Thursday, 29 November 2012

Quick one..

Sorry I've been a touch absent on here recently, a combination of sheer laziness, lack of new images and issues concerning photo upload space is probably the best explanation!
I imagine I'll get everything resolved within the next few days so expect an enormous post summing up the last few weeks in the near future.

In very recent news there was a Hawfinch showing shockingly well in Egleton carpark for long periods today, I chanced upon it at around 1.30pm after dropping off four visitors at the visitors centre who had managed to get stuck inside the new 360 hide, quite an achievement! I was returning back towards the new lagoons when I noticed a small crowd of people in the carpark staring intently towards the toilet obviously I took a short detour to join them and soon afterwards (via a generous lend of a pair of binoculars) Hawfinch was on the county list. Smashing!
I got a couple of truly terrible shots of the beast on my phone but I'm sure someone will have scored some great shots of it today, shame it wasn't me!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Its that time of the week again...

So it must be time for a blog post!

Another week has flown by at work, had even less oportunities to see any birds this week too, thanks to my partner for the week;


If you haven't already surmised, last week was my chainsaw training, and birds don't tend to enjoy petrol-fueled rage saws that create a fair bit of "disturbance" whilst in use, not to mention the addition of chainsaw boots/trousers/gloves/helmet/visor that make it almost impossible to move, yet alone see or hear anything that isn't a chainsaw or a tree.

So all in all, very few birds from the reserve to report! There were some in fairness.....Caspian Gulls on Lag 4 and Jack Snipe on Lag 3 for example, but as I didn't see any of them I won't mention them any further!

I did get a chance to have a short Badger watch during the week however, four individuals were seen and briefly photographed before the Hooded Birder vacated the hide in favour of a Shepherds Pie and a bag of Revels.

Which brings me nicely to this weekend, today mainly, where I got to do some birding! The garden has jerked into life in the past week after a very quiet period, the Bullfinch plague has ended for now but over the weekend 3 Coal Tit have been visiting, along with brief glimpses of a Goldcrest, male Blackcap and around 150 Fieldfare moving west, so things are looking up!

I also did a spot of twitching this afternoon - *I had planned all along to nip across the border into Northants this afternoon to Maidwell on the hunt for Short-eared Owls and after a quick poke in the arse was obtained by news of the Black-throated Diver showing well at Stanford res (en route to Maidwell), I got moving and headed over.
Once at Stanford the Diver was found relatively quickly from the bridge over the inflow channel - about half a mile away near the raft in the middle of the main water. Then it did the usual Diver behaviour - being a right pain to keep track of, whilst working it's way closer and closer back towards the inflow.
In the end it paused just off the inflow stream, shockingly close to the car-park and allowed some, im sure you'll agree, glorius images to be obtained on my phone;

Needless to say, this was a county tick

Added to both Northants and Leics lists at the same time by sneakily running back and forth over the inflow channel, very nice

I did carry on to Maidwell in the end on the hunt for owl, the area must have received about a months rain over the past day-or-so, most minor roads were rivers and my route twice got blocked by flooded sections. When I finally got to the site a Barn Owl was quickly seen but that was as good as it got, so still no Shorties for the Hooded Birder. This time last year I'd seen loads, and this year everyone seems to have seen one already, except me! Life isn't fair.....

*All along in this case refers to around 2 hours after the original plan of Ring-necked Duck at Rutland was abandoned on the grounds that it had managed to get lost in the legions of Tufted Duck and I didn't fancy being the one trying to re-find it. Also, the nerve of the little blighter being found on a day when I wasn't at's just inconsiderate really.