Jan 182019
 

A Firecrest has been present at Attenborough Reserve near Nottingham for nearly 2 weeks. I’ve made two trips to see it and have had some excellent views through binoculars, but so far have failed miserably to photograph it well.

I made a trip to North Norfolk on 12th January, which turned out to be a cracking day with a total of 84 species. Highlights were 27 Shore Lark; small numbers of Long-tailed Duck; Red-breasted Merganser; Eider and Common Scoter; Red-necked Grebe; Marsh Harrier; Spotted Redshank & Greenshank; Avocet; Knot and Brambling. Year List moves on to 127

An adult female Lesser Scaup was discovered in amongst a small flock of Tufted Duck at Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire on 6th January. These North American ducks are quite rare inland, so today (18th January) was my first opportunity to go and see it. The bird showed very well, albeit a little distant for my camera, along the main reservoir causeway. For the first hour of watching, the bird was fast asleep. I was beginning to think it would never put its head up. Eventually it did and showed off all the subtle identification features of this small diving duck. Rumour has it that this is the same bird that I saw in Anglesey during December 2018.

 Posted by at 7:13 pm
Jan 182019
 

My birding year kicked off with a day at Rutland Water in Leicestershire. Some good birds were seen during the day including 2 juvenile Shag; a Red-necked, 2 Slavonian and 2 Black-necked Grebes; a Great Northern Diver; a drake American Wigeon; 5 Smew; a female Scaup; a Jack Snipe and a Snow Bunting. The year list was on 69 at the end of the day.

Juvenile Shags off the dam wall at Rutland Water – January 1st
Snow Bunting off the dam wall at Rutland Water – January 1st
Snow Bunting off the dam wall at Rutland Water – January 1st

Various trips to my local patch at Staunton Harold Reservoir helped to get my site year list off the ground and at the same time added a few year ticks. The highlights being 5 Gadwall; a Little Egret; a Grey Wagtail; Goldcrest; Filedfare; Redwing and Long-tailed Tit.

On 5th January I made a visit to Welney Wildfowl Reserve in Norfolk. A superb day with lots of Whooper Swan; small numbers of Bewick Swan; a drake Ring-necked Duck and over 400 Black-tailed Godwit roosting on one of the mere islands. A small flock of Tree Sparrow were on the feeders by the cafe and there were well over 700 Pochard in front of the main hide.

A pair of Bewick Swan – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Bewick Swan – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Pochard – a drake – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Pochard – a drake – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Ring-necked Duck – a drake – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Whooper Swan – Lots on the reserve at Welney – January 5th
Whooper Swan portrait – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
Whooper Swan – a pair – Welney, Norfolk – January 5th
A typical winter scene at Welney, Norfolk – January 5th

On 6th January I went back to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve at Willington, to try my luck again with the Kingfisher. A few more year ticks were picked up, in addition to Kingfisher, with Cetti’s Warbler; Water Rail; Common SNipe and Reed Bunting

Kingfisher – male – note the all black bill – January 6th

Kingfisher – male – January 6th

A Dusky Warbler had been discovered at nearby Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire. Only a 45 minute drive from home so worth making the effort to see this Siberian warbler. Usually only seen in autumn as a rare migrant, so one inland is a real MEGA.

It was typically skulking and despite good views through the binoculars, I never did get a photo of it. A fine drake Red-crested Pochard on one of the lakes was some compensation. My year list was on 99.

Red-crested Pochard – drake – Kingsbury Water Park – January 7th
Red-crested Pochard – drake – Kingsbury Water Park – January 7th
 Posted by at 4:10 pm
Jan 042019
 

At the end of December 2018, I spent a few hours at a local Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve in the hope of capturing a few images of a Kingfisher.

After a few hours of patiently waiting for the King to take up residence on a favoured perch, I managed to succeed in my quest.

Rounding off 2018 photographing a Kingfisher was a real delight.



Kingfisher – Male – Above 2 images – Derbyshire – December 2018

 Posted by at 4:55 pm
Dec 102018
 

A first winter Red-rumped Swallow was found hawking over the East Bank at Cley Marshes in Norfolk, on 6th December. An extremely late date for this species, but occasionally young birds do make late appearances.

We watched the bird from around 08:50 till around 09:15 when a clear and sunny weather front moved in and soon after the bird disappeared. What was presumably the same bird, was later seen at Gorleston-on-Sea, near Lowestoft early afternoon.

A walk along the East Bank produced Marsh Harrier and lots of Wigeon, but little else. We finished the day off at Titchwell, with lots of Brent Geese and Teal putting on a great show. A few Avocets and the usual ducks and waders.

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Walsey Hills, Cley, Norfolk – photo by Tony Davison©

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Walsey Hills, Cley, Norfolk – photo by Tony Davison©

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW – Walsey Hills, Cley, Norfolk – photo by Tony Davison©

BRENT GOOSEdark bellied formphoto by Tony Davison©

BRENT GOOSEdark bellied formphoto by Tony Davison©

TEAL – drake – photo by Tony Davison©

TEAL – drake – photo by Tony Davison©

GREY PLOVER – winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison©

GREY PLOVER – winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison©

GREY PLOVER – winter plumage – photo by Tony Davison©

GREY SEAL – Cley, Norfolk – photo by Tony Davison©

 Posted by at 7:44 pm
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