Saturday, 31 December 2016

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.

On the last day of 2016 I thought it would be an ideal time for another visit to Southfields Farm in Coleshill, a bit more gloomy and overcast on my previous birding trips out of late but that's never stopped me before.

Highlight of the day is the farm and the fields themselves, if anybody ever wants to see how a farmer can earn a living and still look after the wildlife and nature that inhabit the area then John's farm is a prime example, wildflowers left to flourish, hedgerows cut to a minimum and at the right times, planting bird friendly plants all year around and supplying supplementary food for the birds in winter, this location really is a pleasure to visit at any time of the year.

Birding wise the highlights were seeing hundreds of House Sparrow in and around the outhouses and nearby hedgerows, a lone but magnificent looking Yellowhammer (what a bird !), a female Blackcap, hundreds of Linnet again but this time in a different field and two large flocks of birds, one being .c50 Redwing and c.40 Goldfinch, also seen were, three Buzzard hunting in the same field, just unfortunate it was same field that held most of the Linnet.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Kestrel, Yellowhammer, Blackcap (female), c.200 Linnet, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, c.40 Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, .c50 Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail and Mallard (flying overhead).

Also over the last week I've had a Grey Wagtail visiting the garden on a daily basis which appears to be feeding on the scarps of fat dropping from one of the suet blocks which the Starlings are destroying and for the last two days I've seen a female Blackcap feeding on the apples left out for the birds during winter, I've also still got the Sparrowhawk visiting but it's kills seem to be less than they have been earlier in the yeat.

I hope everybody who takes the time out to read this blog had a Merry Christmas and I'd like to wish you A Happy New Year, here's to another years birding and observing all the wonderful delights that nature has to offer in 2017 !

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Pype Hayes Park.

Great morning for a spot of birdwatching today, the weather forecast was limited visibility due to mist/fog, what a load of rubbish that turned out to be because it was a glorious crisp and cold morning without a single cloud in the sky. 

Highlights including the sighting of a Little Egret, a Kestrel hunting near the golf course and seeing and hearing many songbirds.

Even though the pool was mainly frozen over there were still large areas for the waterfowl to enjoy, the Mallards, Coots and Moorhens certainly didn't enjoy walking on the ice, it was a shame watching them slipping and sliding all over the place but still comical all the same.

Great to see so many Moorhen along the Plants Brook including many of this juveniles, just a pity they won't be visible come the Spring/Summer when the non native and evasive Himalayan Balsam once again takes it's stranglehold along the riverbank.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Blackbird, Jay, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Muscovy Duck and Canada Goose.

I've said this on many occasions but it really is great to see the Muscovy Duck that was rescued from a bad owner by the RSPCA and relocated to the pool doing so well, the transformation from a scared and bedraggled bird to the magnificent and confident bird that it is now is amazing.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Shustoke Reservoir.

Nice walk around Shustoke Reservoir and the fly-fishers pool today which just happened to be the best day of the week so far, with the weather being very clement and yet again it was nice to be blessed with blue skies and lovely Autumnal sunshine.

As you can see by the photos the reservoir is very low, in fact it's the lowest I've ever seen seen it, not that the waterfowl seemed to mind though, at least it wasn't frozen over for them, the numbers on the water were also very low but it was good to see Goosander, Pochard and good numbers of Little Grebe, the fly-fishers pool there was a fair number of waterfowl with plenty of Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, a pair of Mute Swan and a small number of Wigeon.

Highlight if the day was seeing a mixed flock of .c50 Goldfinch and Siskin, I didn't actually see the Siskin at first becaue I just thought it was a flock of Goldfinch, always great to see Siskin which I think is a very underrated bird which certainly can't be said for one of the other highlights of today, namely that of the wonderful Goldcrest, yet again I was alerted to their presence by their wonderful little song, always a pleasure to see them foraging among trees, just before the end of the walk which is along grassland adjacent but not accessible to the reservoir where you very rarely see anything different from the norm but today that was a little different with a Green Woodpecker and a flock of c.30 Linnet present, hard to put a number on the number of Linnet because they were going from the trees, onto the grass and back to the trees at a fair rate.

Birds seen today were, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Linnet, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Goosander, Wigeon, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck and Mallard, also notable by their absence were Canada Goose, with not a single one observed.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Pype Hayes Park.

Nice yet again to be blessed with clear blue skies to go with the lovely frosty Autumnal morning. 

Highlight of the day was easy again today, namely that of the sighting of a pair of Goldcrest, they were drawn to to my attention by the lovely song they have, also in the same wooded area were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Robin, how wonderful to see so many songbirds in such a small area. The main area of the park was adorned by many vocal Song Thrush, as well as Blackbirds, Carrion Crows and Magpies, all of whom loved the apples that I took for them, it's always a pleasure to take food out for the wild birds especially when natural food is scarce, on the pool the Mallards and Coots loved the wild bird seed I took for them, the Mute Swans and Canada Geese looked disappointed but they won't get bread from me all the same.

The Kestrel pictured was also the last spot of the day, what a wonderful looking bird, it was nice to get some decent photos of it, just a shame my camera battery died when I was taking a video.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Jay, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Moorhen, Coot, Muscovy Duck and Mallard.