Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Spring is in the air (and love - or not!) A morning at Pitsford and Ravensthorpe Reservoirs.

Drake Pochard at Pitsford Reservoir


I was drawn this morning to the Northamptonshire Reservoirs of Pitsford and Ravensthorpe in the hope of some year ticks. Arriving at the Pitsford causeway, the wind was very strong and the cloud obscured what was (eventually) to be a very pleasant, sunny morning. Nothing other than the expected wildfowl from the causeway, so I headed to the feeding station in the hope of finches, buntings and sparrows. The path resembled a first world war battlefield swamp, but I eventually made it! Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings and a male Brambling were added to my year list together with a nearby Common Snipe.

Yellowhammers and Brambling






I had hoped that the Great White Egret would be around, but sadly, I could not locate it. 

Leaving Pitsford, I headed over to Ravensthorpe where a number of Smew had been reported. The causeway carpark is still closed for the winter and it took some time to find a space on the verge to park without getting bogged down! Arriving on the causeway, I located the Smews, but they remained distant, on the "private" side. However, it was to be a bit of a "Smewfest" with four drakes and six redheads (my first for the year) in total. It was great to watch the drakes displaying to the redheads, with rival drakes and some of the redheads tussling for favour!

Smew



It was not just the Smews that were tussling for love! The local Coots were having a right battle as well!

Coot








Todays Sightings:

Great Crested Grebe; Dabchick; Cormorant: Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Greylag Goose; Wigeon; Mallard; Teal; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Smew; Goldeneye; Kestrel; Buzzard; Coot; Moorhen; Lapwing; Snipe; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; LBB Gull; Herring Gull; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Skylark; Pied Wagtail: Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Redwing; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Starling; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow; Rook; House Sparrow; Tree Sparrow; Brambling; Goldfinch; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting.



Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cathiron Feeders

Nuthatch


A couple of hours by the Cathiron Feeders served several purposes this morning. Giving Symphony a walk on different terrain, getting Heather's bird list up and, of course, getting some images at the feeders. Although the area was covered in snow, the light was not brilliant and as usual, many images were binned! Hopefully, you will enjoy this "mixed bag" of images!

The frozen Oxford Canal (not easy with a 400mm prime lens!)





Symphony



Symphony (taking Heather for a walk!)



Nuthatch






Marsh Tit









Robin




Blue Tit




Moorhen


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Fieldfare in the snow


Who can resist these beautiful winter thrushes?













Sunday, 13 January 2013

Cathiron Feeders

Marsh Tit


With an hour to spare, after dropping Abi at church, I headed out to the feeders at Cathiron, near Brinklow to add some woodland birds to my year list. The feeders were quite active and I soon added Marsh Tit, Coal Tit and Nuthatch to my list. I was rather challenged with the camera again today, with the need for a high ISO and managing to master the basic skill of focus!

Nuthatch









Marsh Tit









Great Tit



Blue Tit


Long Tailed Tit