Sunday, 13 May 2018

Cannock Chase

Having not bin to the Chase for quite some time and still not being able to see any Cuckoo around Hanchurch we decided to try Cannock Chase this always being a reliable location for us in the past.

We started off around Freda's Grave and soon as we got out of the car we could hear a couple calling around us one sounding quite close just into the Valley which we soon located.  Calling from a Birch just at the top of the valley just before the paths descend into the valley.

 As we walked down into the Valley we came across a pair of Stone Chat collecting food for their young.

About half way down we came across our first Tree Pipit in the end between Freda's Grave and the Glacial Boulder we saw at least 5 Tree Pipit in total and around 3 Cuckoo

As we walked back up to the car we came across another showy pair of Stone Chats

 The Cuckoo that had been at the top of the valley was now half way down and the resident Tree Pipits were not happy to see it.

We decided to have a comfort break at the visitor centre on the way there we were lucky enough to spot a small group of deer

We still had not seen a single reptile although we had done our best to see any so we decided to move along to the spot we had previously noted Slow Worms around the Punch Bowl it was nice and peaceful walking towards the main body of the Chase through the wooded area seeing a couple of Black Cap and a single Gold Crest

Getting to the end of the track I heard a Wood Warbler calling so it was then a case of tracking it down, I eventually found it and even managed to grab a few shots.

Over all a great day out and a nice haul of birds.

Doxey Marsh

Last time we visited although we saw the odd Summer Wader there weren't that many around so we popped down to try our luck again.

Over on Creswell Flash we saw a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, Oystercatcher and few Lapwing with plenty of Sedge Warbler in the reed beds along with the odd White Throat and Reed Bunting.

Further along the track just before the main body of the reserve we saw very briefly a Lesser White Throat that was calling from a Bramble patch.

Also noted around the reserve were numerous Reed Warbler, Swift, Swallow and Black Cap.


We decided to head for a morning to Consall to hopefully see a few Summer migrants and have a nice pub lunch at the Black Lion as well.

As we drove down the bank we stopped off at the "normal" Redstart spot we at the time couldn't hear anything but furth down we did hear a Pied Flycatcher.

Walking into Booths Wood we saw a pair of Pied Flycatchers, they looked like they were still setting up their territory (this time last year they had already picked a nest box), we also heard and saw another couple of males around the wood always to high up in the canopy for any shots but nice to watch in amongst the Blue Bells. 

Walking back up the track we did eventually see the male Redstart in its usual tree which added to the tally for the day then it was time for lunch.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Scaup and Brent Geese

After reports of 7 Scaup and 14 Brent Geese kept comin in all week at West Kirby Marine Lake kept coming in it seemed the logical place to go on Mothers Day after all where else would a Mum want to be taken?
Lucky for me Lesley does enjoy seeing birds and wildlife in general so it didn't take much to persuade that it was the right place to head for.

Soon as we arrived we could see the Brent Geese just loathing around at the Town end of the lake and nice and close in no need for bins to look or watch these dainty little geese. They even came close into the shore to feed on weed growing on the pontoons and lake side.

The Scaup were also easy to locate being just the other side of the lake again around the pontoons and were extremely approachable allowing me to sneak along the pontoons each time they dived I would head further out along the pontoon. They were so close I could almost touch them.

After here to decided to head for Burton Mere Wetlands for lunch a Snipe was nicely on show just below the reception hide with quite a few Avocet around the pools and the Black Headed Gulls pairing up and staking out their territories.