Saturday, 1 March 2014

Local Rewards - Mark Powell

I spent a very pleasant couple of hours in Spring like conditions at Sandbach Flashes (local to me). Arrived around midday and added a couple of Flashes year ticks.  On the way home I decided to take a look around Doddington Lake and make the most of the nice weather.  Stopping at one of the viewing areas I set my scope up and at first all seemed pretty quiet.  A quick scan amongst the Canada Geese showed up five Pink-footed Geese and a Ruddy Shelduck, a nice way to round off the afternoon. 




 Fieldfare



Pink-footed Geese amongst the Canadas

Friday, 28 February 2014

Red-flanked Bluetail


Where does the time go? A week has passed since a work trip to Somerset allowed me to make a short detour to see the long staying Red-flanked Bluetail.  I have seen this species before but never had good views, so welcomed the opportunity to spend a while viewing this one that had been showing well.  The parking site was easy enough to find and a muddy stroll along the side of a small stream, which I believe separates Wiltshire from Gloucestershire, was pleasant enough.  As I was the only birder on site it wasn't a quick "straight on the bird" as I was hoping.   After ten minutes I had located the bird feeding on the edge of a bush and dropping down to the ground to feed on what looked like mealworm.  I enjoyed watching the bird for ten minutes on my own and was able to snap a record shot, shown here.  Shortly after the bird disappeared, so I was glad I had hauled the camera to the site.  Other birds of note seen were Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, Raven Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker 




 Red-flanked Bluetail

 Grey Wagtail

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Myrtle Warbler In County Durham

Last week the chance to twitch the first Mainland Myrtle Warbler in 20 years at High Shincliffe, County Durham was too much to resist. A 5am start from Cheshire with Dave Robinson "Robbo",  "Uncle" Phil Woollen and "Big Al" Orton was on the cards. Following an uneventful journey, we arrived on site at 8am and duly followed the on site parking instructions.  There was quite a crowd so it was easy enough to "follow the birder in front" to a corner of a small housing estate, where we were told to keep an eye on some coconut feeders that had been strategically placed in the mature hedgerow. We only had to wait 2 minutes and there it was!  feeding on the food provided.  Good scope views were enjoyed by all the party for approx. 10 minutes (happy days) before the warbler Disappeared. 

Phil was after a picture of the Myrtle Warbler so wanted to hang around, whilst I took the opportunity to have a walk around the edge of the estate enjoying an hour or so with 3 Waxwing that were frequenting the berry trees.  All in all a good birding trip with friends.  I would just like to say thank you to the residents of the estate for there co-operation with parking etc. and to Phil for the photos of the Myrtle Warbler shown in this post.      


 Myrtle Warbler (photo by Phil Woollen)

 Myrtle Warbler  (photo by Phil Woollen)

 Dunnock

 Waxwing

 Waxwing

 and again

last one