Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Waxwings (6) at Cubbington!

Having spent the morning walking around Draycote in the fog and seeing very little except fog, I was not in the best of moods! A Blue Whale could have been in the centre of the water but invisible! Wondering what or if I could do to update my blog, my RBA text alert informed me of six Waxwings at Cubbington. This winter, Waxwings are about as rare locally as rocking horse sh** poo, so I grabbed camera and bins and headed out at a speed that the ambulance service would have been proud of in reaching the standard for a 999 call! I arrived at the junction of Rugby Rd and Pinehurst but nothing could be seen and the light was apalling! I heard the characteristic "trilling" call and a single Waxwing land in the berry tree opposite my parking spot. This bird was then joined by a further five and all six toured the area, visiting the berry tree. In good light, the image potential would have been excellent. On this occasion, I had to use my tripod, high ISO, and battle low speed to get some record shots. THe birds remained for about 45mins before flying NE, probably to roost. I offer below some sample record shots. Keep 'em peeled they are about. I've now got four days working so extremely pleased I could touch base today.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Thank you for your comments.

Thank you to everyone who has left me a comment on my blog. The comment is sent to my phone so I can read it and also I can access it from the comments area of dashboard. Unfortunately, when I click on comments on the actually blog, the reply screen appears briefly and then disappears to a blank screen. No idea what the problem is, but with limited time, I may not be able to resolve this quickly.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog and leaving your comment.

NB: Thanks to Shysongbird, I have changed my comments settings to pop up - now I can read and reply to comments! Fingers crossed it will continue!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Draycote Water

Drake Smew

My first visit of the year to Draycote Water was pleasantly mild but rather dull and poor light. My main aim was to touch base with drake Smew which was located off Draycote Bank between the valve tower and inlet.

Drake Smew

While watching the Smew, a Grey Wagtail flew in and "posed" on the rocks for a while, much to the annoyance of a Pied Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail

Pied Wagtail



While on Farborough Bank, five Golden Plovers flew over towards the A426 but did not land.

Interestingly, I spoke to a group of contractors while watching the Smew off Draycote Bank. Apparently, there have been complaints from the sailing club about the low water levels, and they have had their pleasure disrupted by running aground. The contractors have been tasked with constructing another water inlet (not sure where from) but the water level is to be raised by one meter asap! Hmmmmmmmmm!

Todays Sightings:

Great Crested Grebe; Dabchick; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Wigeon; Mallard; Gadwall; Teal; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Goosander; Smew; Goldeneye; Buzzard; Pheasant; Coot; Moorhen; Golden Plover; Lapwing; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; LBB Gull; GBB Gull; Wood Pigeon; Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Redwing; Goldcrest; Long Tailed Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Starling; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Rook; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Bullfinch; Goldfinch; Linnet.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


For some reason, I am unable to read or reply to comments left on my Blog. A big thank you to those who take the trouble to write, I am not ignoring you! I've no idea what the problem is!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Short Eared Owls

Who can resist these fantastic Owls? A return to Maidwell was well overdue and I needed to try out my new Canon 400mm 5.6 lens. Of course, some of the big lenses had to get closer!

Short Eared Owls

Eyebrook Reservoir

Today was my first real days birding this year, and with a reasonable forecast, I headed up to Eyebrook Reservoir. Of course, the forecast was wrong, and I needed to dodge some fairly heavy rain showers. However, the reservoir was teaming with wildfowl, but the regular Green Winged Teal eluded me yet again.

It was good to see a large number of Pintail, and a drake Smew which took some finding. A large flock of Tree Sparrows graced the feeding area with a good number of Yellowhammer. Few waders were found with solitary Redshank and Ruff.

Best bird was undoubtedly a Peregrine, bathing off the island.

Todays Sightings:

Mute Swan; Mallard; Coot; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Green Woodpecker; Great Crested Grebe; Grey Lag Goose; Common Gull; Dunnock; Grey Heron; Tufted Duck; Collared Dove; Cormorant; Wigeon; Lapwing; Pied Wagtail; Wren; Moorhen; Teal; Canada Goose; Blackbird; Goldeneye; Kestrel; Skylark; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pochard; Shelduck; Stock Dove; Robin; Gadwall; Pintail; Ruff; Redshank; Buzzard; Smew; Song Thrush; Pheasant; Peregrine; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Redwing; Rook; Magpie; Red Legged Partridge; Chaffinch; Tree Sparrow; Jackdaw; Blue Tit; Fieldfare; Starling; Carrion Crow; Raven; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Bullfinch; Linnet; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Canon 400mm 5.6 Prime Lens

After much deliberation a decision had to be made! I now own a Canon 400mm 5.6 prime lens. All I need now is some time off to put it through its paces. I live in hope!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Beginning

A tranquil start to 2012

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Pleasant Start to 2012


Having worked for most of Christmas and the New Year, I was desperate to get out for a quiet stroll. I knew Draycote and Brandon would be teaming so I settled on an outside of my normal area farmland walk. The weather was very pleasant, mild, sunny and a brisk wind. I was entertained by a Fox, intent on a good lunch and very successful (he) was too! It was also good to see three Short Eared Owls, albeit briefly, which seemed intent on teasing by short flights before hiding in the long grass.

A good start to 2012 - unfortunately I will back at work again for four long shifts this week so getting out is very unlikely!