Sunday, 18 December 2011

Lesser Redpoll recovery.

Having rung 157 Lesser Redpoll at Thornton this autumn it was great to get a recovery of one of them retrapped in The Netherlands. Y473221 was caught on the 9th October. It was then retrapped at National Park de Groote, Asten, Noord-Brabant, about 10km east of Eindhoven. This is a movement of 508km in 48 days. This is a typical migration route for this species, south east to the low countries.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Second Med. Gull.

An adult Med. gull was in the roost on Saturday. This is the second for the autumn, the first being a first winter. Sorry for the pitiful photo. The eclipse male Pintail and juv. Whooper are still present and Dave had a Little Egret, also on Saturday.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bird numbers increase as fishing stops.

Sunset over Thornton.

With the end of the trout fishing season the numbers of wildfowl are increasing and I am confident that a rarity will appear before the years end. There were 188 Lapwing, 60 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 40 Gadwall and 4 Shoveler. The Pintail and juv. Whooper are also still off Wood bank.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Second Winter Med. Gull.

A couple of poor shots of yesterdays Med. Gull. in the failing light.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

New patch record!

Today I broke my Thornton patch year record. On the 12th Nov. I had reached 123 with Peter the Pintail, who along with Harold the Whooper did the decent thing and stayed around for todays Webs count. I had reached this total last year, but this afternoon I went to 124 with a second winter Med. Gull. Dispite the early fog Dave and I were able to do a reasonably accurate count. Wigeon numbers were up at 55 as were Teal, 54 and Gadwall, 28. There were also 63 Lapwing.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Common Redpoll.

At last a Common Redpoll caught today. See the Charnwood Ringing group site for more images.

Carduelis flammea has paler tips to the G.C., and is greyer than Lesser Redpoll, C. cabaret.

I managed to see Harold the Whooper out of the water for a few moments. He is not rung, but does have two legs!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Redshank elegance.

Two Redshank were present today feeding around the lake margins.

Looks abit odd in this photo, but it is a Redshank.

The juv. Whooper is also still present although it was seen to fly off at 5pm yesterday in the direction of Groby pool. Today the Mute Swans seemed to be giving it less grief.

Monday, 24 October 2011

South east winds bring rewards.

Juvenile Whooper Swan.

Juvenile Marsh Harrier.
I scoped this bird and was able to see its pale head and throat.

At 4.30 pm a juvenile Marsh Harrier was quartering the reservoir and the surrounding woods. It eventually flew behind the woods and may have gone to roost.

Scanning the reservoir I noticed a juvenile Whooper Swan. Initially it was being chased by an adult Mute , but eventually it was left alone and seemed quite settled off Wood Bank.
There is also a juvenile Mute on the res . but it is much darker than the Whooper, with the obvious bill differences.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Adult Male R.C.Pochard

Three adults and an eclipse male R.C.P. were on the res. on 17th. There was also a good count of 70 Goldfinch. On the 18th 4 Grey Partridge were added to the year list and on the 19th a single Snipe was feeding at the top end.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pink-footed Goose, a Thornton tick!

Adult Pink-footed Goose with Greylag.

Most records of this species in Leicestershire are in January, but a small number are recorded in October. There are plenty of geese on the res. at the moment and it would be nice to think that it is a genuine wild bird from Iceland.

What ever, if Dave can count Barney on his year list I'm counting Percy!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Black Terns at last!

Two Black Terns were at Thornton on Sunday Sept. 25th. My daughter took the shot with her new Nikon. Thanks Jen. One was a juv. and the other an adult. They were gone by the monday.

Monday, 3 October 2011

October Wheatear.

We don't often get Wheatears in the autumn so this adult male was a pleasant surprise. It seemed happy on the cow pat in the October sunshine.

I managed to catch 12 Lesser Redpolls at the weekend.

This group of 25 Greylag have moved in and look quite photogenic on the lake margins. Other wildfowl this evening included 12 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon and a single Pochard.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Lesser Black Backed Gulls.

A group of 137 L.B.B.Gulls were at Thornton on the 21st, with a single Herring gull.

It is quite unusual for us to get many large gulls ,so this raised the expectations that a rare gull might be amongst them. No luck , but I shall persevere.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

First WEBS count.

I completed the September WEBS count today with Dave. There were 250 Mallard, 70 Tufted and 75 Coot. Afew Wigeon ,Teal and a single Gadwall completed a rather disappointing tally, with the disappearance of the 3 Red crested Pochard adding to the gloom. Dave did manage to raise spirits with a late Swift, the ten year average being September 20th. Other sightings today included 2 Ravens, Willow tit, and at least 30 Tree sparrow at the feeder at the top end. I have not seen as many as this for several years.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Adult Autumn Arctic.

Adult autumn Arctic Tern at Thornton since the 12th.

Good views from Stoney bank allowed the red bill to be clearly seen to aid the ageing process.
Very well demarcated but narrow black edgeing to the primaries.

Arctic tern with Markfield church in the background.

The three R.C.P. are still present and gull numbers are increasing ,with 2 Lesser B.B. with the 70 plus B.H. gulls. A Hobby was chasing hirundines on the 12th and 2 Ravens flew over to the north.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

R.C.P. at last!

At last I have caught up with Red Crested Pochard at Thornton, so Russ and Dave can no longer grip me off! Three eclipse males were present on the 5th and looking settled on the 6th.

These photos are my first attempt at digiscoping, taking photos through a telescope. There is plenty of room for improvement. Other duck included 6 Teal and 2 Wigeon. There were also 300 Canada geese and 2 Hobbys chasing the hirundines.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Gull Wanderings.

The Belgium colour ringed B.H.Gull that I trapped in my garden and was at Thornton until 8th Jan. 2011 was seen at Siouville-Hague, France on 28th July . Will it return this winter?

Recent Ringing.

Garden Warbler.

Lesser Whitethroat.

Male Nuthatch.

Monday, 15 August 2011


Two Greenshank were off Wood bank at 6 pm. There were also 5 Teal, 2 Little Egret and a Grey Wagtail. 5 Buzzard and 2 Hobby were also above the wood.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

News from T.R.W.P.

Up to 5 Common Buzzard have been seen over the last few days. The highlight was a female/ juv. type Marsh Harrier at 8pm on the 12th Aug. being mobbed by 3 Hobbys. 2 Little Egrets are now regular.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Mud awaits waders!

The res is now lower than I have ever seen it so we await the wader passage with great anticipation. On the 18th July there were 6 Common Sandpipers and a single Redshank. Dave had 9 Crossbills on the 25th. There is a huge invasion of Two Barred Crossbills in Scandinavia, so perhaps they will reach our shores soon. This Common Sand was pictured on the outflow filter. There is another outlet below this so the water continues to make its way to Cropston.

Brown Argus?

I photographed this at Thornton today. I think it is a male Brown Argus. Any experts out there who can confirm this , or is it the brown form of female Common Blue? I think the lack of any spots on the fore wing near to the body is relevant and seems to match the image on page 125 of Butterflies of Brit. and Ireland, Thomas and Lewington.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Little Egret.

A female Garden Warbler

and a female Whitethroat both rung at Thornton

Little Egret off Wood bank

A pair of Kingfishers at the Sand Martin wall, Church Farm.

Small Skipper, Brown's Wood.

A single Little Egret was off Wood bank at 8am and still present at 5pm. Two Kingfishers were at Church Farm Sand Martin bank. Plenty of Small Skippers were at Brown's Wood, but as yet no sign of an Essex Skipper.