Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Fantastic Venice but only 7 Birds!

Well it's the 28th and only the second post of the month.

We have just got back from having a wonderful time in Venice. As you may guess this wasn't a birding holiday just an opportunity for having a great time. Which we certainly did.

It's a very quite place on the birding front, unless you are into pigeons! Having said that of the 7 species we saw over the 5 days one was a lifer! Nothing exotic just a Yellow Legged Gull (actually 100's), it's s a species we haven't gone out of our way for in the UK as it looks just like any other Gull except for the legs!

The others were Little Egret,  Common Tern, Cormorant, Black headed Gull, House Sparrow and Feral Pigeon.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Quiet August so far, but still managed a new species!

Mid August already and our first post of the month. With Tina leaving work and Birthdays we haven't had any birding opportunities other than the Garden and yesterday evenings visit to Upton Warren. I did manage a cycle along the canal one lunch time as far as the reservoir at Netherton, so I will start with that.

The Canal, Warrens Hall & Netherton Resevoir.
This will be brief! Both the Canal and Warrens Hall were very quiet, just the usuals, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Wood & Feral Pigeons, Magpie, Grey Heron and House Sparrows:

 The star though was the Little Grebe on Bumble Hole
So onwards to the Reservoir, this was busy with Black Head Gulls, Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Coot and Moorhen of course, but in addition a Mute Swan family; 2 Adults with 8 Cygnets and a pair of Great Crested Grebe (no Grebelets though!)

Finally a butterfly! A Gatekeeper I believe.

So onto Upton Warren yesterday evening.

We only ventured to the flashes as we knew there were Redstarts about and we have yet to see one.
We arrived about 6ish and stayed til about 7:30.  Of course no sign of the Redstarts, but the Lapwings, Curlews and Sandpipers were a treat:

In addition to that I searched with the scope over ny the Farm but no sign of the Little Owls, but did find a Buzzard perched in the tree behind the stump that the Owls have used. 3 Common Terns visited briefly for a spot of fishing, I tried to get a shot but failed miserably.

After some searching we found the Ruff over the farside of the Flashes, it eventually came closer but decided to hide behind an island and some Mallard, but did pop out briefly to show me its back!

No sign of any Plovers, which was disappointing. On the duck front apart from the Mallard, there were a few Teal about. So after a fair while and with my stomach rumbling we were thinking of leaving, when Tina spotted some movement in the bushes to the right and behind the hide. A male Redstart, but as soon as I found him he flew off behind the bushes, I just saw a flash of red as he went. So all thought of tea were forgotten and we settled down again. Our patience was rewarded when a female Redstart flew up into a Hawthorn Bush and skittered about flashing her red tail at us. She gave us a decent display before disappearing behind the bushes. No photo's sorry I just enjoyed watching our first ever Redstart.

So off home, happy... Would liked to have seen the Juvenile Cuckoo though... and will have to go over to the Moors for some Spotted Flycatcher next time.

Finally as we walked back, Tina spotted this tiny weird thing fluttering in the grass:

Sorry about the quality of the photo, but I only had my 500mm lens on the camera, not best suited for macro work! Just looked it up a White Plume Moth.. Unless anyone knows better!