Sunday, 24 March 2013

Winter returned...

Saturday morning was a white out due to overnight snow. So much for the first week of Spring!

I took Taz over the hill that is right by my house. This is where I saw a lone Waxwing a few weeks ago, I was hoping for a repeat appearance. No such luck! There was however a flock of Siskin, they were keeping quite deep into the trees for the cover they offered. It was still snowing and the wind was bitter cold.


On returning home, I decided to leave the car where it was and go birding on the bus. First I walked to Sharpe street, Waxwings had been seen a few times in the week here. Pete had seen 5 on the canal. A flock of 19 had also been reported. I met Pete in Amington village and we spent a couple of hours searching, no luck again.

Pete returned home, and I jumped on a bus into Tamworth. I walked through the castle grounds to Borrowpit Lake. Plenty of BH Gulls, and a few LBB. Three Cormorants, plenty of Great Crested Grebe and a couple of Red Headed Goosander. Also, a very busy Kingfisher made several appearances. I looked for the odd Hybrid Goose amongst the Canada's, but it wasn't there today.

Here it is from a previous encounter.

I walked along the Tame back to Ladybridge, but apart from a couple of Canada's and three male Mallard, it was very quiet.

Sunday morning, more snow!

Left car again and set out on foot. Glascote Canal to Kettlebrook. Again I hoped a Waxwing might be in the area. It was bitterly cold. Apart from a few blue tits, the odd Magpie and a couple of Chaffinch it was quite uneventful bird wise. Highlight of the morning was a feral Pigeon that is obviously nesting in a canal bridge repeatedly visiting its nest.

All taken with iPhone 4S


Got a bit arty with the last two. Well, the birding was very quiet!

So, a very disappointing weekend on the birding front. I need to get a few ticks. I'm due some time off work soon and I have a plan. Let's see how it all pans out?



Thursday, 14 March 2013

The February Moors Total

February species count 54. (Pete)

Pete has totalled the Moors list up to the end of February. It's amazing to think a Coot has still to be spotted down there. No doubt one will show up soon.

Chaffinch/ Robin/Wood Pigeon/ Rook /Magpie / Blackbird/Kestrel/ Mute Swan /Great Tit /Blue Tit/ Jay/ Greater Spotted Woodpecker/Redwing/Fieldfare/Sparrowhawk / Reed Bunting/ Goldfinch /Buzzard /Dunnock /Wren/Heron/Green Woodpecker/ Long-Tailed Tit /Goldcrest/ Black-headed Gull /Yellowhammer/Bullfinch/Cormorant/Herring Gull /Lapwing /Carrion Crow/ Moorhen/Canada Goose /Mallard /Song Thrush /Shelduck/ Mistle Thrush/ House Sparrow/ Treecreeper/ Barn Owl /Goosander / Starling/ Skylark/Meadow Pipit/ Willow Tit /Coal Tit/ Pheasant /Jack Snipe/Collared Dove/Marsh Tit/ Kingfisher/ Linnet/Greenfinch/Raven/

A return to winter conditions has not helped progress. The last week seeing snow and sub zero temperatures again! It is now forecast to warm up, with heavy rain predicted. Fingers crossed for a decent spring.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Out and about

A wander along the river Tame this morning and I spotted a strange looking Goose. Didn't have my big camera with me, so used iPhone through binoculars.

The more I look at this, with the orange bill and neck pattern, the more I am convinced it is a Greylag/Canada hybrid. My mate feels the high white cheek patches look a bit Barnacle goose, whatever, it's an oddity.

Not the first hybrid I've encountered recently. Thought I had got a Moors Whooper swan the other day.


The more I study these pictures, the more I'm convinced its the Mute/Whooper hybrid. There has been one resident on the river Anker for a few years. I hadn't seen it or a while. I believe this is it. It's head and bill shape just don't seem right for a Whooper. Was exciting when I first spotted it though.