Saturday, 27 November 2010

Chasing Redpoll.

Recent reports from Old Moor RSPB reserve suggested that Redpoll were being seen on a daily basis feeding on the reserve. These were Lesser Redpoll but also given yesterday was a Common Redpoll so if ever I needed a reason to drive the four miles or so to the reserve this was it. I have only one or two pictures of Redpoll, they are a bird that have eluded me in my photographic endeavours.

On my arrival at the reserve I immediately linked up with the staff and asked where the best place to see the Redpoll was, they told me and off I went. Unfortunately what they didn't tell me was that I wouldnt be able to photograph them in situ as, a) The area in which they been seen is not accessible to the public, at least not close enough even with a big lens and b) even if it was its only accessible from one direction and guess what, yes you guessed, its into the sun.  I did see a few Reed Bunting but this picture will give you an idea of what I was up against.

This is quite a big crop.

I think they call this, backlit. Realistically is should be back in the deleted recycle bin.

In the feeder station Garden I suffered with the usual sun problem as well. In other words the shadow cast by the visitor centre completely covers the feeders from about 10am, which when you consider that the centre doesnt open until 9.30am rather limits one's chances. I did try though.

A Woodpigeon,

and a Goldfinch.

and finally a Grey Squirrel.

not a lot in the way of Redpoll and a very depressing visit to Old Moor. I checked later on the Old Moor webpage on the RSPB website and it was a day where very little being seen.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bird list 2010

I dont normally do this but this year as I have seen so many birds I thought I would list them.

  1. Blue Tit
  2. WillowTit
  3. Great Tit
  4. Marsh Tit
  5. Bearded Tit
  6. Coal Tit
  7. Long Tailed Tit
  8. Crested Tit
  9. Blackbird
  10. Thrush-Song
  11. Thrush-Mistle
  12. Fieldfare
  13. Redwing
  14. Wheatear
  15. Lark-Sky
  16. Lark-Shore (lifetime first)
  17. Pipit-Meadow
  18. Pipit-Tree
  19. Pipit-Rock
  20. Bullfinch
  21. Goldfinch
  22. Hawfinch
  23. Chaffinch
  24. Greenfinch
  25. Sparrow-House
  26. Sparrow-Tree
  27. Dunnock
  28. Wren
  29. Robin
  30. Warbler-Willow
  31. Warbler Wood
  32. Warbler-Garden
  33. Warbler-Grasshopper
  34. Warbler-Cetti's
  35. Warbler-Reed
  36. Warbler-Sedge
  37. Warbler-Mamora's (lifetime first)
  38. Blackcap
  39. Chiffchaff
  40. Bunting-Reed
  41. Bunting-Snow
  42. Siskin
  43. Brambling
  44. Yellowhammer
  45. Goldcrest
  46. Treecreeper
  47. Nuthatch
  48. Woodpecker-Great Spotted
  49. Woodpecker-Lesser
  50. Woodpecker-Green
  51. Redpoll-Lesser
  52. Flycatcher-Pied
  53. Flycatcher-Spotted
  54. Redstart-Common
  55. Moorhen
  56. Coot
  57. Water Rail
  58. Bittern
  59. Heron
  60. Egret-Little
  61. Egret-Great White
  62. Spoonbill
  63. Kestrel
  64. Sparrowhawk
  65. Buzzard
  66. Red Kite
  67. Marsh Harrier
  68. Osprey
  69. Peregrine Falcon
  70. Owl-Little
  71. Redshank
  72. Spotted Redshank
  73. Greenshank
  74. Sandpiper-Common
  75. Sandpiper-Green
  76. Sandpiper-Curlew
  77. Little Stint (lifetime first)
  78. Ruff
  79. Curlew
  80. Oystercatcher
  81. Turnstone
  82. Snipe-Common
  83. Snipe-Jack (lifetime first)
  84. Lapwing
  85. Plover-Golden
  86. Plover-Grey (lifetime first)
  87. Plover-Ringed
  88. Plover-Little ringed
  89. Godwit-Black Tailed
  90. Godwit-Bar Tailed
  91. Kingfisher
  92. Dipper
  93. Duck-Mallard
  94. Duck-Tufted
  95. Duck-Shoveler
  96. Duck-Pintail
  97. Duck-Mandarin
  98. Duck-Eider (lifetime first)(wild)
  99. Duck-Ruddy
  100. Teal
  101. Wigeon
  102. Shelduck
  103. Golden Eye
  104. Goosander
  105. Gadwall
  106. Pochard
  107. Grebe-Little
  108. Grebe-Great Crested
  109. Grebe-Black Necked
  110. Cormorant
  111. Red Grouse
  112. Partridge-Grey
  113. Partridge-Red Legged
  114. Pheasant
  115. Jay
  116. Magpie
  117. Chough
  118. Crow-Carrion
  119. Crow-Hooded
  120. Rook
  121. Raven
  122. Starling
  123. Waxwing
  124. Dove-Collared
  125. Dove-Stock
  126. Dove-Rock
  127. Woodpigeon
  128. Diver-Great Northern (lifetime first)
  129. Gannet
  130. Guillemot
  131. Kittewake
  132. Razorbill
  133. Puffin
  134. Fulmar
  135. Tern-Common
  136. Tern-Sandwich
  137. Tern-Black (lifetime first)
  138. Skua-Great (lifetime first)
  139. Gull-Herring
  140. Gull-Common
  141. Gull-Lesser Black Backed
  142. Gull-Great Black Backed
  143. Gull-Black Headed
  144. Gull- Glaucous
  145. Gull-Mediteranean
  146. Goose-Greylag
  147. Goose-Canada
  148. Goose-Barnacle
  149. Goose-Brent
  150. Goose Egyptian
  151. Goose-Snow
  152. Goose-Ross's
  153. Swan-Mute
  154. Swan-Bewick
  155. Swan-Whooper
  156. Whitethroat-Lesser
  157. Whitethroat-Common
  158. Stonechat
  159. Whinchat
  160. Wagtail-Pied
  161. Wagtail-Grey
  162. Wagtail-Yellow
  163. Avocet
  164. Crossbill-Common
  165. Swallow
  166. Swift
  167. House Martin
  168. Sand Martin
  169. Linnet
  170. Cuckoo (Confirmed lifetime first)
When I was going through the birds I'd photographed and seen this year, from my main list, there were some that I had forgotten to add to my list for this year, Shelduck, Wren, Wigeon, Little Owl. Fieldfare, Little ringed Plover, Greenshank and Oystercatcher.

It is funny but with the exception of the Little ringed Plover they are birds that are so common to me that I must not have recorded the first sightings of them this year. The Little Owls, for instance. I see little Owls every year at Symonds Yat and Eastbach, and this year I spent a great time with Chris Grady watching whilst he photographed them in Herefordshire, yet I had not recorded them on this years list. When compiling my list I always cross reference the birds I see with my main list that I started in 2007 when I got back into birdwatching and when I first met Chris and Andy. That list amounts to 209 birds, which I know is not a huge number but it is a number that I am pleased with as I am, as previously stated, in no way a twitcher or serious lister. I have nothing against those people, whatever rocks your boat, but I could not chase around the country after rarities just to say I saw them.

I am really pleased to have added some cracking birds this year, Shorelark, Jack Snipe, Mamora's Warbler, Great Skua, Little Stint, Black Tern, Grey Plover, Eider Duck, Sandwich Tern and Great Northern Diver. There's one more bird which I saw up close and personal this year and despite it being a bird that I've known of all my life and possibly seen in the past without really knowing, this year I can say that I definately saw one and had Chris Grady with me to confirm it. The Cuckoo, Hergest Ridge, Herefordshire May 4th. What a cracking moment that was, and what a pleasure to share it with a bloke who has become a very good friend to me over the last four years.

There are birds that I would have hoped to get this year that I didn't, although there's still time for one or two more, Pink Footed Geese, Barn Owl, Hobby, Merlin, Black Redstart and even Tawny Owls have evaded me this year, but thats part of the beauty of wildlife watching and photography, you never know whats around the corner.