Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Biscay for ten days!!

As of tomorrow evening I will be on my annual Biscay trip and will be on the Pride of Bilbao for the next ten days.
I'm hoping for some excellent sightings and will let you know what I see over the next ten days in the Bay of Biscay.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Full Monty!

A juvenile Monty's Harrier honest!!
Following info via the LROS website, a text from Andy Mackay and a phone call from John Hague I drove over to Burrough Hill CP, as Andy was watching a Harrier Sp flying over the hill.
As I got to the hill fort I saw Andy scoping the bird over the nearby pines, joining him I picked up the Harrier as it flew away down the valley.
Although it was a Harrier but what species could it be, was it a Juvenile Monty's Harrier or even possibly a Pallid Harrier?!
Andy had taken a few record shots of the bird and it looked pretty good for a Pallid Harrier, which was good for me as it would have been a county tick.
At this point we were joined by Steve Lister and Andrew Harrop who had just missed the bird as it flew over the ridge.
Over the next half an hour or so the bird didn't show and we thought that maybe the bird had buggered off to the south. Andy left us to go home and check his photos of the Harrier to see if it was a Pallid Harrier?
Then all of a sudden I noticed a Harrier Sp flying just behind the nearby ridge of the hill and I got Steve and Andrew on to the bird, but the id was still inconclusive!!
At this time Ben Croxtall and Iain Tidmarsh turned up and I told them that the Harrier had been seen again over the nearby ridge and within five minutes the bird reappeared below us in the cornfields at the bottom of the hill.
This time the ID was finally clinched as the group happily watched a Juvenile Montagu's Harrier flying slowly and then landing in the nearby fields.
For the next twenty minutes the Monty's sat in the field eating some carrion and then slowly flying around the fields until we lost it from view.
As it was a county tick for most of the group everybody were pretty happy at the sighting.
The bird wasn't a county tick for me but I must admit Montagu's Harrier is probably my favourite Raptor.
I phoned John again to let him know that the Harrier had reappeared and he would be on his way after he finished work.
So in conclusion an excellent bird for Leicestershire and I must in the future check Burrough Hill CP more often as it seems to produce some excellent sightings from very little coverage by the local birders.

Woody and a Sandwich: Soar Valley sightings 24th August 2009.

Hi all, here is a list of sightings I saw yesterday down the Soar Valley.
Wanlip Meadows LRWT: Most of the sightings were on the scrape (except for the Hobby!)
1 Juvenile Wood Sandpiper
1 Greenshank
4 Green Sandpipers
6+ Snipe
1 Hobby
Watermead CP North:
1 Juvenile Sandwich Tern seen on King Lear's Lake between 16.10 and 17.45pm when it flew off low east.
8 Common Terns (including 3 juveniles) over King's Lear's Lake.

So looking at the sightings I had a pretty good afternoon down the valley finding a Wood Sand on the scrape and then putting the icing on the cake by the sighting of the Juv Sandwich Tern flying around King Lear's Lake!! Some times local patch working does have it rewards.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

British Birdfair

Alex Horne enteraining the Birdfair crowd
(thanks John for the photo!)
Myself, John and my Dad visited the British Birdfair yesterday at Rutland Water, and for once it was an enjoyable experience.
Highlights of the day included meeting comedian Alex Horne( who was doing a shorten version of his excellent live show on Birdwatching Watching),chatting to BBC "One Show" David Lindo about Urban Birding, collecting the new Leicestershire and Rutland Bird Avifauna and Bird report from the LROS stand, playing football with the ORCA team(Whale Madrid) and meeting new and old friends at the social birding event of the year.
My Dad was also happy because he spent loads of money on a new camera (Canon D5) and got a good deal, £400 off the usual price!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Bird Sightings over the last week or so.......

Two sleeping Garganeys honest!
As the orchid season is coming to a close, I've started Birding again and here is a list of birds I have seen over the last week.

6th August: Eyebrook Res
Female/Immature Marsh Harrier
2 Little Egrets
1Black Tern
1 Green Sandpiper and usual raptors!

7th August: Eyebrook Res
Juvenile Spotted Redshank
Juvenile Wood Sandpiper
Eclipse Drake Garganey
4 Green Sandpipers
2 Common Sandpipers and lots of rain!

13th August: Swithland Res
Black-necked Grebe

Cossington churchyard
5 Spotted Flycatcher

Eyebrook Res
Wood Sandpiper
Juvenile Peregrine
2 Eclipse Garganeys
2 Greenshanks
3 Dunlins
7 Ringed Plovers.

Friday, 14 August 2009

More Violet Helleborines......

I checked out a secret site in the north-west of the county (well a wood near Cloud Wood LRWT) and found at least 23 Violet Helleborines in the south-east corner of the wood.
Most were around the public footpath which cuts across the wood, but I did find a few off the beaten track.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Violet Helleborines at Great Merrible Wood LRWT.

On Thursday during the rain showers I checking out the Violet Helleborines at Great Merrible Wood LRWT. In between the light and very heavy rain I found at least 74 flowering spikes, with one impressive plant near the path had 18 spikes!!
The Helleborines were coming into flower so there should be at there best for a week or so?