Thursday, 30 December 2010

Catch up

Just quick update on the ringing fornt-
Bluti 5; Bramb 1; Bullf 1; Chaff 1; Coati 1; Greti 3; Grswo 3; Tresp 1; Yellowhammer 1.

Not many nets, and a Misty day, not out ringing long so a brilliant total!
Bullfinch was a first, as was AD Tresp and Yellowhammer. 17 birds.

Reed Bunting 3
Blackbird 1
Robin 2
Nuthath 1
Great Tit 3
Long Tailed Tit 3
Treecreeper 1
Brambling 2
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 1

19 birds, quite good as we only had 4 nets up, and a large amount of ringers.

Possibly to Rainton Meadows tomorrow, trying for the Arctic Redpoll before the end of the year.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Ringing and Rares

Went out ringing with my trainer yesterday, in Yorkshire, amazing day, and considering we didn't have many nets up, quite a few birds. Heres the total-

7 Coal Tits
3 Blue Tits
2 Great Tits
1 Robin
1 Long Tailed Tit
1 Redwing- My 3rd
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker-my 2nd
1 Brambling- my 1st
(BTW thats my personal total)

Today I was out late, and headeed to RSPB Saltholme.
We went straight to the Wildlife Watch point and saw the Water Rails- one bird was on show nearly the whole time I was there. STunning birds, they come out and feed on Bananas put out by the wardens when the pools freeze over, and there is a considerable amount of them in the area. We then started heading up towards the Owl watchpoint> On the way we were told that a BITTERN was showing well on the way. It gave brilliant views, and apparently had been there for TWO HOURS fishing and feeding.
The owls showed well two- One on an exposeed branch!!

Friday, 24 December 2010

New Garden Ticks

Exiting day today, without going to far. Walked into the Local village to get the last of the Christmas Shopping and some bird food. Its freezing out there!!!
Anyway, on the way back my Grandma spotted a tiny Coal Tit hunting for food in a snowy hawthorn bush. I felt so sorry for it, and with these temperatures, I think rightly so. Further on we spotted a bird that is 'unusual' in my are- a female Bullfinch, again in a Hawthorn. In the past 6 years I have seen 6 individuals (counting this one), so a fair rarity!
As I was watching the feeders a large flock of birds (maybe 50?) flew over my estate and 3 dropped down into my garden. WAXWING!!!! They stayed there for about a minute, giving ok view from the top of the tree. I have seen afew this year, but these gave the best views and they were in my garden!
We then put some more food out- small amounts of bread, Raisins, Apple Oranges and some seed. Almost instantly this brought in Garden tick No. 2- Jackdaw, the first actually in the garden. There was a pair, flanked by 2/3 rooks, 12+ Blackbirds, Woodpigeons, 2 Dunnocks, Robins and finches and tits. A good day considering there was no birding intended :)

Thursday, 23 December 2010


Nice walk at a new reserve for me, RAINTON MEADOWS DWT, with my Grandparents and Mum.
Started late, and we ddin't get there until about one. We began our walk with what sounded like a single waxwing calling, though we could not see it. We headed to the hide and began scanning over the pool, but it wsa frozen over and there was no sign anything was there, or had been there, so we headed off (although a had scanned the reeds!)We started heading down into an area of trees in search of our target bird, Mealy Redpoll. We soon spotted a large flock of mixed finches furhter on, so we headed over quick. When we caught up with the flock, we met another birder who showed us where they had landed (THANKS!) and told us this was the large flock that was mainly Mealy Redpoll that had been spotted! I soon picked out quite a few of these beauties, which are paler than the commoner (In Britain anyway) Lesser Redpoll and soon picked out some birds that were clearly Mealy, including an Adult male, with a bright red crown, chest and onto its belly. for the competition, this was my 246th bird of the year, but on my personal list it was my 251st. This was all fine, but I soon came across my first ID problem. A Bright white Redpoll flitted into sight, showing a low levels of streaking on the flanks, belly and back (including head and neck). I imediatly thought that this bird was different. Then it gave me a flash of its rump, and it seemed really pale, with little streaking. The bird soon flew of without giving me good views of its face or undertail coverts so I couldn't be sure which species I was looking at. Along with Redolls I had brilliant views of Siskins and Golfinches which were feeding along with them. I turned back, and i saw a single Roe Deer runnig across the far hillside with a blizzard close behind. Magical.

I'll have to find how to put pictures on here, I don't know how yet, although I haven't been on that many times. Advice?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

OK... I haven't put anything on in ages!!
Well, my new years resolution is going to be to keep up with my blog, as much as possible.
Yesterday I went to Saltholme to see the LONG EARED OWLS that roost there, as they are one of my favourite birds. Arrived there quite late (Around lunch time) and we signed up for the owl walk and headed out onto the reserve with one of the wardens.
On the way to the roost site we popped into the WILDLIFE WATCHPOINT HIDE to see the WATER RAILS that feed right next to the hide (on BANANAS!!!!!) and straight away two came out onto the ice, maybe two Metres away. They stood next to each other, and sometimes they mirrored each others movements. They stood there for about 5 minutes and then ran back into the reeds. We then went back out and turned the corner into a mixed flock of thrushes feeding on berries. Aparrently there was meant to be 400 Fieldfares in that flock alone! We stood and watched for a while before walking up to the owl roost site, where one bird was on show (and showing well). We all got amazing views of this stunning bird, and once you knew where to look it was actually quite easy to spot. On the way back to the Visitors centre, We watched a fox (quite distant) run at full speed towards the far side of the reserve, and within a metre of a hare (I was suprised the fox just ignored it). When we got back to the visitor centre we went to the cafe for lunch. The cafe gives brilliant views over the main lake. In summer Hundreds of Sand Martins hunt around it, while greenshanks chase fish, and in the winter Gulls and ducks float on the water. There was a small gap in the ice and a group of swans, Geese and ducks were sat around. Then a fox ran over and started 'herdig' them, trying to catch one of them. When it was mobbed though, they it ran towards the visitors centre and came within a metre of all the people inside. Then it wandered over to the bird feeder and started trying to get some of the fruit. It was amazing to watch, and also (Definatly) my third fox of the day :)