Tuesday, 30 December 2014

December Green Sandpiper at Big Waters

Went for the normal Sunday walk around Big Waters on Sunday, nice day for a change with plenty of sunshine but just a tad on the cold side.  Now I am sitting here with a bloody awful cold sweating and sneezing profusely.  The highlight of the day was a Green Sandpiper taking off from a small copse we were passing although couldn't get a picture.   Lots of ice on the lake meant that a lot of the ducks were down near the public end and gave quite a good photo opportunity.  3 Song Thrushes (Thanks Alan) were feeding down the public end and also spotted a Song Thrush on the walk round.  A couple of Jays were also heard, 8 Snipe seen with pockets of Siskin scattered around and a couple of single Redpolls.  Long distance view of a possible couple of Pintail (see picture). In the Feeding station a couple of Brambling were seen and the usual Willow Tits were in and out.  Here are a few pictures from the day.

One of the 3 Song Thrushes
A lady decided to feed the birds at the public end which brought
quite a lot down for a morsel of bread
Including this quite well hooded Black headed Gull
The Tufted seemed to be doing a bit of diving also
A nice looking male Goldeneye also came down for a bite
to eat but was soon off
Gulls and Wigeon stayed more in the centre on the ice
On the walk round we came across 3 lots of Siskin feeding
These 2 duck (possible pintail) were spotted at a distance by
Alan but changed course when an aeroplane came a bit 
close to them whilst they were giving the pond the once over

A couple of Brambling in the feeding station

On the way home Ian and I spotted a Hare stretching its legs
Finally will the person who uses the hide and has a bit of a 
runny nose problem please cease throwing their used Kleenex
out the hide window.  The following picture is only about a 
third of the used tissues that were deposited immediately under
the windows facing the scrape.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Big Waters - 14 December 2014

It was a tad cold at Big Waters on Sunday and Monday but thank god the forecast strong South Westerly Winds didn't materialise.  There was enough time on Sunday for the Short Walk with Ian D, Alan J and Graeme and on Monday an hour in the hide with John D who was ringing and catching quite a few birds (albeit mainly Blue Tits).  Too cold to sit so went for a walk round the public end which was curtailed after 10mins by a brief strong shower.  So then headed off back home to clean out the shed (isn't life fun when your on holiday).  So here are a few pictures from the 2 Days.

Collared Dove by the Football Car Park
Poor little Ducks with their tootsies freezing

Plenty of the small stuff around also

My Lumix FZ72 stopped working (well the viewing screen) so have sent it off for repair so had to resort to one of my older Bridge Cameras hence the following video, which is not of my usual standard, was taken on Sunday, as I always do just to keep a record of what was around.  This week the Otters were out again spending a fair amount of time frollicking around near the island.  Lots of Teal, plenty of other Ducks swimming around, plenty of Tree Sparrows and a couple of Willow Tits.  Hopefully I will be getting out and about a bit more as the holiday period arrives

Big Waters - 14 December 2014

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Big Waters in Technicolor (The Sun was out)

Following on from the Otter video on my last blog I had firstly dropped into Little Waters where there was quite a decent representation of wildlife with at least double figures of Blue Tits, a couple of Wrens, Chaffinches, a few Redwing and Fieldfare moving through and 3 Swans on the water itself.  The usual flock of "Doves" were being put through their early morning calisthenics for the whole 15mins I was there.  Will have to go and have a walk around properly next week instead of just standing on the bridge.

Big Waters was very productive with some great views of a Grey Wagtail, lots of Geese but sadly no sign of the White-fronted seen earlier on in the week.   The Swan count was in the mid 40s but still plenty of feathered life on the pond moving around constantly with the Otters passing through, low flying Buzzards and Sparrowhawks having a saunter or perching just in view which keeps everything on its tippy toes, much to the mild annoyance of AJ as he tries to do the counts.  The feeding station was also very busy with the Tree Sparrows much in the fore, at least 4 Reed Buntings, Woodpeckers etc but the star of the show and my first viewing of the winter of a Brambling completed the day.

With reference to the mysterious yellow bird that flew through Big Waters airspace last weekend, it came a tad closer early Sunday morning and I managed a quick shot which shows a partial view of its Darvic Ring on its rear leg.  Hope this will do Keith to back up another flythrough tick of your "other patch"

Great chat this week as we went round especially with a guest appearance of the 
Manic Meanderer who regaled us with descriptions of his new abode, beers he has drank, beers he is drinking and beers he will drink (all with bird names, purely for ornithological interests).

Finally I haven't done a general video of Big Waters for a while despite being continually hassled by AJ so I eventually succumbed to his pleading so here it is (including Brambling)
in glorious technicolor (apart from a very small section of Tree Sparrows in B&W which I think looks rather nice)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Big Waters - Otters

Got out for a couple of hours yesterday to Big Waters where the sun was out for a while which made the walk even more enjoyable than usual.  Quite a lot seen but I will put a few pictures up later on.  On return to the hide the Mother Otter and her 2 Cubs were out playing but once again down near the island and at one stage all 3 were on the island so everything departed apart from a Swan which just looked at them with disdain and only seemed to get a bit concerned when they got close to her.  I took a video of some of it but it was from the back of the hide as I couldn't get a front row seat because of all the youngsters sitting there getting all excited watching them.  You will hear them in a section of the video but had to take out most of the sound due to ............  The youngsters in the hide included Alan J, Ian D, Keith, Graeme and Mick M who seems to split his time between home and hide equally.  So here is the video: