Sunday, 12 July 2015

Third Time Lucky

Well it took three visits but I think I am finally happy with my shots of the Red Footed Falcon at Chatterley Whitfield in the wonderful city of Stoke on Trent (well I would say that I am a born and bred Stokie), I also finally saw the Black Redstart! and it was even putting on a show to rival the RFF it was on show soon as I stepped out of the car and a kind chap was waving me over so I hurried over and got to watch this great little chap and the RFF even came to me briefly strangely enough the Black Redstart stayed well out of sight till it disappeared.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Second RFF Visit

Paid another visit to see the Red Footed Falcon, missed out on seeing the Black Redstart but that just means I have another excuse to visit again.
The Red Footed Falcon really did put on a show for everyone there my scope was left back at home as it comes so close there was no need to bring it along for the ride.
The Falcon did really come close in when some chap threw some locusts out for the bird, not sure who he was but to have the Falcon hover over our head was quite a sight and one I wont forget for along time.

Fantastic Falcon

Found out late as usual for me that a Red Footed Falcon had appeared on my door step to some extent within the majestic city of Stoke-on-Trent.
Looking on the map on the rare bird area of the Bird Forum it appeared to be at Chatterley Sidings near Genesis Park which I knew quite well after photographing class 350's on test there.
But it turned out it was actually at Chatterley Whitfield which to some extent no where near where the map had it, bugger!
With the light starting to fade off Gem and me headed and we eventually found the spot after a couple of wrong turns.
The bird was showing really well and at least I didn't have to push a pushchair over fields and across styles to see this one unlike the Willington bird and it was much closer. We watched the bird for about 30 minutes before heading home.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Weeks Holiday

It was the annual family break and this year we headed off to deepest darkest Wales staying not too far away from Porthmadog at Tyddyn Mawr a nice quite place and was just what we needed to unwind from the stresses of work, not a great deal of wildlife was seen from the cottage but we did see Raven, Meadow Pipit, and Grey Wagtail plus House Martin and Swallows were nesting on the cottage and feeding in the fields beside the cottage.

Our main birding day was spent on Anglesey firstly calling at Holyhead Fish Quay were we saw 6 - 8 Black Guillemots plus a seal which had caught a flat fish of some type.

We then headed up to South Stack and picked up the usual sea birds here Razor Bill, Guillemot, Puffin plus Raven, Chough and a Peregrine which was perched up on the cliff along with Linnet, Rock Pipit and Stone Chat around the cliff paths plus Cockchafer, I did spot from the tower briefly a Harbour Porpoise but when I say briefly I do mean briefly.

From here it was our final birding spot of the day Cemlyn Bay for the Tern colonies, we were not lucky enough to see any Roseate Terns but the sound, sight and smell really does hit all of your senses and is always a fantastic place to call in on.

The next bird of any note we saw was by chance we stopped to photograph the river near Beddgelert and we came across a very showy Common Sandpiper calling along the river plus a couple of Grey Wagtails.

And finally the view from our cottage, the weather Gods were even kind to us, we found on our last day a great village called Aberdaron with just off shore the St Tudwal's Island which looked to hold some nice sea birds but we didn't get to explore here much as we just wanted to chill out and enjoy the Sun and Gem wanted to play on the beach, but there's always another year.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Goyt Valley

The Goyt Valley near Buxton is somewhere I enjoy going for a walk but I don't often see much, there are plenty of reports from the area, but the best to date for me and Lesley is a single Tree Pipit and a Common Sandpiper, not quite the stuff of legends.

The weather was not great quite over cast but we weren't in the house and that was the whole idea of just getting out and enjoying the countryside.

We did blunder into a female Redstart that was in a patch of trees by the road by the lake side, which soon took flight once it new it was being watched.

Further along we stopped to enjoy the scenery and just relax and was lucky enough to see a few Tree Pipit and Nuthatch and a rather distant male Redstart, plus we saw quite a few dung beetles we moved off the path so they wouldn't meet their end under the boot of a passing walker.

Doxey Marsh

After missing out on seeing the Corn Crake up at Hale (although I did hear it) Sunday involved staying more local and someone where more Gemma friendly than a road side verge in rural Cheshire, so we headed for Doxey Marsh to feed the ducks and stretch our legs.

Plenty of Warblers were seen on our Walk to and around the reserve White Throat, Sedge, Reed and Willow all being noted with a few Reed Warbler feeding next to the pool we were feeding the ducks in allowing time for me to grab a few shots in between issuing handfuls of seed out.

Further along the track we came across a patch of mud House Martins were collecting building material from, so we sat quietly and were lucky enough to have them coming down no more than a couple of meters ahead of us, Gem thought it was great that they were playing in the mud.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Burton Mere

We headed across to Burton Mere on the Bank Holiday Monday as we didn't fancy driving too far, we did consider Martin Mere but the M6 didn't appeal to either of us so a more leisurely drive to Burton Mere was decided upon.

From the reception hide we were soon pointed in the direction of two male Garganey always a great duck to see, rather distant views but through the scope they looked superb as always.

Also noted were plenty of Godwit and Avocet with chicks a White Throat was seen calling from a near by bush and a Little Grebe swimming in the pool just below the window.

From the screen along the path a Reed Warbler was added to the list, showing briefly before diving back into the reeds.

From the end hide looking across to Inner Marsh we picked a Little Ringed Plover and Little Egret plus another pair of Reed Warbler.

From the path leading to Inner Marsh we gained a couple of Sedge Warbler and another White Throat.

We also picked up a few insects with a few caterpillars noted of the Garden tiger and Scarlet Tiger Moths, we are hoping to see the Moths in a few months as they would be new to us.
Also seen was our first Damsel Fly of the year, the shape of a Blue-Tailed Damselfly.