Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a very Happy and
prosperous New Year

"First Light" Brandon Marsh

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Just a "Foggy" Day..................

Back to normal then, - a day off and its foggy! Well its nearly the end of the year so I was determined to make the most of it, and still needing Brambling for my year list, decided to visit Harrington Airfield.

Driving towards Harrington, the foggy conditions appeared to be lifting, but as I arrived at the parking point, it was still rather thick. I decided to carry my camera (just in case!) but left my scope in the car as its use would be nil. Indeed, I struggled with my bins and the camera was not used.

Someone had placed seed near the gate and as I arrived, I could see a large number of finches taking advantage. Year tick - Brambling, not one, not two, but at least twenty males and females in the company of Chaffinch's, Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings (all in very good numbers). At the end of my walk, I had seen at least forty Bramblings!

The fog was not lifting but I decided to walk the old airfield. I was so glad I did as I picked up another year tick in a ring-tailed Hen Harrier, hunting the transmitter field, much to the annoyance of the hundreds of Corvids and Wood Pigeons.

It was "Just a Foggy Day"! but i'm glad I went.

Todays Sightings:

Blackbird; Dunnock; Redwing; Fieldfare; Yellowhammer; Chaffinch; Brambling; Carrion Crow;Wood Pigeon; Magpie; Reed Buntingt; Robin; Green Woodpecker; Jay; Hen Harrier; Rook; Linnet; Jackdaw; Pheasant; LBB Gull; Wren; Kestrel; Skylark; Pied Wagtail; Bullfinch; Greenfinch; Black Headed Gull; Buzzard.

Monday, 27 December 2010

The River Avon Bittern - Newbold on Avon

It was not what I expected! Getting ready to go out to work, a phone call from John Judge alerted me to the Bittern he had found on the River Avon at Newbold. Could I make it? You bet I could and I was soon enjoying the sight of the Bittern, in the open, on the river, with John, Richard and Dave. Fantastic! However work was calling and I could not stay very long.

The Icicle

Friday, 24 December 2010

Waxwings - Hillmorton

Reports of Waxwings in Hillmorton (to be more local they would have to be in my garden!) led me to loiter on a street corner, freezing cold, in hope. Soon, eight Waxwings appeared, dropping down to the small berry trees outside the Croft Salon near Fenwick Drive. It was a very busy spot with many clients attending the salon, pedestrians and a very busy road. Amazingly, out on nowhere another ten arrived making eighteen. Fantastic. The only problem was the light and again I struggled to get the speed necessary to freeze the movement of these super performers. One day, my luck may change!

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Some Garden Birds

With the rather horrid snowfall of late, I decided not to stray far from the house, instead taking the opportunity to photograph a few birds frequenting the garden.

Pied Wagtail


(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Seasons Greetings

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Friday, 17 December 2010

More LOCAL Waxwings - Cawston

Three becomes four!

Yet another promising morning deteriorates into chaos with heavy snow falling for a brief period. Still, time to pop out and get the wifes Christmas present. Oh what fun it is to buy some sexy knickers and take them to the very young, male assistant and say "if these don't fit ME will you exchange them"! Then say he ought to see a doctor as the last time I saw a face that red, the temperature was over 40C!

Any way job done - and i'm not revealing the "real" present!. And so, it was out to Cawston to see if I could get some better images of the Waxwings. To cut a long story short, the answer is NO! This may have been because the light was still apalling and the birds seemed more flighty. This could have been the constant stream of traffic passing by slowly, some thinking I was a mobile speed camera unit, or the fact that the farmer was doing things to a flock of sheep close by in the adjoining field.

Anyway, four Waxwing were present with an accompanying cast of many Redwings, Fieldfares, a Mistle Thrush and Long Tailed Tits.

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

More LOCAL Waxwings

Not another photographer!

Having left a gloomy Draycote Water, I decided to have another look for local Waxwing. At the moment, they are proving rather elusive and it is a case of being in the right place at the right time. Driving through Cawston, I spotted two birders looking up at the trees, managed to park and was soon looking at three obliging Waxwings. The only problem was the light - it was a mixture of gloom and brightness, making clear images a challenge! I apologise for the poor quality of the images of these fantastic birds.

(More Images can be seen on my Website - see link opposite)

Draycote Water - The Gloom got Gloomier!

The day showed promise so it was off to Draycote Water. Unfortunately, the promise was short lived and deteriorated into gloom which then became gloomier! Indeed, the dry morning soon became rather drizzly, but I persevered and walked the perimeter. Met up with Alan A on Hensborough Bank ( Alan can you contact me?). The drake Smew was off Farborough Bank with a large number of Goosander (40+). Shoveler numbers were up with four males and two females as were numbers of the expected duck species. The shoreline just before Lincroft Point held five Dunlin. Where are the Divers this year?

A list of sightings can be seen at the end of this post.

Drake Smew






(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Todays Sightings:

Carrion Crow; Redwing; Wood Pigeon; Bullfinch; Blackbird; Chaffinch; Fieldfare; Black Headed Gull; Wren; Goldfinch; Cormorant; Mallard; Moorhen; Coot; Canada Goose; Teal; Tufted Duck; Pied Wagtail; Lapwing; Jackdaw; Dabchick; Great Crested Grebe; Gadwall; Goldeneye; LBB Gull; Goosander; Rook; Wigeon; Smew; Mute SWan; Shoveler; Common Gull; Great Tit; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Robin; Magpie; Starling; Pochard; Dunnock; Dunlin; Siskin; Jay; Kestrel; Treecreeper; Goldcrest; Grey Heron; Green Woodpecker; Linnet; Greenfinch.

Local Waxwings at Last!

In the gloom of a very dull and drizzly morning, I managed to touch base with a solitary Waxwing in Rugby (May Lane / Addison Road junction. This bird called from the tall trees before coming down to feed on the roadside berry trees. The exact spot that I had Waxwings in December 2008 / January 2009. Well pleased to see but no images. Even at 1600 ISO I could only manage a speed of 80!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Draycote Water

Draycote Water this afternoon was sunny, bitingly cold but pleasant and begged me to be part of it. Having recently suffered illness, it was my intention to have a gentle walk to the valve tower and back. In the carpark, I met up with Dave Hutton who had been photographing Redwings and we set off in search of a reported Sanderling.

On the shoreline, just in front of the windsurfing area, I spotted a Dunlin and next to it was the Sanderling. The Sanderling was nervous and soon took to flight in the direction of the north shore. The Dunlin was more obliging and provided some excellent photographic opportunities. Continuing to the valve tower, another two Dunlin were spotted by the inlet and comment was made on the increasing numbers of Goosanders present. The drake Smew was observed near the valve tower but took some persuading in coming close, but offered a record shot of my first one of the winter. On return to the windsurfing area, the Sanderling had returned and provided some excellent photographic opportunities. Also of note were two Muntjac Deer below Hensborough Bank.

A list of species seen can be found at the end of this post.




(More images can be found on my website - see link opposite)

Todays Sightings:

Great Crested Grebe; Dabchick; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Wigeon; Mallard; Gadwall; Teal; POchard; Tufted Duck; Goosander; Smew; Goldeneye; Buzzard; Sparrowhawk; Kestrel; Coot; Moorhen; Sanderling; Dunlin; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; GBB Gull; LBB Gull; Wood Pigeon; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Blackbird; Redwing; Fieldfare; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Starling; Magpie; Rook; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Bullfinch; Yellowhammer.