Saturday, 16 April 2011

Caught by the Privates!

In summary:

West Hartford was quiet at 06:30 today, save for a Blackcap opposite the Fire Station entrance.

Arcot was manic - Sedgies (seen), Blackcap (seen), Grasshopper Warblers (heard to the SE and N of the lake), Whitethroat (heard near the entrance gate) and Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Gold and Chaffinches, Great and Blue Tits, and on the water, 4 Pochard (3M:1F), 3 Mute Swans, half a dozen each of Greylag and Canada Geese and more.

Prestwick Carr was not to busy thou'.  No parakeet, but everal hundred Golden Plover, the Tawny Owl NOT in its usual place, and no sign of the Redstart.  A well camo'ed Army Private chap advised me that I should get the flock out ASAP as the bullets were about to fly!  No need to be told twice!

Beacon Hill Woods - Marsh Tit added to the year's list, but no sign of Tree Pipit nor Redstart (especially as the half of the wood south of the road had three of world's loudest kids doing some form of treasure hunt with two of the world's loudest parents).

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Dapper, Dipper, Dipped!

Mixed bag today (isn't it ever).  The report of a Black Redstart at The Pools was too good to miss, and en route, reports of a Glaucous Gull adult at the back of Cresswell Ices (not literally).  The Glaucous was, then wasn't, then was.  When I arrived, three renowned birders were debating the bird, that was asleep in the sun on the rocks amongst an ebbing tide.  With its side obscured by a Herring Gull and its head resting on its back, the bright white ball of feathers was impossible to i/d (it had been mobile earlier).

Off for the BR - and with the help of three others, the blackthorn patch was scrutinised from all angles whilst the local team of bovine intruders were all over the place, like bulls in a china shop; except some were cows; and the china shop was a patch of shrubs!

After a few minutes, there she was, and as these birds always are, stunning!

So far, the dapper quarry was successfully sought.

And reports from those with optics in the vicinity had the Garganey pair either from the Budge or the South-facing Hide.  3 - 0 from the first leg on Sunday, the aggregate score after today's second leg was Garganey 5 - 0 Liverbirder!  And once again, BirdGuides later had them reported.  Dipped!

Finally, off for a quiet sit by the Blyth at Plessey.  Apart from the traffic over Hartford Bridge, a sunny, still, warm half hour was inspired by the antics of a Dipper, quite superb as it disappeared under the water, returning with scran after a minute or so.

No Groppers calling at Arcot or West Hartford yet.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Better Still

Visited a few local-ish spots this evening.  Beehive Flash was poor -  few Teal and a pair each of Coot and Shelduck.

Backworth Flash had a pair of Canada Geese, a Greylag, three drake Mallards and a pair of Coot.

Next was off to a nearby building to try for the third time for a Little Owl.  Third time lucky?  You betcha...................

Again, the shitty-shotty filter is on so no images, I'm afraid.

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Chin dragging, shoulders slumped, feet shuffling, ornithologically depressed, I ventured north along Prestwick Carr's path to the sentry box this evening, in search of Tawny Owl, Redstart and Gropper.

Success (1 out 3 will do nicely)!

I have a poor excuse for a record shot but 'the system' won't let me upload it (Blogger has a quality filter, no doubt!).

Pound o' shite!

Yep, today's birding was nothing short of one of Viz's Rude Kid's exclamations.

120 mile round trip to Life Tick a warbler, or spend the driving time locally and save fuel.

The latter was winner, and what a mistake.

Added to the year list or otherwise worth seeing - NOWT.

Three attempts at the Garganey; 3 - 0 to the ducks.  And to add insult to injury, they're back now!

Beacon Hill Woods - Dodosville.

Next time, if there is one, it'll be the other option.