Wednesday, 23 February 2011

"Pete the Pintail" and latest on the City year list!

After finishing the early shift yesterday I nipped over to Watermead CP South too see if the Oystercatcher was still on the Island opposite the car park, and in due course it was asleep amongst the Lapwings and mutant Geese! So with this sighting my year list is now moves up to 74 species.
Other highlights around the country park included "Pete the Pintail" showing down to five feet and trying to court a female Mallard!! and the coloured-ringed Black-headed Gull from Norway (JAN4) was still having free meals in the car park!
"Pete the Pintail" Watermead CP South car park!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Leicester Year list update: two more ticks

Over the weekend I checked out a couple of sites and added two year ticks to my list. This came in the form of a Cetti's Warbler at Watermead CP South and a female Pheasant at Birstall Lodge Farm.
With these birds my list is now up to 73 species for the city challenge!

This week I've mostly been... Listening to Carly Simon Nobody Does It Better: Possibly the best James Bond song?!

Here is probably the best James Bond song ever!? Enjoy!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Two tick day: Oriental Turtle Dove and Slaty-backed Gull OMFL!!!

Distant shot of the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham RSPB
Oriental Turtle Dove twitch thanks Beast!!
Pieman at the Slaty Gull twitch!!
So on Thursday and news from the previous day of the Slaty-backed Gull was refound again at Rainham Marshes RSPB, London and the long staying Oriental Turtle Dove at Chipping Norton,Oxfordshire a two tick day was on the cards.
So meeting up with Neil Hagley and the famous "Pieman" Mark Reeder we were on the road by 8.00am and got to Chipping Norton just before 9.30am.
Parking in the small town, we walked down the hill on to "The Leys" and met up with the Beast (Colin Towe) and Trev Woodcroft who had been on site since 8.00am. The dove had been seen briefly an hour earlier but since then it had disappeared in to the local gardens. Then Neil said those magic words "There it is in the nearby ash tree!"
Viewing the dove from the road, the dove sat in the tree for the next 15minutes until it was flushed a wood pigeon.
So the first bird ticked off Oriental Turtle Dove OMFL! Get In!!
Over the next hour we waited  for the dove to reappear and of course the conversation centred around the next bird on the list and if on cue the pager and text message came through to state that the Slaty Gull was now showing at Rainham Marshes!
Happy with the views we got of the dove, we decided to go for the Gull. So after an hour and half via the M40 and M25 (and 25+ Red Kites later), we reached Cold Harbour Lane around 1.30pm. Parking at the small car park opposite Wennington Marshes, It wasn't long before we were scoping the bird on the distant marshes. Get In Slaty-backed Gull OMFL!!
Although the bird was distant we could still pick up the salient features of the bird. This bird was a "Brute" in gulling terms, and I didn't realise how big this bird until I saw it in real life!
As usual I tried to take a few digishots of the gull which at least was half a mile away!?
Meeting up with the Beast and Trev again, we watched the bird until it flew off around 3.15pm towards the tip. With the bird flying off we were happy to call it a day and all commented that it was a very long time ago when the group had two ticks in a day!?!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Glaucous Gull Albert Village Lake 9/2/11

Here is some video footage of the 3rd winter Glaucous Gull at Albert Village Lake I took yesterday.

Leicester Year list update:

As I have been on annual leave this week I have been checking a few sites in the city boundaries for the Leicester year list.
With Western Park on my door step it was quite logical to check this site first!
So over a couple of hours walking round the park I found at least four year tick in the form of Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Jay and Nuthatch.
The other usual suspects included at least 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers,Green Woodpecker, and good numbers of finches.
The next site I checked was just in the city boundaries at Birstall Lodge Farm, next to Birstall golf course.
At this site I had been informed that Yellowhammer and Grey Partridge had been seen in the last few days, so parking on the old Thurcaston road, I scanned the fields and straight away I picked up a group of 7 Red-legged Partridges, a singing Yellowhammer and then totally out of the blue a Woodcock flying over the new Thurcaston road! GET IN!! Another 3 year ticks on the list!
Buoyed with these new ticks the final site I went to was Watermead CP South, again just on the edge of the city boundaries.
I checked the gull flock out again, but still no Med Gull for my efforts! The gulls on show included good numbers of Black heads and Common Gulls, and the odd Herring and Lesser BB Gull.
So not a bad day on the whole in the city boundaries, and I think if I'm lucky this year I should get in the region of 110 species for the year! He's Hoping?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Colour-ringed Gulls again at Watermead CP South.

This afternoon I spent sometime down at Watermead CP South to look at the gulls. I found a new colour-ringed Black-headed Gull in the car park which was probably ringed by one of the South-West Gull groups. Observing the gulls I noted again the previous colour-ringed gulls I had found in December 2010 were still around the car park.
The only other sightings I noted included a large group of Jackdaws (500+), and a few Rooks roosted in fields opposite the car park at Watermead CP South. The Rooks were actually a year tick for the City challenge, which now put me on 64 species.
Colour-ringed BH Gull (VO28)
Colour-ringed BH Gull (JAN4)
Colour-ringed BH Gull (2H64)
Colour-ringed BH Gull (2H64) again!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fim of the Funny looking Gull

Film of the "funny looking Gull" at Watermead CP South last weekend.
Comments are welcome on the bird!