Thursday, 31 January 2013

Windblast birds

Hi

At lunch-time today there were about a dozen Bramblings among the feeding birds on the concrete track at Harrington Airfield, just off the Draughton Road.  An adult female Peregrine was feeding on prey on the top fields, itself being mobbed by a Kestrel.

A walk around Pitsford Res south of the causeway provided views of 2 'redhead' Smew, 8 Lesser Redpolls, about 30 Siskins and 2 Ravens.

Regards

Eleanor

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Five white nuns

Hi

Birds at Hanging Houghton today included 2 Lesser Redpolls and up to 4 Ravens.  Two Bramblings and 6 Lesser Redpolls were along the Brampton Valley Way below Brixworth.

At Ravensthorpe Res this afternoon, a total of 13 Smew (5 adult drakes) were on view from the road causeway (please see some images below).

Regards

Eleanor and Neil











Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Siskin splendour

Hi

Birds in the garden today at Hanging Houghton included 5 Lesser Redpolls and a nice bright adult male Siskin (please see below). A Raven flew over north at 12.30pm.

At Pitsford Res this afternoon there was a Lesser Redpoll and a Willow Tit in Christies Copse in the Walgrave Bay and a 'redhead' Smew was just off the causeway car park (not quite coming to bread!).

In the gull roost later, an adult Mediterranean Gull again showed up as did a second winter Yellow-legged Gull.  Two Ravens flew over.

Regards

Neil M

Siskin

Monday, 28 January 2013

I preferred the snow to this...!

Hi

This morning there were two vocal Bramblings at Pitsford Res on the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station.  Neil Hasdell went on to locate a drake and a 'redhead' Smew south of the causeway, both in the vicinity of the gorse bushes but the drake was quite mobile.

At about 1.30pm this afternoon the flock of feeding birds at Harrington Airfield included about 15 Bramblings.  A walk in the wind and rain added a Red Kite but little else!

Regards

Neil M

Optics Demonstration Pitsford Res 3rd Feb

Hi

This coming Sunday (3rd February 2013), there is an optics demonstration at Pitsford Reservoir between 10am and 4pm.  This is an event organised by the local Wildlife Trust utilizing Opticron equipment in field conditions.  Attendees will be provided the opportunity of trying a range of Opticron binoculars and telescopes with an Opticron expert on hand.  Neil Hasdell and I will be present with the task of finding some subject matter for attendees to look at!

This event is taking place at The Lodge which is situated just off the road causeway on the Holcot Road.  We hope to use the nearby Goosander Hide in the Holcot Bay and will be able to wander further afield if weather conditions permit.  There is no obligation to make purchases, but this will provide an excellent opportunity for anyone with even a passive interest in observing our British wildlife in an enhanced manner to try out optical equipment from a well-known and established manufacturer.  We look forward to seeing you there!

The official flyer is as follows:-

Sunday 3rd February, 10am - 4pm
Fishing Lodge, Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire NN6 9TF

An optics expert will be on hand to offer you the opportunity to test and compare Opticron binoculars and telescopes under field conditions. A great opportunity to purchase optics and support the local Wildlife Trust – drop in to try before you buy – no booking required. For more details: contact Amanda on 01954 713500 /amanda.spivack@wildlifebcn.org or visit http://www.wildlifebcn.org/events.



Sunday, 27 January 2013

Abandoned!

Hi

With the disappearance of the snow and comparative soaring temperatures, the birds that have been regular in the garden for the last ten days were mostly absent today.  We've been abandoned!

A few birds did show up which included a pair of Brambling briefly, 3 Lesser Redpolls and the Nordic-like Jackdaw in the sheep field behind the garden.

A visit to Ravensthorpe Res this afternoon was a treat with a posse of eight Smew (two drakes), a first winter drake Scaup and four Pintail.

Regards

Neil M






Saturday, 26 January 2013

A couple of nice surprises!

Hi

Driving through Wilby village this morning, Eleanor saw two Waxwings in roadside bushes.

At Pitsford Res this morning at 10.15am, a Bittern was disturbed from the water's edge in the Scaldwell Meadow and it flew to The Point where it landed out of view in the waterside willow trees.  The first record at Pitsford for quite some number of years I think.  Other birds in the immediate area included two Ravens over and a Brambling at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station.

At Harrington Airfield, a calling Snow Bunting flew over the concrete track just past the straw bale stacks at 1.45pm, flying low north.  It gave the impression of having flown up off the ground with a Skylark and was only about a metre off the ground when it went out of view so could still be in the area.

A quick wander around the thawing and waterlogged fields at the south end of Blueberry Farm this afternoon failed to locate any Short-eared Owls.

Regards

Neil M

Friday, 25 January 2013

Short-eared Owls arriving or going?

Hi

In the garden today I saw 4 Lesser Redpolls, 2 male Bramblings and the Common Buzzard on our roof and in nearby trees for much of the day!

At Brixworth CP this morning there were 10 Lesser Redpolls, with 2 Kingfishers at the adjacent Pitsford Reservoir in Pintail Bay.  At the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station at least one Brambling could be heard calling but were not seen.

At Harrington Airfield this afternoon there were at least a dozen Bramblings in the usual spot off the Draughton Road.

At 3.30pm, five Short-eared Owls were visible all together in the southern-most field at Blueberry Farm, their actions suggesting they had just arrived or were just going!

Regards

Eleanor

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Little to report today

Hi

The birds were in short supply today but birds in the garden remained similar as in previous days with 4 Lesser Redpolls and lots of hungry Fieldfares.  Just two Bramblings were seen on the seed at Harrington Airfield this afternoon.  Unfortunately I didn't see anything else of note on my travels today!

Regards

Eleanor

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Static birds

Hi

Birds in the garden here at Hanging Houghton today again included 4 Lesser Redpolls and 2-3 Bramblings with 2 Waxwings nearby in the village.

At Blueberry Farm, Maidwell birds seen included a Barn Owl, 2 Ravens, 2-3 Lesser Redpolls and a Woodcock.

At about 10.30am this morning there was a large flock of about 60 Waxwings in Brixworth village, which were in flight over the shops in the centre of the village.  A search afterwards failed to locate them.

At Pitsford Res today there were two Kingfishers and four Goosanders in the dam area.  The Slavonian Grebe was south of the causeway near the gorse bushes off the Brixworth bank, and other birds in this general area included 6 Smew (2 drakes), a female Peregrine, 4 Snipe and a Raven.  North of the causeway there were at least 2 Bramblings at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station, a Red Kite and the Great White Egret was seen to fly in to the Walgrave Bay.

Finally at Harrington Airfield this afternoon, the female Merlin was again present at 2pm as were 6 Golden Plover, at least 8 Bramblings and 100+ Skylarks.

Regards

Eleanor

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Redwings

Hi

The wintery conditions continue with some very cold temperatures this morning, reduced to minus ten at Pitsford Res first thing.  Much of the water north of the causeway was frozen and the fog and mist ensured that a further attempt at the WeBS count was again cancelled!  A Brambling at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station and a Little Egret near the yacht club were the only birds of note.

This afternoon there was a Chiffchaff in the grounds of Moulton Agricultural College and two Waxwings appeared out of the mist there and landed on a hedge.  Others could be heard calling nearby but the appalling visibility prevented further sightings.

A Brambling and a Lesser Redpoll were at Kelmarsh Hall and at least 3 Bramblings and 3 Grey Partridges were present at Harrington Airfield this afternoon.

Birds in the garden remained in good numbers and included 2 Bramblings, 4-5 Lesser Redpolls and Fieldfares and Redwings.  These latter two species are suffering significant predation as evidenced by the various patches of feathers in the snow at numerous locations locally.  Feeding out in the open, foraging in leaf litter and even digging in to the snow means they are easier to catch than many avian prey, particularly as many of the individuals are hungry and lethargic as they struggle to find sufficient food.

A feeding group of Redwing at Hanging Houghton would have been photogenic had the light conditions been better, but as they are one of my favourite winter birds, I couldn't resist clicking away (and a Wren decided to join in too)...

Neil & Eleanor






Monday, 21 January 2013

Garden birds are the best!

Hi 

With more snow overnight but only minimal during the daytime today, it provided an opportunity to clear the ground at the various feed-stations and restock the feeders yet again.

This morning there was a Kingfisher in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton and 2 Lesser Redpolls at Blueberry Farm plus a Barn Owl, the usual stunning mostly white Common Buzzard and a Red Kite.

Virgin snow up to a foot deep at Scotland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate) provided an opportunity for tracking the local mammals and Pheasants and feeding the Robins that opted to stay for the winter.  Harrington Airfield attracted at least two Bramblings this morning, but with eight present this afternoon.   Again this afternoon the female Merlin rallied some ca 200 Skylarks over the top fields.  Skylarks and thrushes are perhaps the most obvious hard weather movers locally, with Skylarks running around on various partly-thawed country roads and calling in flight after dark.

Birds at Pitsford Res today included a single Brambling at both Christies Copse and at the main Old Scaldwell Road feeding station plus 3 Ravens over the Walgrave Bay.

Birds in the garden here at Hanging Houghton included many Fieldfares, a Redwing, 4 Lesser Redpolls, a couple of Bramblings and a few Tree Sparrows.  However they were all eclipsed when a Waxwing showed up on the impaled apples this afternoon.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil




Sunday, 20 January 2013

More snow!

Hi

Plenty more snow again today which has meant that keeping the birds fed has been a full time job.  Plenty of Fieldfares, a couple of Redwing, a Mistle Thrush, a Lesser Redpoll and good numbers of common birds adorned the garden.  A Common Buzzard has been regularly sitting up in a tree overlooking our small back garden and today it again took up temporary residence.  Attracted by the large numbers of birds visiting the garden, today he/she took action with a surprisingly fast attack on a feeding Woodpigeon which escaped minus a few feathers!

A couple of juvenile Woodpigeons amongst the 50+ strong flock is a reminder that they breed all year round these days.  At least 3 Bramblings were regular during the day and a Siskin was flying around.

Birds elsewhere were restricted to two Woodcock flushed from a hedge between the Brampton Valley Way and Blueberry Farm plus a Chiffchaff and 2 Lesser Redpolls were in the northern-most field of the Blueberry complex.  Five Bramblings were attracted to the seed at Harrington Airfield today.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bramblings and others

Hi

Birds in the garden today were similar to yesterday but perhaps only two Bramblings were on show at any one time, the Lesser Redpoll introduced a companion to the niger feeders and the Fieldfares just kept on coming.

Pitsford Res seemed quiet today but there was still one Brambling around the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station and a Redshank still (near to the causeway today).

At Harrington Airfield there were about 10 Bramblings on the feedstuff off the Draughton Road and at 8.25am the female Merlin was again rounding up remnant and probably tired and hungry Skylarks.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Friday, 18 January 2013

Double glazed birding

Hi

The birds were so hungry in the garden today they took almost no notice of movements within the house and permitted some photos through the double-glazing (please see opposite).

Birds in the garden today included 6 Bramblings, half-a-dozen Fieldfare and singles of Lesser Redpoll, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer amongst the throng of more common species.

At least one Brambling was at Kelmarsh Hall and 2 Woodcock were flushed at Sunderland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate) this morning.

Birds in the northern-most field at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this morning included a Short-eared Owl, a Barn Owl, a Red Kite and 2 Snipe.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Thursday, 17 January 2013

White Nuns

Hi

Birds north of the causeway at Pitsford Res this afternoon included the Great White Egret and eight stunning Smew (6 'white nun' drakes).  Birds in the garden included 3 Bramblings and an increase in the number of apple-loving Fieldfares.

Regards

Eleanor

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Birds of the freezing fog

Hi

Freezing fog ensured that any attempt to complete the WeBS count at Pitsford today was abandoned; the freezing fog never did clear all day.

Birds in the garden here at Hanging Houghton included 5 Bramblings, several Fieldfares, Redwing, Yellowhammer and a vociferous Mistle Thrush.  Despite the harsh conditions, Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard drumming and Great Tits singing!

Little else of note to report today - 4 Lesser Redpolls at Hanging Houghton sewer works feeding on Rose-bay Willowherb and a hunting Barn Owl at Blueberry Farm being about the best!

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Cold weather birds

Hi

Birds in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Res this morning included a Crossbill, a Brambling, a Willow Tit and a Woodcock.

Birds searching for food in the garden here at Hanging Houghton included Nuthatch, Yellowhammer, Fieldfare, Redwing and three Bramblings.  There were at least 8 Bramblings feeding within the throng of birds on the seed at Harrington Airfield this morning.

This afternoon a Black-necked Grebe was located off the dam at Pitsford Res, close to the valve tower, with a Chiffchaff in waterside bushes at the dam/yacht club junction.

Birds at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this afternoon included a hunting Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl, both in the northern-most field.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Monday, 14 January 2013

Snow birds

Hi

Well with the arrival of snow and a cold easterly breeze today was mostly taken up feeding hungry birds!

Birds in the garden included a smart male Brambling and the Jackdaw again with the eye-catching neck markings (possibly Norvic Jackdaw).

After feeding them, I tried photographing birds at the main feeding station at Pitsford Reservoir in the falling snow which proved to be tricky (images opposite).

An initial visit to Harrington Airfield this morning found plenty of birds in the bushes waiting for their food and 4 Bramblings came down almost straightaway.  However the second wave of snow covered the food so a return visit this afternoon and another scraping session and more food was required!  Good numbers of common birds flocked down with at least 8 Bramblings included.

A subsequent walk around the complex was mostly quiet but with a surprisingly significant number of Fieldfare gobbling up the very last of the berries.  I could see that there were a number of Skylarks in the snow on the top fields but I was amazed to count 500 as they took flight and streamed past me.  The last 50 or so birds suddenly veered up vertically, a sure sign of an approaching raptor, and a large female Merlin came across the fields underneath the last of the Skylarks.  The Merlin then adopted a slow wing-flap quarter across the fields, something I have not seen a Merlin perform before and far more typical of an accipter or harrier.  After beating up the airfield she perched briefly on one of the bunkers and then disappeared from view.

Regards

Neil M



Sunday, 13 January 2013

Kelmarsh ringing

Hi

A ringing session took place at Kelmarsh Hall today which included a good selection of species including two Bramblings and a Nuthatch (see images opposite).  Other birds noted included a Raven, a couple of Lesser Redpolls and ca30 Siskins.

A pleasant walk at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell was quiet for birds apart from a hunting Barn Owl.

Regards

Neil M

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Wintery birds

Hi

This morning there were 2 Bramblings at Kelmarsh Hall with 5 others nearby on the broadcast seed at Harrington Airfield later in the day.

At Pitsford Res the Great White Egret was in the Walgrave Bay at 11.30am and was then on The Point between the Scaldwell and Walgrave Bays at 1pm.  The Old Scaldwell Road feeding station attracted a couple of Bramblings, a Lesser Redpoll and a Willow Tit.  There were 2 Ravens over the dam this afternoon.

Here at Hanging Houghton there were 2 Bramblings in the garden and in the Brampton Valley below the village birds included an adult female Peregrine, 2 Ravens and  a Red Kite. Blueberry Farm hosted 2 Woodcock and a Barn Owl this afternoon.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Friday, 11 January 2013

Here they come!

Hi

A change in the temperature and some more traditional winter weather has ensured that there were plenty more birds on show today, particularly where food was put out for them.

In the garden there was an increase in Blackbirds etc with scarcities including 2 Siskins and 1-2 Brambling.

The Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton attracted 2 Ravens, 6 Golden Plovers, 2 Bramblings and 4 Lesser Redpolls.

A lunch-time wander around the southern edge of Northampton provided 4 Waxwings in bushes off Rowtree Road, East Hunsbury just east of the Doctor's surgery and with 2 more in hawthorns another 120 metres further east (12.35pm).  At least 3 Waxwings were in roadside bushes on the B526 Newport Pagnell Road on the opposite side of the road to N'pton School for Girls (12.50pm).

This afternoon and a visit to Harrington Airfield produced a flurry of birds.  The best was a fine adult male Hen Harrier hunting the complex at 2pm, on the rough areas to the right of the concrete track.  Other birds included 2-3 Ravens, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 25 Meadow Pipits with the seed by the Draughton Road entrance attracting large numbers of passerines which included a spectacular 30+ Bramblings (in a variety of plumages).

The birding opportunities for this week-end look to be interesting!

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Thursday, 10 January 2013

More Waxwings!

Hi

Three Bramblings were on the feed station seed at Pitsford Res this morning (Old Scaldwell Road).

Two Waxwings were mobile around Hanging Houghton just after dawn this morning and a further flock of 30 were in bushes on the Brixworth bypass at about 11am.

This afternoon a flock of 12 Waxwings were in a field hedgerow in the Brampton Valley between Hanging Houghton and Blueberry Farm, and two Woodcock were flushed from the same hedgerow.  A single Barn Owl was hunting at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell.

Regards

Eleanor

Waxwings to the north

Hi

Today Eleanor and I went to the north of the county and committed to a day's birding given the excellent weather forecast.  Although we didn't manage to visit many locations the passerine birding was top notch and very enjoyable in super winter sunshine.

First stop was East Carlton CP where the best birds were a Raven, a Red Kite, ca60 Siskins and 5 Lesser Redpolls.

Next was Weldon Woodland Park on the outskirts of Corby.  Initially there was no sign of any Waxwings as reported during the last couple of days, but then at 11.10am a flock of 13 arrived and showed well to at least 11.50am (please see images).  These birds were mostly eating rose hip berries, one of their least favourite fruits and reflecting the fact that more palatable berries have already been consumed.  There were a couple of Lesser Redpolls here too.

Wakerley Wood was the next venue, and although they were only seen in flight, a flock of ca15 Crossbills were mobile and noisy around the larches near to the main car park.  Three Lesser Redpolls fed here too and some 40 Siskins and scattered redpolls were throughout the wood. Two Ravens flew over.

We checked Harringworth Airfield and 3 elusive Hawfinches were in the same place as a single on 30th Dec.  One bird sat up in Hawthorn and Blackthorn bushes but would not allow a close approach.  A flock of 10 Waxwings were eating rose hips here but also fly-catching too.  Other birds included about 20 Siskins, several redpolls, a Woodcock and a Barn Owl.  Several Fallow Deer included a white animal.

Driving back around to the A43, at 4pm we came across a flock of 28 Waxwings adorning the roadside hedge opposite the Laxton Hall turning.

Our final venue was Blatherwycke lake where scanning just prior to dusk picked up on a Goosander and 6 Mandarin Ducks.

Regards

Neil M


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Grey birds on a grey day

Hi

Birds in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this morning included 2 Ravens and a Red Kite, with the Stonechat still at Blueberry  Farm.  A flock of 25 Waxwings were seen flying towards Blueberry Farm.

At Pitsford Res this morning the Slavonian Grebe was still present south of the causeway off the Brixworth bank, half way between the Gorse Bushes and Stone Bridge Bay.  Three Lesser Redpolls were in the same area.  A single Goosander and a 'redhead' Smew were present in the Scaldwell Bay.

At Sywell CP this afternoon, a 'redhead' Smew was still present as was a Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a flock of 60-70 Siskins with some intermixed redpolls which included Lessers.  A foraging Red Kite was at Mears Ashby.

Two Waxwings were flying around Hanging Houghton just before dusk this afternoon.

Regards

Neil M











Monday, 7 January 2013

Birds of mid-winter

Hi

Birds around the dam area at Pitsford Res this morning included an adult male Peregrine, a Redshank, a Kingfisher, 1-2 Lesser Redpoll and 12+ Siskins.

At 1.20pm there was a single Waxwing on the Brampton Valley Way between the Lamport and Draughton crossings, and birds at Harrington Airfield during the early afternoon included 4 Waxwings over flying north, an adult female Peregrine and 6 Bramblings.  Nearby this afternoon there were at least 2 Bramblings at Kelmarsh Hall.

A wander around the Blueberry Farm complex (Maidwell) later in the afternoon provided 2 Ravens, probably the same adult female Peregrine, the male Stonechat still in the northern most field and a hunting Barn Owl.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Sunday, 6 January 2013

SP54 Short Day Count etc

Hi

Another day where we split forces, with me completing another BOS Short Day Count and Eleanor staying local to NN6.

This morning the Great White Egret was again at Pitsford Res, this time in bushes between the Holcot and Walgrave bays.  A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was reportedly within a tit flock near to the rookery in the Walgrave Bay.  A 'redhead' Smew was north of the causeway and the Slavonian Grebe was reported south of the causeway again.

This afternoon there were 12 Bramblings feeding on the seed at Harrington Airfield, by the concrete track entrance off the Draughton Road.  An adult female Peregrine appeared over the old airstrip and chased Woodpigeons feeding on the fields.  She was shadowed by the female Merlin which subsequently chased the passerines displaced by the larger falcon, both raptors disappearing towards Short Wood, the Merlin possibly successful in catching a small bird.

In the meantime I spent the day in SP54 which is in the south west of the county.  The first hour of daylight yielded 42 species, with just another 23 species being added before 4pm.  A Kingfisher was noted in the mist at Thenford as were 6 Siskins.  Winter thrushes dominated the day again with big numbers in particular of Redwing feeding on the wet fields.  Nuthatches and Marsh Tits seemed to be present at most sites.  Two Grey Wagtails were at Middleton Cheney and Tree Sparrows and about 10 Siskins were at the Farthinghoe LNR.  A Woodcock was flushed at Thorpe Mandeville. 

The last few hours of the birding day was spent around the Edgcote/Trafford Bridge area where scarcer birds included a pair of Raven, 2 Snipe, another Kingfisher, a pair of Goosander, ca10 Siskins, a Lesser Redpoll and the final new addition of the day, an elusive Willow Tit.

Regards

Neil M

Saturday, 5 January 2013

SP55 Short Day Count

Hi

Today was taken up completing a Banbury Ornithological Society Short Day Count in the 10km square SP55.  This is a square to the south west of Daventry and the annual count endeavours to record as many species of birds as possible within an eight hour period.

We started at Fawsley Park and then walked up to and around Badby Wood.  Forty-nine species were recorded in the first hour but is was very slow thereafter!  Scarcer birds at Fawsley Park included at least one Grey Wagtail, a Kingfisher, a Water Rail, 3 Ravens, 5 Lesser Redpolls and a mobile flock of between 50-60 Siskins.  On entering Badby Wood we located a single Brambling but it seemed very quiet in the trees as we slogged through the mud.  Another Raven 'cronked' overhead and small numbers of Siskins danced around the wood.  The Mistle Thrushes were in good voice and large numbers of winter thrushes descended on to the sodden grass fields on our return to Fawsley.

The next main venue was Lower Catesby and although there were plenty of common birds, the only new species was a single fly-over Lesser Black-backed Gull, the only one encountered all day.  The Ravens didn't disappoint with the flock reaching at least 44 birds whilst we were present (with the flock then breaking up and pairs moving off in a variety of directions).  A few more Siskins here and hundreds of Fieldfares and Starlings (many of them singing) ensured it was a pleasing scene.

A few more locations didn't really produce much else, albeit that our only Skylark of the day near Hellidon was a relief.  An impossibly bright Kingfisher fishing in the shallows at Byfield Pool was the only bird of note there and with half an hour to go we still hadn't found some relatively common species.  Thankfully we did manage to find a single Bullfinch finally and a small flock of Tree Sparrows.  However, common birds such as Grey Heron, Red-legged Partridge and Lapwing went unrecorded and we found no owls or wader species.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Friday, 4 January 2013

Mild weather birds

Hi

At Pitsford Res this morning there were 3 Bramblings on the old Scaldwell Road feeding station and birds in the Scaldwell Bay included a Goosander, a Siskin, a redpoll sp and 2 Willow Tits.  The Great White Egret was perched in trees near The Point (between Walgrave and Scaldwell Bays) at 3.30pm this afternoon.  The Slavonian Grebe was reported at the Gorse Bushes south of the causeway.

At Sywell CP this afternoon there was 1-2 'redhead' Smew, 2 Water Rails, ca12 Lesser Redpolls and ca 50 Siskins.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Waxwings!

Hi

Apart from 2-3 Bramblings at Harrington Airfield this afternoon, we have no birds to report for today.

However we are conscious that there is a large flock of Waxwings currently in the county at Burton Latimer and neighbouring Barton Seagrave with an estimated 120 birds reported this afternoon.  These birds are reported as being viewable from Polwell Lane in birches opposite a Morrisons supermarket, and sometimes close to the Weetabix factory.  Some of these birds have been reported for a couple of days, but today's total has been the most.

Although it has been very much a Waxwing winter nationally, locally it has been difficult to catch up with these nomadic flocks and we would strongly recommend that if you want to experience these fabulous birds from the north, Barton Seagrave and Burton Latimer should be visited quickly before they consume all the food and move on again!

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year birds

Hi

This morning at about 10am there were about 15 Waxwings alongside the B526 Newport Pagnell Road at Wootton, which then flew over the Wyevale Garden Centre.

This afternoon a good 3 hour walk along the Woodpecker Trail at Salcey Forest was enjoyable and provided 6+ Crossbills, 2 Bramblings, 10+ unidentified redpolls and ca50 Siskins.

The gull roost at Pitsford Res this afternoon included a 1st year Yellow-legged Gull and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil

Pitsford reserve

Hi

Birds this morning north of the causeway at Pitsford Res included the Great White Egret in the Holcot Bay at about 11.10am, 2 Shelduck and 11 Goosanders in the Scaldwell Bay first thing, 3 Bramblings and a Siskin mobile around the main feeding station, and a Willow Tit and a redpoll sp at Christies Copse (Walgrave Bay).

Regards

Neil M

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi

Birds at Kelmarsh Hall today included 2 Bramblings, at least 1 Lesser Redpoll and 6 Siskins.  Nearby at Harrington Airfield, at least 6 Bramblings were present at the Draughton Road entrance and 2 Ravens flew over Draughton Pool.

Birds at Hanging Houghton included 2 Bramblings and 2 Lesser Redpolls and a couple of Siskins here in the garden, and the 2 Ravens in the Brampton Valley below the village again plus 2 more Bramblings, 4 Lesser Redpolls and a Siskin.

A Barn Owl was showing well on Scaldwell Meadow at Pitsford Res this afternoon, and at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell birds included 2 Woodcock, a Barn Owl and the male Stonechat again.

Happy New Year!

Eleanor and Neil