Wednesday, 27 January 2016

27th January

Goldeneye at Venus Pool

as well as some aggressive Coots


and a Great-spotted Woodpecker

Saturday, 23 January 2016

22nd January

A little look at Venus Pool produced an excellent count of 17 Shelduck, by far the highest numbers I’ve seen here; 19 Gadwall was also an increase on the last visit and there was also another Windermere ringed Canada Goose present (from summer 2013) – the third individual seen this winter.

There were plenty of Goosanders near the English Bridge in Shrewsbury

The third Windermere ringed Canada Goose I've seen at Venus Pool this winter

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Norwegian Black Head

Had a little look round some lakes in Telford in the pretty grim conditions; there weren’t too many Gulls around but the highlight was a Norwegian darvic ringed Black-headed Gull resting on the ice on Horsehay Pool (it was ringed as a chick near Oslo last summer).   Birds on the small area of open water on Priorslee Lake included 16 Great-crested Grebes (with a few pairs starting to display), 19 Pochard, 10 Gadwall and 6 Great Black-backed Gulls with c40 other Gulls.

Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull in Telford this afternoon

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

20th January

A beautiful, frosty with not a cloud in the sky winters day (very rare so far this winter) produced a few bits and improved counts from a walk along the River Severn from Cressage Bridge to Ironbridge including the highlights of a wintering Common Sandpiper  (recorded over-wintering in four of the last ten winters), 14 Mandarin, an excellent total of 60 Goosanders (a new record for me for this stretch of river) and a pair of Peregrines on the top of one of the now defunct cooling towers at Ironbridge Power Station – the male was calling loudly having just brought in some prey which the female was eating.

                Other birds included a 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull at Buildwas with other Gulls, 12+ Teal, a decent flock of 34 Skylarks at Cressage Bridge and my first couple of drumming Great-spotted Woodpeckers of the year.


Record shot of the wintering Common Sandpiper


Peregrines on the Power Station

Quite a distinctive Buzzard

Friday, 15 January 2016


Several Kittiwakes were also coming in to the beach at Dungeness this evening to feed on fishing discards from the thousands of fishermen that plague the coast here (!)   I filled up my memory card on them so here are the final cuts!

Probably my favourite picture of the bunch



Caspo and Glauc

The 1st winter Caspian Gull and the juvenile Glaucous Gull both showed brilliantly well today around the Fishing Boats and Fish Shack here at Dungeness today; here's a selection of pictures.

Big brute of a Glaucous Gull

Beautiful, slim Caspian Gull - showing its distinctive build perfectly in the above picture compared with the stocky, accompanying Herring Gulls

Back detail

Very smart!

15th January

Still gorgeous, bright and sunny but with an even colder, biting northerly wind; the Fishing Boats were quiet first thing with an adult Mediterranean Gull offshore the only thing of note.   Birds around Hookers and Dengemarsh then included a Dartford Warbler which called a couple of times near the ramp, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Kingfisher, 2 Brent Geese, a Great White Egret, another adult Mediterranean Gull, a Peregrine and a Raven on the pylons by Springfield Bridge.

                A walk round the point late afternoon in the lovely evening sun then produced the 1st winter Caspian Gulls and Glaucous Gulls; at least 10 Kittiwakes coming in to eat fish scraps, a Danish ringed Great Black-backed Gull and a Long-tailed Duck briefly offshore.

Front and back Hen Harrier


Danish ringed Great Black-backed Gull - ringed as a chick in 2014 and has been here at Dungeness for the last two consecutive winters

Thursday, 14 January 2016

14th January

Another bright, sunny morning with a very cold NW wind but there was little new around the Fishing Boats first thing with a few more Red-throated Divers present while the 1st winter Caspian Gull was still loafing around.   A stomp through the Trapping Area then produced single Firecrest and Chiffchaff with 4+ Goldcrests and a couple of Long-tailed Tit parties.

                The RSPB Reserve then produced little new but improved counts of 3 Great White Egrets and 9+ Little Egrets before the day’s highlight came late on with 2 Glaucous Gulls together on the beach at the Fishing Boats – a pale juvenile and a very confiding 2nd winter bird.

Glaucous Gull at dusk

Eye Eye

1st winter Marsh Harrier

Adult female Marsh Harrier

Big, ugly argentatus Herring Gull (the photo makes the mantle look a bit darker than it looked in the field)

Herring Gull - probably ringed somewhere in Gloucester