Monday, 7 December 2015

Time for a Stern lesson!

Some interesting observations today that have done nothing to get me in the Christmas spirit! Firstly a Red Admiral feeding on flowering Ivy. Second a pair of winter plumage Great -crested Grebes doing their pairing display. Third at least 2 Pipistrelle bats and some moths on the wing around the reservoir. With temperatures around 14 c it is no surprise that some of our wildlife is confused. Coupled with Atlantic storms, ( now bearing hurricane like names), dumping the 200 year flood every ten years, perhaps it is time to follow some of the guidance given by the Stern report!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Common Scoter Closer.

 On Wednesday the Common Scoter was closer to the bank.
 She was still busy feeding.

There were also three Goldeneye briefly on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Common Scoter still and a Returnee.

 The female Common Scoter was again present for its third day.(24/11)
 It had moved to a more central area of the reservoir and was still busy feeding.
 I first recorded this Black-headed Gull on 16/12/2014. I was able to read its ring using my telescope. The code was 5426233, HELGOLAND, GERMANA.
Today I was reading the ring of this adult Black-headed Gull and realised that it was the same bird. Perhaps it returned to Helgoland to breed this summer and has returned to Thornton for the winter. I will pass on this record to the German ringing scheme. By being able to identify an individual it is possible to discover the movements of bird species, and better understand their conservation needs.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cold Snap brings some visitors.

On Saturday there were 5 Goosander, 2 males and 3 females. Today , Sunday, a single female Common Scoter was feeding near the car park. Her dives lasted approximately  40 seconds. There were also 7 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 69 Lapwing and two Kingfishers. A developing raft of Great -crested Grebes had reached 18.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

November Update.

Recent sightings have included a male Brambling with the Chaffinch flock on October 28th, and two Kingfishers on the 29th. By 6th November the Lapwing flock had increased to 50. There were two Snipe at Brown's Wood on 8th November. On the 11th November 40 Cormorants were feeding on the reservoir and seemed to be catching mainly Perch. Todays Webs count was completed in very windy conditions. Numbers were down with only 69 Mallard and 19 Coot. Little Grebe numbers were still good with 18 counted. There were 53 Lapwing on the dam and a single flyover Raven.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Scaup at Thornton.

 Three juvenile Scaup were in the central area of Thornton Reservoir today.
 I think they were present this am. They were busy feeding and were viewable from the car park.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Canadian Warblers ID- Help!

 I would welcome any help or verification on these birds seen on my recent trip to the St Lawrence.
A. Philadelphia Vireo
 B. Wilsons Warbler (looks bigger in the hand I think)
 C. American Redstart.
 D. Yellow Warbler.

 E. Magnolia Warbler

 F. Yellowthroat.

 G. Nashville Warbler? above and below.

 H. Blackpoll Warbler ? just seems too yellow, above and below.

 I. Yellow Rumped Warbler- dancing to its shadow!
 Same as H above and below.

 J. Palm Warbler ? above and another Yellow- Rumped below.

K. 2 Blackpoll Warblers. These do seem to fit the drabness of immature Fall birds.

They were good fun, but tricky to photograph, at least that is my excuse for some poor images.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Parc Nature de Pointe-aux-Outardes. Well worth a visit.

 A' 2h30 a' l'est de Tadooussac est Pointe-aux-Outardes.
 If you are travelling along the St Lawrence then make sure you visit this reserve.
Horaires d'ouverture- De juin a, octobre, du lundi au dimanche, de 8h a' 17h.
 Great range of habitats and plenty of good bird watching to be had. Also a good place to practice your French!
 Excellent board walks make walking round the reserve a joy and very relaxing.
 Plenty of helpful information boards.
 Great vistas and places to rest and vis. mig.

 Even a clever sundial.
 Long sandy beaches along the St Lawrence.
 Thanks to Denis Cardinal for such a warm and friendly welcome. I was amazed that we could converse so well. Dennis had better English than my French, but we had some good conversations. Something to do with having the same passions!
I am also considering changing my surname. Why can't I been named after a bird!! uummm, maybe
Andy Solitaire!!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Canada Highlights.

 Just back from two weeks traveling along the St. Lawrence, from Montreal in the west as far as Matane and Baie Comeau in the east. Great weather and some wonderful landscapes and wildlife.
Lots of warblers to confuse me. I think it is a Yellow Warbler above. If not, it should be!
 Greater Yellowlegs on the rock pools at Tadoussac, our favourite place.
 One of our targets, Ursa Noir near Sacre Ceur.
 Belugas were seen several times. Great to get a tail fluke.

 Hot Lips below!
 Although not a great photo the image below does show a grey juvenile. Cute!

 On the beach at Matane a very confiding group of Sanderling engaged us. I could have happily spent hours playing with them.

 I was totally "Gripped Off" by Paula , when she found this Hermit Thrush in the garden of our hotel at Baie Comeau. It was attracted out of the shrubbery when the gardener set up his sprinkler. Perhaps this might work on Shetland?

 This bird was with the Hermit. I think it is a juvenile Grey Catbird, but not sure.

 Juvenile Yellowthroat.

 Not sure what this is. Could be a Yellow Throated Vireo, but a tad out of its range. Below is Yellow Rumped Warbler. The only species I felt confident about!
 Another nice find was this Northern Waterthrush, again near the hotel.
 Would create quite a twitch if this was on the garden path at Thornton!
 Unidentified Dragonfly at Point aux Outardes.
 Northern Harrier, Point aux Outardes, one of my favourite places and a great reserve.
 Minke Whales were easy to photograph from shore at Tadoussac.

 This individual was within 100m of the rocks.

 Minke feeding in the tidal race at the entrance to the Saguenay Fiord, Tadoussac.