Friday, 28 October 2016

Poaching

That's how I feel going "out of area", away from my usual haunts. After spending all morning trying to kick off a heavy cold by (not) finding a Shrike, I decided to give Stewartby and Brogborough a look, more out of curiosity than anything else. I believe the technical term for birds of interest on Stewartby is "bugger all", so didn't know what to expect at Brogborough, however even from the car on the way in it was evident that the place was covered in ducks.

There were probably about 500 Tufted and a couple of hundred Pochard resting fairly close together and the prospect of going through them all didn't exactly fill me with joy, so I went for my standard (lazy) approach in situations like this - anything good will be on the edges. Luckily, a fairly quick search found 2 female Goldeneye on the edge of the main raft, that then started chasing each other about, so job done. I reckon it would be a safe bet for one of you dedicated types to find something better amongst the main bunch but I really couldn't be bothered with the way I was feeling.

Jim


Friday, 7 October 2016

2 tick day

Like Andy, I also needed Stonechat for the SFYL and had a wander around Sandy Smith and Chicksands yesterday with no result. However, today was noticeably different with various birds on the move, such as dribs and drabs of Redwing, Swallows and Golden Plover.

Not a bird I needed for the list, but I was pretty surprised to see a Redstart on the path at Old Warden tunnel, so things were looking up. Moving on to Sandy Smith and there was a smart male Stonechat up by the silos, and then another 2 on the grassland where the public path cuts across the Chicksands MOD site.

I got a 2nd tick whilst watching and listening to a fairly large mixed flock of tits, Goldcrest and a few Blackcap at a site not very far away from the Stonechats (it's a private area, hence the vagueness). I was convinced I could hear a Firecrest in amongst them all but it took quite a while to be able to pick it up visually, due to the foliage and poor light. I didn't even manage to get a SFYL standard photo but did have the bird in the bins a couple of times for a good enough view to confirm the ID. This is only the 2nd Firecrest I've seen in Beds (I'm not a birder remember :-) ), so I may have to indulge in a small shandy this evening.




Monday, 3 October 2016

Chatting together

Needed Stonechat for my SFYL so with an hour to spare Sunday afternoon thought I would try Warden Hill as nearest bit of likely habitat, Seen more Stonechats on this hill over the years than Whinchats, Luck was in as within minutes caught up with a pair of birds; one of each.





















Ahhh the joys of autofocus...