Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A brief look back at 2011.

I look back on 2011 as being a good year for me. I have found some really good local areas and hope to seek out more in 2012. A highlight for me was in April when I found a female Ring Ouzel, I was over the moon with this self found sighting. A great feeling! WWT Broadmoor Wood was another highlight in April, the Bluebells looked awesome, another visit on the cards in 2012 will be a must! Anglesey in June was a great trip with Curlew Sandpiper and Common Rosefinch being a real treat to see! My Algarve holiday in June and the fantastic day of Guided Birding in the Alentejo was unforgettable. In July the two sub-adult Tawny Owls that I came across have to be high on my unforgettable moments list of 2011. My weekend in Wales was brill with visits to Ynis-hir, Cors Fochno and the Dyfi Osprey Project with super views of the male Osprey and 3 chicks! September in North Norfolk and my first UK Little Bittern at Titchwell also ranks high on my 2011 list! My October Algarve holiday was a real treat and in glorious sunshine, again a Little Bittern at Quinta do Lago was the highlight but all the birds I see in Portugal are a delight and the same goes for the UK! December has up to now been a good month, with the return of the Winter Thrushes that I have seen on my local walks and also the flocks of Siskins. My birding year hasn't quite finished yet so a post in the New Year will be forthcoming all being well.
All that is left for me to say now is 'Happy New Year and Great Birding to Everyone in 2012!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Holy Cross, Clent, Worcestershire....24/12/2011

A mid afternoon walk along a public footpath at Holy Cross produced Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll(sp), Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit (20+, Goldcrest, Robin, Magpie, Redwing and a mystery bird silently swooping out of trees which was possibly a Tawny Owl, it was too fleeting for a positive ID. The views were splendid and on a clearer day would be even better. A new area for me and one that I hope to keep a check on throughout the changing seasons.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Spring Like Day....22/12/2011

How lovely it was to be out walking in the glorious sunshine this morning, far removed from the dull and gloomy days of late. Two Grey Herons flying overhead were the first sighting as I started my walk in search of the Siskins that I had seen earlier in the week. On the lake were the usual birds minus the Tufted Ducks. There were plenty of Black-headed Gulls on the water and many were bathing, a large flock were in a ploughed field soaking up the sunshine. I caught up with the Siskins as they fed in a stretch of Alders, too many to count as they flitted from branch to branch, Goldfinch were mixed in with them. The sound of the Siskins twittering away as they fed was a pleasure to hear.I scanned the trees for Redpoll but the sun was very bright and for the most part I was looking at silhouettes. Blue and Great Tits were also in the Alders. Other highlight birds today were Long-tailed Tit, Blackbirds (plenty), Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, singing Robin, Jay, Buzzard x 2 soaring, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woopdpecker that I had 3 sightings of possibly the same bird each time.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

An ebert of Siskins....20/12/2011

I intended my visit to the lake again to feed the Ducks etc to be a quick one, I wished once there that I could have stayed a, a lot longer! On arrival 9 Fieldfare passed overhead then as I started to walk towards the lake I was amazed to see in the distance a flock of 90-100+ Siskins! Something must have startled them as they several times wheeled and turned, they looked like a murmuration of Starlings! I watched them for a couple of minutes until they disappeared from view beyond the trees! How I wished that I had more time to spend here and seek out the Siskins and whatever else was around and about, maybe tomorrow or Thursday.
The usual birds were on the lake with the addition of 3 Tufted Ducks (2m,1f). The melee began when the Black-headed Gulls lifted from the water and a nearby paddock! The Canada Geese again got short shrift from the Mute Swan family, I really do feel sorry for! A pair of Mallards where doing a courtship display, nodding their heads (or bobbing their bills) as they faced each other, nice to see. A Yellowhammer was a nice sighting perched on a hedgerow in the sunshine.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Slip, sliding away....17/12/2011

Slip, sliding away is exactly what I did as I journeyed to the Fisheries on this cold and frosty morning! I had spotted a Kestrel hovering and thought I may have the chance of a photo so I started to brake slowly and then the wheels of my car had a mind of their own, black ice!! Fortunately I was not going fast and quickly gained control of my car, unfortunately the Kestrel had moved on! Fieldfares and a few Redwings and Blackbirds fled out of the hedgerows as I continued down the lane, good to see so many Thrushes enjoying the berried hedgerows!
A mixed flock of c60 Siskin and Goldfinch were in flight on arrival at the pools, mainly Siskins! The odd Fieldfare and Redwing passed overhead along with Carrion Crow and Woodpigeons and two Pied Wagtails were feeding alongside the ponies in the paddock. The star birds today were the Bullfinches, 6 or possibly 7 individuals were seen in the hedgerows of trees and shrubs, 4/5 males and 2 females. A distant perched Buzzard was spotted, I normally hear rather than see it of late.
A good early morning walk in the company of my Daughter who 'most unusually' decided an early Saturday morning walk would be refreshing...we both agreed that it was!

A Feeding Frenzy!....15/12/2011

Having been given a bag full of bread from a local ('bacon butty' caravan) I decided that the Black-headed Gulls at Brake Lane would appreciate a crumb or two as the weather had turned cold! To say they made a racket would be an understatement! Mallards, a couple of Coots and Moorhens and of course the Swans were harrassed by the Gulls. One of the adult Swans was busy keeping the Canada Geese at bay, I felt a bit sorry for the Geese! On my way back to my car I inadvertently distubed two Kingfishers that must have been perched in the overhanging trees and shrubs, one took flight over the water and the other over a nearby paddock. I have seen one Kingfisher here through the summer, two was a joy to see if only fleetingly!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Wren around every corner....10/12/2011

A pastel blue sky and pastel pink clouds were a pleasure to see this morning at sunrise though the ground was white with frost and so was my car! After deicing my car I headed for Roman Way. The public footpath at the far end of Roman Way leads to the bridlepath which leads to Bunkers Hill Wood. House Sparrows were plentiful in the hedgerow, a bird I rarely see in my garden now, I thought how lucky the neighboroughing houses were to have so many of these delightful birds in and around their gardens. Several Blackbirds were flicking away at the fallen leaves but quickly taking flight as I neared them, a couple of Greenfinch were also viewed along the path and a small flock of Starlings flew overhead. As I approached the bridlepath I heard the 'teck teck' call of a Wren, then it was in view! A joy to watch are the Wrens as they busily hunt for insects, this particular one was searching in every crevice of a decaying tree trunk stump! I kept happening upon Wrens and I believe there were at least 3 individuals, great to see these sweet little birds, I just hope we do not have a severe Winter for their sakes!
In the small wood alongside the bridlepath were a Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Blackbirds,Blue and Great Tits, Magpies, Woodpigeons and above the canopy Carrion Crows were very vocal! The sun was shining brightly through the wood, it looked so lovely, the fallen leaves and faded vegetation looking particularly colourful! It really was a bitterly cold morning so after an hour or so I made my way back to my car. Walking back along the footpath I had great views of a solitary Fieldfare feeding in a berry tree, it allowed me a couple of photo's then it took flight calling out it's 'chack, chack' call as it flew, such a harsh call compared to the Wren! Along this footpath Waxwings were around for a few days last winter, I will have to keep checking as we head further in to winter.

A cold and frosty morning!

Along the footpath there were several iced over puddles of which I enjoyed stepping in to and cracking the ice! Fortunately nobody was around at the time watching me!

The leaves have all but a few fallen in the wood now making it much easier to see the birds.

One of many Wren sightings.

A random find in a paddock!

It looks cold but a lovely view nonetheless.

All fluffed up against the cold!

Searching through the leaves, one of many Blackbirds encountered this morning.

Honesty Lunaria annua. The disc-shaped seed pods looked a treat as they were backlit by the rising sun.

The solitary Fieldfare

A delightful songster to see and hear at the end of my walk!

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Birmingham 'Bullring Bull'!....09/12/2011

I was amazed when I saw the 'Bullring Bull' today clothed in his 'Christmas sweater'!
A nice touch and very amusing!

Fallow Deer, Hagley Hall.... 06/12/2011

Deers at dawn.

As dawn crests so softly across the morning skies
Soon the warm sunlight will softly begin to rise

Beautiful deers stroll and take a drink at dawn
A strong sense of beauty is their gentle fawn

The two little fawns frolic in the tall green so green
The morning air is full of calmness so softly serene

High above a gorgeous and colorful bird gracefully flies
The beauty of natures sounds and sights go on and on
Seeing the beautiful deers such a delight to be seen

By Starlight1

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

'Sunday Lunch' on the decking!....04/12/2011

'Sunday lunch' on my neighbours decking....partaking was this splendid female Sparrowhawk enjoying a luncheon of Woodpigeon! I wonder what she had for 'afters'?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A train of Jackdaws!....03/12/2011

I waited until the clouds had dispersed somewhat before setting off for Brake Lane this morning with the intention of walking the circular walk of which I had not done for a few weeks. As I swapped my trainers (a matching pair) for my wellies the 'Kronking' of a Raven was the first bird I heard and then viewed as it soared above me! A good start! Black-headed Gulls were perched on the telegraph wires looking like a string of Pearls, not often I see so many perched in this area as they are normally in the fields or on/around the Lake! I was transfixed by them as they jostled for positions on the wires. Carrion Crows and Jackdaws, the Jackdaws especially so, were noisy today with their calls sounding out on almost the entire walk. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew in to a tree ahead of me and I was to see two later on the walk possibly the same two. A small flock of Redwings flew out from a berry tree not to be seen again today. Dunnock, Robin, Jay and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits were also seen before I had reached the bridlepath.
As I walked (well trudged) up the muddy, squelchy bridlepath I spotted a Goldcrest flitting around the pine trees and as I reached the area with a paddock alongside the path I had a delightful sight of a mixed flock of Siskin and Goldfinch feverishly feeding in the Alders.
A Buzzard soared over the paddock and much to my joy...landed in the paddock! I stood and watched it for quite a while as it searched for insects/earthworms, a striking bird and one that I never tire of seeing! I was later to have two more sightings of possibly the same Buzzard, one sighting was a Buzzard flying to and perching on trees that are in a large garden and the next sighting was of one being mobbed by two Carrion Crows. I feel a walk around Brake Lane isn't complete until I have seen a Buzzard, today I was treated to three sightings! Magic!!
At the Lake area were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin (singing), Blackbird, Wren and a Songthrush! On the lake were Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Canada Geese, the Swan pair with their four now very large Cygnets and two Grey Herons flew overhead.

A good walk today in sunshine and at times cloudy weather, I returned home almost three hours later and ready for a warming cuppa!

Spot the birdies!

A strange sighting at the Lake! I wonder what they were comparing?

A train of Jackdaws.