Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wednesday 25th December 2013

Lunch eaten, now a choice between toy story 3 or an hour on the patch. Guess which won?
As short of time covered the raza and only a bit of the woods.

Weather:- blue skies with few clouds, sunny and a cold nip.

Woods:- blue/great/long tailed tits and spotted my first willow tit on the patch. Lots woodpigeons and magpies and a passing linnet. Couple of goldcrests showing extremely well in the ivy.

Raza:- black-headed gulls, coots, great crested grebe, mallards and a male and female tufted duck.

Decided not to take camera, so soz for the lack of photos. Birds seem to know, most came so close and missed lots of good photo opportunities. Will never do again!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wednesday 4th December

Finally a day off work, that I'm not called in to do overtime. So time to hit the patch.

Weather:- After a dull start, blue sky appeared and sunshine. 

Woods:- The usual suspects - blue/great tits, long tailed tits, blackbirds, robins, wrens, etc. 

Reservoir:- 59 black-headed gulls, 2 little grebes, sub-adult mute swan, great crested grebe, coots and mallards. Grey wagtail messing in guttering of the keepers house, then flew off.

Netherton Hill:- carrion crows, magpies, more woodpigeons. Redwings have arrived, grey heron on pools bottom of the hill. Bullfinches around the edge by the lane. 2 buzzards soaring fairly low and a female kestrel.

The autumn colour was stunning today, as the sun came out. Still quite a few leaves on the tress.

Then on tabletop, lots of fallen leaves, showing oak galls and droplets of rain.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Monday 26th August 2013

Weather :- warm, overcast with sunny spells.

Woods :- Birds very quiet, magpies, woodpigeons, blackbirds, robin, blue tits etc.

Reservoir :- greater back-backed gulls, mallards - ducklings growing their adult feathers, coots.Three cygnets and one great crested grebe with 2 young.

Canal :- more mallards, moorhen and young moorhen.

Netherton Hill :- more magpies and woodpigeons.Chifchaff heard, female wheatear and a grey heron by pools at the bottom. A surprise showing of a female black redstart, made the day.

Flowers :- include buttercups, dandelions, herb robert, common toadflax, ragwart.

Butterflies :- Good numbers of small and large whites, peacocks, comma, meadow brown, gatekeepers and common blue butterflies. Also a small coppr seen and a few small skippers.

Also apples, plums and blackberries ripening and acorns growing.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Saturday 20th July 2013

Weather :- sunny, warm with light wind.

Fairly quite on the bird front, but lots of insects about.

Woods :- usually suspects including treecreepers and swifts

Canal :- Chiffchaff, moorhen with juvenile.  Three Mallard ducklings still doing well. Rat also seen.

Reservoir :- mallards, coots, black-headed gulls, herring gulls, lesser and greater-black backed gulls.

Netherton hill :- carrion crows, chiffchaff, greenfinch

Butterflies :- flying well in all grassland areas. Including 6-spot burnets, gatekeepers, ringlets, meadow browns, small skippers, speckled wood and a couple of marbled whites on tabletop.

Also lots of common blue damselflies, ( 3 joined pairs ) and a southern hawker.

Flowers :- These include  brambles, herb robert, red clover, red Valerian, spear thistle, common/white and red dead nettles.  Cow parsley, oxeye daisy's, creeping buttercups and reedmace.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Monday 3rd June 2013

Weather :- Sunny, warm with a light wind

Woods :-Robins, blackbirds, blue and great tits all seen busy looking for insects and seen taking back to nests. Male chaffinch and chiffchaff seen singing. Treecreeper x2. The highlight was finding the nuthatch nest. Both adults seen bring in very large, juicy caterpilars and a young nuthatch kept popping their head out. But not quite brave enough to fledge yet.

Young nuthatch

Canal :- The 5 mallard ducklings still doing well. 11 male mallards and 5 female mallard present. Another 3 chiffchaffs, male house sparrow and male blackcap singing, with good views. Male blackbird also seen taking worms back into bushes.

Netherton hill :- Fairly quiet. Male greenfinch flew over, jackdaw, 2 mistle thrush in the trees by the pools.

Reservior :- Again fairly quiet. lesser black-backed gulls 16, 2 swift flying high above. 6 coots, but 2 young seen - look recently hatched and another juvenile with a different parent. Only one great crested grebe seen and no young.

Flowers include :- herb robert, dandelion, daisy, first stinging flower seen, buttercup, red clover, red valerian along the canal, ribwort plantain and bluebells.

Insects include :- buff and white tailed bumblebees, small white butterflies, speckled wood butterflies, peacock butterflies. First 2 common blue damselfies of the year, red tailed bumblebee, craneflies and a large white butterfly.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday 14th May 2013

Weather :- Started of sunny, but turned to rain.

Reservoir :- Quiet today. 11 lesser-blacked backed gulls, 4 herring gulls, house martins, swallows and 1 swift, 2 coot nests. 2 great crested grebes - one sitting on a nest and a few mallards and coots. Also 2 common terns.

Canal :- few mallards. one family group with 5 ducklings.

Cute or what?

Woods :- blackbirds, robins, blue tits and great tits all seen with insects in beaks. Male blackcap, bullfinch, chiffchaff and willow warbler heard.

Flowers :- dandelions, herb Robert, wood-forget-me knot, buttercups, lily of the valley and nettles all flowering. And lots and lots and lots of bluebells.


Laurel flowers

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday 22nd April 2013

Weather:- Cloudy with sunny spells and windy

Woods:- Usual suspects - blue/great/long tits, robins,great spotted woodpecker, male bullfinch, blackbirds, etc. One female blackbirs seen with nesting material in her beak.

Canal:- mallards, moorhen and coot among the common birds. First chiffchaff heard and a house martin flying over. Male and female bullfinches and chaffinches present.

Reservoir:- 1 canad goose, mallards, 2 black-headed gulls, 12 lesser black-backed gulls, 2 herring gulls, 4 great-crested grebes with 1 possible nest and coots. 2 coot nests, 1 with 1 egg present. 7 tufted ducks

Netherton hill:- buzzard soaring over and a hunting female kestrel. Second chiffchaff heard and a willow warbler present.

Plants:- goat willow catkkins and hawthorn blossam flowering. Also wild daffodils, primroses and wood anemone.

Insects:- peacock and speckled wood butterflies, buff-tailed and white-tailed bumble bees and 2 tree bees seen.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunday 7th march 2013

Thanks to qb bull for letting me know that the first chiffchaff is back on netherton hill. Also 5 great crested grebes on reservoir. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

Ok, computer has just died, so I'm afraid any photos will have to be added later.

Weather:- cloudy with sunny spells and windy.

Woods:- usually birds around, but a male bullfinch displaying well.

Canal:- mallards, moorhen. Greater spotted woodpecker seen briefly, then one heard drumming. Female greenfinch seen with nesting material in beak.

Reservoir:- 45 black-headed gulls, lesser black backed gulls, coots and mallards. Two great-crested grebes also present.

Netherton hill:- carrion crows, magpies and a buzzard soaring over. The big surprise was a red kite flying east. Seems to be the year for surprises, third outing in a row and the unsuspected has been spotted. Just goes to show, doesn't it. There was a male reed bunting at the bottom of the hill, by the cattle bridge. Another first sighting for me.

If I've missed anything, I'll add it on later when computer hopefully feels better. Just wanted to put up a quick post.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Tuesday 5th March 2013
Weather :- cloudy blue skies, sunny and quite warm
Woods :- blue tit checking out a nest box. Male bullfinch singing, female bullfinch also seen. Goldcrest put in a good view and green woodpecker heard, as well as the usual suspects.
Reservoir :- great crested grebe, 53 black-headed gulls, coots, mallards and a male and female tufted duck.
Canal :- more mallards and moorhen. House sparrows spotted behind the reservoir. Female greenfinch in the trees and dunnock. Wren in the reeds.
Netherton hill :- Murray cattle roaming around, one buzzard soaring, male chaffinch singing, sparrowhawk and a feral pigeon.
The big surprise, now I've had the photo checked, was a yellowhammer spotted in the gorse at the bottom of Netherton hill. Then flew of to the top of the trees, along the canal at the base of the hill, to do a bit of singing. First recorded record that I can find on birdtrack, but a pair was last seen in 1990. I believe it was more common, before the loss of farmland, when they built Merry Hill. So I hope that this is a good sign of things to come.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Thursday 21st February 2013
Weather :- cloudy with sunny spells and a chilly wind.
Reservoir :- showing 112 black-headed gulls with a few starting to moult into summer plumage. 22 coots, 11 mallards and 3 tufted ducks, (1 male, 2 female ). Little grebe and great crested grebe, that was seen only yesterday, according to the birdtrack app, seem to have left. 2 coots were gathering nesting material.
Woods :-  Fairly quiet, may be due to more people as it's half term. 16 long-tailed tits, amongst the usual suspects. Buzzard and bullfinch heard.
Found some interesting lichen on some trees.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Thursday 23rd January 2013
 Before I go any further, today proved that you never know just what is going to turn up. While looking over Doulton's Claypit, where the only thing moving were magpies, a sudden glint of white in the sky caught my attention. Flying eastwards was a great BIG patch first. A little egret, which left me with a great big silly smile on my face!
Weather :- what a difference a couple of weeks can make. Snow still on the ground, cloudy but sun trying to peek out.
Reservoir :- 2 cormorants now present and a male and female tufted ducks have arrived. Otherwise 119 black-headed gulls, 22 coots, 23 mallards and 3 mute swans.
Woods :- Amongst all the usual suspects was a male blackcap, nuthatch, male bullfinch and 3 redwings.

And thanks to Netherton colts, who has given me good directions, I finally found the dragon.

Oak leaf galls


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tuesday 1st January 2013
Not the best day, still suffering with the flu but determined to keep up my New Year's tradition of hitting the patch. Only managed a quick hour, then had to give up. Missed more birds then spotted - so never go birding with a dodgy head!
Weather :- Clear blue skies, sunny and warm.
Reservoir :- showed 1 moorhen, 25 coots, 3 canada geese, 70 black-headed gulls, 1 lesser black-backed gull and 3 mallards. The highlight being the winter cormorant had appeared - but never stays for long.
Woods :- 2 grey squirrels put in brief appearences. Otherwise usually suspects - magpies, crows, blue tits, great tits, chaffinch, bullfinches heard, wren, greater spotted woodpecker, blackbirds, woodpigeons, dunnock and the robins had turned shy and kept disappearing.
Still unable to find the dragon sculpture, beginning to think it doesn't exsist.