Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Friday, 20 September 2013

A Quiet Morning at Napton on the Hill and Napton Reservoir

Raven Aerial Combat!

I couldn't really decide where to go this morning, so I gave Napton on the Hill a visit. Arriving just after first light, I walked up to the windmill in order to look down on the old brick quarry. New fencing has been erected throughout the area, and a new picnic table and bench has been placed by the "Royal Observer Corps" plaque. It was colder than I thought and a keen westerly wind did its best to annoy me! After a while, this deer appeared, which I have seen before, but don't know if it's wild, captive or escaped.

A number of Buzzards were calling and mobbed by the local corvids for their troubles.

Apart from several Ravens, very little else was seen, so I returned to the churchyard where again it was quite quiet, but I managed to locate a mixed tit flock which included a number of Chiffchaff.

Long Tailed Tit


A walk down towards the horse paddocks did not deliver anything exciting. As I was about to relocate to Napton Reservoir, Paul C and Martin S arrived, I hope they did better than me!

 Napton  Reservoir was quite busy with bank fishermen, dog walkers and of course, the sun light was in my face! Again, not a lot about with a Grey Wagtail at the outlet and a Great Crested Grebe feeding its "stripey" offspring, being the best!

Great Crested Grebe

Overhead, Ravens "honked" with at least 12 birds being seen, a couple of which, entertained with "aerial combat skills"!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Pectoral Sandpiper @ Brandon Marsh

A quick trip over to Brandon Marsh this afternoon in order to touch base with the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper on East Marsh Pool. The bird was located in front of the Wright Hide and challenged my 400mm prime! The images below are record shots of this scarce Warwickshire bird.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Titchwell & Choseley Barns - 11th September 2013.

Sea watching was "challenging"!

"It's a lovely day tomorrow
Tomorrow is a lovely day"  

Well, that's how the song goes! I decided that I needed some Norfolk air in my lungs so at 0330hrs, I was on the road to Titchwell. The forecast was "iffy" but it was the best day for me. I arrived in a near deserted car park at 0600hrs and made my way in the early morning gloom to the beach. Along the way, a Spoonbill was close to the path, but it was too dark for images. Later, ten were on the freshwater pools, distant from the awful Parinder Hide. When I arrived at the beach, the tide was coming in and the waves and wind would be "challenging". The viewing platform has gone and six brave souls had beaten me to it and were huddled in the shelter of the dunes. At least forty Great Skuas and ten Arctic Skuas went through, the beach holding good numbers of Knot, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Bar and Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and Curlew.

A few spots of rain began to fall as I headed back through the reserve, which was to become quite persistent for the rest of the day. It was enough to cause me to enter that awful Parinder Hide for an hour or so! Along the path, a single Yellow Legged Gull was seen. It was from the Parinder Hide that I attempted, in poor light to photograph the waders. Distant, were ten Spoonbills, adopting their typical "asleep" pose!

Black Tailed Godwit


Little Stint

Ringed Plover




Curlew Sandpiper

Taking my chances, with waterproofs donned, I headed for the Fen and Meadow Trails, missing out the Island Hide, which I now regret, as A Jack Snipe was showing well! The Meadow Trail produce a couple of surprises, one being a female Pied Flycatcher and the other being Paul Cashmore! While we were looking to re-find the Pied, Paul located a Spotted Flycatcher. The Fen area and Autumn Trail produced heavy and persistent rain, but the first viewing screens allowed sight of a female Red Crested Pochard plus a Garganey. The walk back gave fleeting glimpses of Bearded Tits and a Cettis Warbler. A singing Chiffchaff was also present.

Leaving Titchwell, I drove up to the Choseley Barns. Initially, it appeared devoid of birds but eventually the hedgerows and fields produced scope views of two Corn Buntings, five Yellow Wagtails, eight Yellowhammers and five Golden Plovers.

A poor day for photography but a good day for birding!

Today's Sightings:

Golden Plover; Yellow Wagtail; Long Tailed Tit; Yellowhammer; Corn Bunting; Grey Lag Goose; Canada Goose; Shelduck; Mallard; Gadwall; Shoveler; Wigeon; Teal; Garganey; Pochard; Red Crested Pochard; Tufted Duck; Common Scoter; Pheasant; Dabchick; Gannet; Cormorant; Little Egret; Spoonbill; Kestrel; Marsh Harrier; Buzzard; Moorhen; Coot; Oystercatcher; Avocet; Ringed Plover; Grey Plover; Lapwing; Knot; Sanderling; Turnstone; Dunlin; Curlew Sandpiper; Little Stint; Green Sandpiper; Redshank; Spotted Redshank; Black Tailed Godwit; Bar Tailed Godwit; Curlew; Ruff; Arctic Skua; Great Skua; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Herring Gull; Yellow Legged Gull; LBB Gull; GBB Gull; Common Tern; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Swallow; House Martin; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Cettis Warbler; Reed Warbler; Chiffchaff; Wren; Spotted Flycatcher; Pied Flycatcher; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Magpie; Jackdaw; Rook; Carrion Crow; Starling; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Greenfinch.