Saturday, 18 February 2012


This patch birding is becoming a bit addictive, as well as saving me a hod of fuel and quite some time.  Long may the fascination continue (I'd still drop everything and drive like Cruella if a Lifer was about (unless it's in Gwent)).

West Hartford was somewhere between Predictable and Interesting on the swingometer.  As I walked towards the end of the road, four SEO lifted together and dispersed over the brickhouse field.  Spectacular!

On the water, the usual mix of gulls, Lapwings and Teal, with a nice Shelduck drake for company and four Greylags dropping in as I left.  Two Skylarks were singing.

Arcot was similar.  Gadwall numbered five, Goosander three, and yesterday's five Wigeon had gone.  Plenty of Teal, a handful of Mallards, Moorhens and the usual gulls.  The lane was alive with Bullfinches and a Treecreeper in the large tree to the west of the access gate found a sizeable moth in a recess and thereby enjoyed a late breakfast.

Mrs Greenpecker was still at the BNR, the ponds near the NW corner now alive with frogs (Spring is officially here!), but the undoubted highlight of the morning is this we fella, a flash of white catching my eye as I entered the BNR.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Stars on 45

Had a waxing three quarters of an hour today at Bassington Nature Reserve.

First to catch my eye, a raptor with prey flying N through the trees on the NW corner.  Bins at the ready, emerging from the tree line was a female Kestrel that landed on a security light 30 or so yards away.  So camera and scope on 'quick-fire' mode and a range of images, the best being:

Behind the bird's legs were two, dark grey/black 'pellets', quite a size, a bit like owl pellets.  Me thinks this light is a place the bird likes to rest at.

Next, the familiar call of a Great Spotted Woodpecker that decided to land in a tree close by:

And no surprise what number three in a trio of successes was.........sorry!

Getting More Like V. Meldrew Esq.

I'm getting older, wiser and less patient these days.

After a set-to with a local resident who (wrongly) accused me of letting my dog mess on 'his' grass, today's strop was self-contained but related to a dog walker who 'dared' to get 50 yards ahead of me at West Hartford and let his dog off and consequently any birds were long gone.

The walk started well with Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher along Horton Burn and one SEO on the field at the back of the Fire Station.  Downhill thereafter, I'm afraid, as the man clad in a fluorescent green, knitted hat and similarly 'camouflaged' gloves (the rest of his garb was dark blue) strode in with his mad black labrador and after that, no need to walk any further for me.  Two Mallards made a sharp exit, but I did not hang around to see what else followed.  Teal where whistling away on the SW field, the thaw is certainly welcome.

As for the man with a gait like he was trying to retain a champagne cork between his buttocks (you know, Ronnie Corbett-like), I don't believe it!!!!