Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Winter then Summer!

Searching the snow free areas eventually paid off with this Snipe at the top end.
The horses are helping to create good feeding areas for thrushes, wagtails and pipits.
 This scene reminded me of a trip to Finland in the first week of April. The local birders told us that in Finland they often go from the deep snow of winter,(2 metres) into a rapid thaw, and then the warmth of summer. Often this will take place over a couple of weeks and there is hardly any spring. Perhaps this is what we will get this year.
This Lapwing has arrived back on its breeding grounds and is now waiting for the thaw. In Finland it was a common sight to see Lapwing on clear patches beside the roads.
A mystery photo. What is it? It is a Meadow Pipit.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Spring Blizzards.

Some very unseasonal weather has not stopped new birds appearing. Yesterday a fly over Peregrine was a welcome addition to the total. Today eight Golden Plover were seen flying north. There are also large flocks of mainly Redwing sheltering in the hedges and feeding on the ground in the fields to the east of the reservoir.
Check out Making Footprints blog link for an Albatross ID lesson.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Brief Shelduck.

A pair of Shelduck were brief visitors today. They were present at 1530, but gone by 1615. I suspect they may have moved on to perhaps Brascote. Also today a Water Rail gave good views at the Stanton inflow end of the reservoir. Yesterday there was a distinct passage of Meadow Pipits, all flying north. Interestingly I had been on the phone to Portland bird obs. where they reported a similar movement.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Guess what I saw today Dad?

It has been a habit for the last two mornings, the phone going with news from the Antipodes. On Friday it was, "Dad, guess what I saw today?" This morning the phone again woke me from my slumbers. "Hi Dad, guess what I saw today?" Check out the Making Footprints link for more details. I wonder what news will come through tomorrow? Oh well, back to trying to find something interesting at Thornton. At least I still have a lovely male Garganey to enjoy!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Garganey Still.

There was no sign of the male Garganey this morning up to 1030. However, the first Curlew calling as it flew over was a good indication of approaching Spring. Other birds of note included Water Rail, Kingfisher and two fly over Ravens. It was therefore very pleasing to refind the male Garganey in the top pool at 1615. I do not know if it was seen by anyone else between these times.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

More Garganey!

 The male Garganey was present for it's fourth day, still frequenting the Markfield inflow.
Although disturbed at times by grass cutters it seemed quite settled, feeding in the reeds on either side of the east arm.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Garganey for third day.

 The male Garganey was still at the top end, Markfield inflow today.(Wednesday 13th March)
 There was no sign of the female, although the male was regularly calling.
The male seems more settled and spent time feeding in the reeds on both banks, inbetween taking a short trip over the weir to rest in the top pool. Also two fly over Raven and Water Rail in the same area.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Possible Mealy/Common Redpoll.

 These are some poor quality photos of a Redpoll, possibly 2 , that seems to have characteristics of Mealy.

 The bird on the left has a long primary projection. I wonder what the wing length is!
 These were the first distance views that drew them to my attention. More white than the 20 or so Lessers that are also visiting the feeder.
Closer views. Plenty of grey around the head that also seems rather chunky. I wonder what weight it is!

 One or two other people have seen these and feel they look good for Mealy. I would appreciate any other views and most of all I would like the wind to drop so that I can catch one and get some measurements!!

Monday, 11 March 2013


 A pair of Garganey were found during the blizzards today. They were first found off Wood bank feeding in the reeds.
 I have only had one previous record of this Summer visiting duck at Thornton.
 March 11th is an early record for this scarce county breeder.
 There is a past record of 19 Garganey at Thornton in March 1941.