decent views of it as it made its way along the hedge. Eventually as it got to Kirkins Cottages it flew up into an Ash and last I was able to confirm it to be a Wood Warbler!!! (107) BRILLIANT!!!
This morning I only had a quick walk but was very pleased to find the recently fledged Cuckoo being fed by both it's Reed Warbler foster parents, so raced back home to get my camera.Even though it was dark inside the trees I did manage a couple of shots:-

Interestingly this only the second fledgling Cuckoo I've encountered at the lake.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

A walk in some Sunshine

For a change the sun shone this morning as I made my way out for a patch walk. There were plenty of birds about and in all I managed a count of 51 species! It was great to see my first juvenile Willow Warbler of the year.I love these little summer visitors!
Down at the lake there were fewer gulls than yesterday with just 2 Med Gulls in amongst 70 Black Headeds, but whilst I was watching them they all took off at once, so I thought something must have spooked them although I couldn't find whatever it was. Just when I was about to leave I noticed something soaring high up which I thought was a Buzzard but as I put the scope on it, I found it was a Honey Buzzard (106) FANTASTIC !!
A very enjoyable couple of hours in the sun.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

More Med Gulls

Had a walk down to the lake this afternoon to see if there were  any gulls on the field adjacent to the lake.
To my surprise there were even more Black headed gulls (84 in all). Even better, there were seven Mediterranean amongst them! These comprised 4 adults, a first summer, a second summer and a juvenile. They proved to be very difficult to get close enough to to get any decent photos of but below are a couple of record shots.
                                                   Adult Mediterranean Gull
                                                    Juvenile Mediterranean Gull.
Whilst standing and counting the gulls I heard some birds calling overhead and it took a little time for me to realise that they were Redpolls.In all there were eleven of them, although I've had them during the summer previously this was a good number and made me wonder if they may have bred somewhere nearby.
I had intended to try to photograph any dragonflies that may have been around the lake but unfortunately it clouded over and started to rain so I only managed to get one picture of a Black Tailed Skimmer.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A quick round-up

This week began with a short walk before work on Monday morning, as I didn't have to go in until lunchtime.
It appears that the one Great Crested Grebe chick had disappeared,so not a good start! There were two pairs of adults still on the lake along with 24 mallards and two Herons.
The only waterfowl that have done OK is the local Moorhens as there have been 5 broods raised successfully.
The Reed Warblers on the lake appear to be doing well as I sat and watched a few adults diving into the reeds with food and could hear one brood calling as they were being attended by their parents.
On the field at the southern end that had been grubbed out during the winter there were 2 Herring Gulls, 3 Black Headed Gulls and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull and on scanning around I found no fewer than 34 Mistle Thrushes, this is far and away the greatest number I have ever seen.
Before I left for work I sat watching the feeders in the back garden this produced 20 Goldfinches, 6 Greenfinches, 2 Chaffinches and a dozen House Sparrows and an invasion of about 30 Starlings. I did manage a half decent shot of one of the juvenile Goldfinches(see Pickie below)

Tonight I had a look in on the lake on my way home and noticed a few gulls on the field at the southern end, so decided to check them out. There were 48 Black Headed Gulls(including 10 juveniles), A fine adult Mediterranean Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a summer plumaged Common Gull(this is the first time I have had this species during the summer).On the walk back to the van I had a Grey Wagtail. I was very pleased as I almost didn't bother to stop because of the weather.
I realised after I had posted my last blog that I hadn't added Common Tern(104)and Red Legged Patridge(105) to the year list, both of which I had seen the week before my holiday.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Sunday 08/07/2012

Just returned from a family holiday on the island of Skiathos. The weather was hot and dry but there wasn't much to be seen in the bird department although I didn't actually do any serious birding as I was restricted to just early morning walks or sky watching whilst sitting by the pool.
Any way, back to the patch!
It was good to get out for a walk on Sunday morning.There were a few juvenile Whitethroats about and I also saw a Lesser Spotted woodpecker in an oak next to the lake. The one Great Crested Grebe chick was still on the lake with its parents in close attendance. My species tally grew as I continued and eventually ended up at 53!, which was 20 more than I'd managed on holiday.On the walk home I came across the first two fledgling Bullfinches of the year.
On the way home from work today I popped into Furnace Pond and in about 20 minutes I had 2 Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, Sparrowhawk, Heron, Mandarin and a Hobby.