Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pintail pops in!

A single male Pintail was present on Saturday in the company of 3 Wigeon. Not surprisingly it had departed for Sundays Webs count. Pintail is an uncommon winter visitor in Leicestershire. The winter distribution in the Bird Atlas 2007-11 shows a preference for grazing marshes , river floodplains and estuaries. It is the second Pintail at Thornton this year, following a female back in February.
The Webs count indicated a drop in the number of duck with only 106 Mallard, 34 Tufted and 22 Gadwall. Two Kingfisher and a Water Rail were also recorded. The Lapwing flock has now increased to 82.

Monday, 2 December 2013

New Zealand Trip.

 Just returned from 3 weeks in NZ and these are some raw images of some highlights. This Grey Petrel had everyone excited including the guide , who shouted, "What is That?"
 New Zealand storm petrel, lost to science until rediscovered in 2002.
 New Zealand white capped Albatross.
 Cook's Petrel
 Teriteri island has a range of endems including North Island Robin.

 A rubbish photo of something in the Cook strait. Could it be a Kerguelen Petrel. We will never Know! (Try and find it? )
 Swimming with these Dusky dolphins was an experience at Kaikoura.
Wandering Albatross(race Gibsons) with Giant Petrels.
Mean while on my return at Thornton there were two pairs of Red crested Pochard on the res on 28th Nov. There had been an influx of Pochard , 18 on the 27th so may be these were genuine migrants from eastern Europe.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Bad Weather brings the birds!

 A very confiding Jack Snipe was on the dam this morning.
Also present was a Rock Pipit that was less easy to grab an image of.  There were also two late Swallows feeding between the heavy showers.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Fair Isle and Shetland trip.

 The first new species for me was a Bonelli's Warbler at Virkie South Shetland.
 Memories of the Thornton Rosefinch, we saw several during our two week stay.
 Good views of up to six Lapland Buntings on FI.
 I never tire of watching Fulmar from the cliffs.
 Several Great Spots were frequenting the islands, looking for trees!
The highlight for me was finding a Corncrake on FI, not a common bird on the island.
 Twite were common.
 The rarest bird I saw. Wrens of the race zetlandicus. Once down to only a few pairs.
 Several Barred warblers were seen ,both on FI and Shetland.

 Another new species for me, Subalpine Warbler at Mid Yell.

 A very obliging Icterine Warbler at Norwick, Unst.

 Shetland demands to be photographed, but I can never do it justice.
 Fair Isle under the rainbow.

 Now where is that Magnolia warbler!!
 Yellow browed warblers were every where , easily the most common warbler.
 One way to get to the islands with a ship load of Vikings!
 Plane over and Good Shepherd back.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Red Kite and Wigeon.

 Two Wigeon were in the Markfield inflow pool along with 5 Shoveler, 4 Teal and 6 Gadwall. A Water Rail was also skulking in the reeds.
 A Red Kite flew west at 1600.
Dodgy Snow Goose looking serene as dusk falls.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Some August treats!

A  Greenshank was a welcome addition to the year list.
 It fed at the Markfield inflow then relocated to the dam for a brief afternoon stop over.

 Two young Shoveler have been loafing around  at the Markfield inflow.
Two Little Egret were fly overs today, heading west at 1630.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Mixed Bag!

 So it seems that the Night Heron has departed after a stay of two weeks. I think it performed well and was enjoyed by at least 500 people. So I thought I would up date the blog with some of the other happenings around the res. It was nice to find this Purple Hairstreak sat on an Ash tree off Stoney bank this afternoon.
 It seems to have lost its tail. A species I have only seen once before at Thornton, but they are probably over looked.
Three  Ravens were giving great aerobatic displays.
 Not to be out done the Battle of Britain flight decided to give a fly past. A Lancaster and Hurricane.
 I love the sound of the Spitfires Merlin engine and it does stir the blood!

 One of natures masters of flight was a female Common Hawker egg laying in the garden pond.