Wednesday, 30 January 2019

North Cave Wetlands

Early Sunday we headed over to the Wetlands for a walk in the freezing windy winter sun! I think it got colder too as the morning went on!

Still we had a good walk and parts of the reserve where chock full of birds! At the feeders we saw Tree and House Sparrows, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Reed Buntings and Moorhen!

Great Tit

Goldfinch & Tree Sparrows

Long-tailed Tits

Reed Bunting

Tree Sparrows &  Goldfinch


Blue Tit

On the water I saw the some of the largest flocks of ducks i've ever seen - Shelduck, Pochard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal, plus Greylag Geese, Herons, Little Grebes, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Redshank and a large flock of Lapwings.


Ducks as far as the eye can see!

Overhead a Marsh Harrier was flying about, we also saw a couple of Fieldfare and Cormorants fly over.

We were looking out over the many ducks on the lake when I saw some birds in the tree nearby - bright yellow - Siskins - there were both male and female, around 8 birds hanging from various branches. It's not a bird I see often so quite a treat to see so many at once.

Don't let the sunny photos deceive, it was bitter and even I'd had enough by the time we'd walked round! It's always worth getting out though, regardless of the weather.

Monday, 28 January 2019

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

It was the RSPBs annual Garden Birdwatch this weekend, something i've been taking part in for many years now. This weekend was a busy one (it's not every year your daughter turns into a teenager!) but I managed to do my hour Saturday morning just after sunrise.

Usually this is a busy time as the birds wake up and the noise from the Sparrow roost at the back of the gardens rises to quite a crescendo as they chatter before eventually flying out. They make their way round to our front garden to make use of the bath and feeders we have there. Of course with this being the birdwatch and birds having a sixth sense about this kind of stuff they decided not to follow the usual routine until after my hour was up and we were heading out!

Still it wasn't a bad count -

Blackbird 1
Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Collared Dove 1
Dunnock 1
Great Tit 2
House Sparrow 8
Starling 5
Woodpigeon 1

I didn't take any photos as it was dull and not quite daylight but I have a couple of recent ones.



And finally a bird that has been making the odd visit, thankfully not on Saturday morning.


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Rodley Nature Reserve

We spent Saturday morning at Rodley.  A Jay was at the gate to greet us, my camera was still in my bag so I only just managed to get it out and grab a shot before it was gone. A Red Kite was overhead, my first one this year.

Yet another dull day and windy too but we were prepared as usual. From the first hide we watched Goldeneye, Pochard, Black-headed Gulls and in the distance a Kingfisher was sat on a tree near the Sand Martin bank.

Walking on we lifted up one of the flaps where we usually find frogs, today though we inadvertently disturbed a nest of mice, they had dragged a bunch of dry grass under it and 5 or 6 shot out, we carefully placed the lid back down after we made sure the mice were out of the way of the hinges!

Looking out from the screen over the lagoon the Kingfisher sat on one of the rafts by the edge and then flew up onto a pole.

We saw Teal, Gadwall and 6 Herons huddled on the reedbed.

It seemed to be getting darker as the morning went on instead of the other way round. I thought I saw a few Linnets over Tim's Field but they were gone too quick for me to be sure. Stopping at the visitors centre for two cups of tea to warm up we watched Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Tits, Robins, Dunnocks and Reed Buntings.

Similar birds in the Managers Garden but with Greenfinch, Stock Doves and Woodpigeons too, had to bump up the ISO on the camera so the shots are grainy but I really like the one with the three different finches.

Another good morning despite the weather!

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Adel Dam

On Saturday morning we took the bus to Golden Acre for a nice but cold walk around the park and Adel Dam. The Gulls were barely awake (just like my daughter!!) and still huddled up on the grass. The ducks of course were straight up to have a nosey.


Black-headed Gull

Mute Swan

Tufted Ducks

We walked straight through to the dam and went the 'wrong' way round, we always start off by going to the hide and then on in a circle via the lake hide, my daughter suggested going the other way for a change, which worked in our favour really as there were some big cameras heading towards the Marsh hide, which is quite small, they were gone by the time we'd worked our way there.

In the woods we saw a couple of flocks of Bullfinch in the trees. It was not a good day for photos, very dull and grey! We also saw a couple Jays and Great Spotted Woodpeckers too.  We had the lake hide to ourselves. As we walked in a Robin was sat on a bench in the hide and a Sparrowhawk had been sat right in front of it (the hide not the Robin), it flew across the lake.

Distant Bullfinch!



We watched, Teal, Mallards and a Shoveler on the water and off to the side at the feeders Long-tailed, Great, Blue and Coal Tits, 6 Robins - there were a few ructions there! A charm of Goldfinch flew over the lake.

Blue Tits


Blue Tit

Moving on we stopped at the marsh hide, all the usual birds were at the feeders plus Nuthatch too. Lots of squirrels were around the bottoms of the feeders. We didn't see any Mandarins today, which is unusual.

Walking back through Golden Acre we stopped at the little feeding area for a while, more squirrels, Chaffinch, Tits and up in the trees Jay and Woodpigeon. Eventually everything was scared off by several dogs so we made our way out of the park.

We did see some fungi as we walked around including Dead Mans Fingers, spotted by my daughter, the first time i've seen it.