Friday, 30 March 2012


Out early this morning again at West Hartford. Again not much around. A pair of Ringed Plover on the main pool were the highlights. A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly seemed to be following me around.
Despite the breeze nothing was flying over the river and a pair of Jays shattered the peace there.
On my way home I stopped and watch a singing male Blackcap at the west end of Horton Burn.

Friday, 23 March 2012

WH Woods

Another early trip to West Hartford this morning. Numerous Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit and Skylark, 3 Grey Partridge were around the pools.
4 Greylag, 35 Herring and 3 LBB Gulls on the main pool were joined by a Shelduck. A few Snipe were accidentally flushed as I passed.
2 Short Eared Owls hunted over the marshy area including one which flew low over my head before landing on a post only meteres away, they seem to be getting used to people watching them now.

I went past the pylons and into the woods bordering the River Blyth today. No sign of a Marsh Tit but 2 Jay 3 GS Woodpecker were very vocal.
Also a Yellowhammer flew south over the river in almost the same area were I heard the Crossbill the other day. Like the Crossbill I just looked up in time to see the Yellowhammer flyover.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

First addition to the West Hartford list 2012

I got up early to go to West Hartford this morning. As I arrived I met MH on his bike who had just found the Jack Snipe. He said there wasn't much else on the pools so instead I checked the back fields towards the river.

The fields were quiet so I went to the fence line bordering trees surrounding the river. From hear were 2 Stock Dove, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 GS Woodpecker and a possible singing Marsh Tit. There was a tit flock in an area of scrub under one of the pylons and amongst the group was a song I wasn't familiar with. Since I have listended to recordings on the internet but I'm still not sure, I'll have to go back and check sometime.

Just before I left I heard a sound I am more familiar with, a Crossbill chipped away as it flew south over the river. I even managed to see it as it flew over, a nice green female.
A long overdue fly over at WH is the first addition of 2012, but what will be next?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Winter Hangover

Over the last week I have only gotten out a few times again, all locally. Couldn't find the Stonechat at West Hartford and scanned all the gulls but found nothing interesting.
I checked the woods surrounding Nelson Hill and the patch of scrub between Crowhall Lane and the Industrial estate for an early warbler but only Chaffinch and LT Tit were found.

A nice male Bullfinch was probably the highlight at the top of my street.

This morning I went to Blyth with Cain to look for the Waxwings. We pulled into Thorntree Way just in time to see the four fly over the car and land in a bare tree near the roundabout between the street and the car park. As we approached only three birds were visible then we turned to face the berry bush and were face to face nearly with the other bird as it sat in the bush. These were by far the most tame Waxwings I have ever seen. Cain got some good photos just before they flew off into the estate and out of site.

On the way back we checked the pool at Bebside recycling centre. A pair of Shelduck and Coot were both on the water.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Work stops for a county tick

I have only managed to get out of the house a few times in the last week. A few quick checks of West Hartford produced the same every time, Shelduck, 3 LBB Gull and a Mute Swan.
The most interesting sighting I had was last Friday when I was scanning from Nelson Hill, the gull flock took off from WH and a single Goose flew with them before following the River Blyth then turning around and flying off in the direction of Holywell.
Visibility was poor but and the only feature I could pick out was a large white wing panel.

This week I had two attempts for the Egyptian Goose at Holywell. The first was unsuccessful as I found the flock and a White Fronted Goose but no Egyptian. 10 Tree Sparrow were in the hedge between the new viewing screen and the public hide.
Yesterday I went back with JM and this time the Goose was showing well much closer in the field west of the pond.
A nice bird with a lot better credentials than the pair at Stakeford Bridge!