Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A rewarding trip to Wallington 25/8/09

Went to Wallington Hall NT yesterday to see what we could find. Unfortunately, there wasn't much in the way of wildlife on the way to the hide but there was when we got there! As soon as we went in, we saw birds all over the feeders. I had a quick scan of the birds as we went in but there wasn't much of interest. After sitting for 10 minutes, it started to get good. A pair of nuthatches showed up with a lovely willow tit(?) - I am not sure whether this is a marsh tit. It stayed there for a while before flying into the trees behind. Just as I sat back down, it got better. We noticed a Jay had showed up for us in the trees. We thought it wasn't going to give us any good views, then it did. It flew down onto the ground giving us good photo opportunities. Apart from those two, there wasn't much else to see but still a good day!
Willow or Marsh? (Some people from birdguides thought this was a marsh tit but help would be appreciated!)
Chaffinch Great Tit
Jay Juvenile Blue Tit

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Lancashire Holiday

I have just got back from Lancashire today. We stayed in Riddlesdale Park in one of the lodges. It wasn't a birding holiday but we were planning on doing a little bit of birding! On Tuesday, we went to Martin Mere WWT. We had read about some recent sightings and we wanted to see a spotted redshank and a wood sandpiper - wishful thinking! However, we did see a spotted redshank - from the Ron Barker Hide which we were very happy about as it was my first ever spotshank. It was with 2 greenshank, a few duniln and loads of lapwing. I digiscoped it with the greenshank, then we moved on. The only other things of note at Martin Mere were 4 whooper swans in the field in front of us. We left Martin Mere and went a mile down the road to Mere Sands Wood to see if we could find the kingfisher. We walked round and into the redwing hide. After a while, we saw the kingfisher fly across the lake to the right so we went to the next hide - the rufford hide. When we arrived, we met a man called Brian Rafferty who puts his photos of birdguides. When we went in he told us to be quiet and when we looked out, we saw the kingfisher sitting on the branch in front of the hide! After about 30 minutes of photos, it flew off and we left happy! The only other thing of note of this holiday was a goose at Fountains Abbey in East Yorkshire. At first I thought it was a white-fronted goose, but now I'm not so sure. Anyone know?
White Fronted Goose??2 Greenshank with lapwing
Spotshank with 3 lapwing Whooper Swans Common Kingfisher

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Saltholme RSPB 5/8/09

Went to Saltholme yesterday to look for the curlew and pectoral sandpipers. When we got there, we saw a grey wagtail in the car park. When we got to the reception hide we went over to the window to see what there was. The big colony of sand martins was busy, the terns were noisy and there was a cormorant diving all over the lake. We moved on to the wildlife watch point. Except it wasn't! There was only swans and coots. The feeders had nothing on them at all so we moved on to the second hide quite quickly! From that hide we saw 9 little egrets, 2 shoveler and lots of common terns. We wandered on to the next hide where the pectoral sandpiper was being seen from. When we went in and sat down, we saw some waders on the far side of the pond. We scanned them and a warden told us that there was 2 ruff which I saw because they were bigger than the redshank and dunlin. But we also saw a tiny wader which was my first ever little stint. No sign of the curlew or pectoral sandpipers. I asked the warden where they were and he said we had justed missed them and they were there yesterday morning. Typical! We went to the surrounding pools after Saltholme. However, there wasn't much anywhere except 10 black-tailed godwits at Calor Gas Pool.
Common Tern Small White? Not sure about the insects. Can anyone help?
Grey Seals at Seal Sands