Friday, 20 January 2023

A day with the Family.

A day with some very special youngsters.

Three very special little people, had to bribe them with food to get them to sit still long enough for a picture.
I was really happy to spending a few days with my Son Alan, his wife Becki and the three Grandchildren Ryan, Zach and Finn over Christmas, It was now getting close to the end of my trip to the UK so It was great to spend another day with them all again before I leave in a few days.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

A drive back to Albrighton, Shropshire, UK.

After a nice visit to Pam and John's I return home.

Handbook of the Birds of the World already back in Spain by the time I am writing this Post.
We were up and about fairly early and soon out to a local Café the Ber Street Kitchen, where we had a very nice breakfast.
Pam and I returned to their house and John went for a paper, once back I loaded the car with my stuff and a full set of the Handbook of the Birds of the World which John and Pam very generously gave me.
I was over the moon with the books but think my cars suspension was less so, after saying a big thank you for a nice stay and the books I headed back to the Midlands and as usual the M6 was a nightmare.
During the drive I saw Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) as well as Chinese Water (Hydropotes inermis) and Roe Deer (Corzo / Capreolus capreolus).

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Thornham Marsh and Titchwell, North Norfolk Coast, Norfolk, UK.

Birding at some site not visited for a few years.
 
The Salt Marsh at Thornham.
Pam, John and I were out and headed off to the North Coast, our first stop was at a very cold Thornham where we parked out on the Saltmarsh where we scanned the channels finding Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola) and Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
Flooded Meadows at Thornham.



Out on the saltmarsh and on the fields we added Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and a flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata).
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata).
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus).
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus).
Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola).
We walked back along the road a short way seeing a large flock of
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus) overhead and several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which flushed from a track side ditch.
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).
We moved up the coast to Titchwell were we parked and booked in at the center, had a coffee before walking up the main track to the beach, on the open water we found Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Northern Lapwing, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Shelduck, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
On the beach there were good numbers of waders feeding and roosting along the shoreline including Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and they were joined by a flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) male.
Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) female.
I set up the scope and we scanned the sea, we soon found a female Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra).
Titchwell RSPB.
Titchwell RSPB.
Titchwell RSPB.
We walked back to the center and then to the car where we had our lunch, John and I then went for a walk along the boardwalks, we found Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) in the car park.
On the pool at the end of the track we added Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
On the way back we drove through some farmland, we added Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Rook (Graja / Corvus frugilegus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) and several Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis) and a couple of European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus).
Bar-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica).

Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica) and Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus).

Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica) and Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus).

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) with Bar-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica).

Later in the evening we went out into Norwich where we had a very nice Chinese Meal.
 

Monday, 16 January 2023

Driving to Norwich, Cantley and Buckenham Railway Station, Norfolk, UK.

A visit to see some good friends as well as some birding.

Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis).
I set off nice and early to try and miss the chaos that is the M6 but I failed and crawled along as far as the A14 but then things got better and I was soon at Pam and John's in Norwich where we had a good catch up, something to eat and we then headed out for some birding along the Yare Valley where our first stop was near the Railway stop at Cantley.
We stood by the gates on the far side of the tracks where we saw Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Pink-footed (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus) and Greater White-fronted Geese (Ánsar Careto / Anser albifrons), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), a flyover Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Rook (Graja / Corvus frugilegus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and several Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis.
It started to rain so we retreated to the car and John drove us around to the Station at Buckenham where we crossed the railway and walked out to the hide and onto a bank near there, the wind was cold but we spent some time scanning the marshes finding many of the same species but added Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Again the rain started so we headed back to Pam and John's adding Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris) and Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) on the way, later we had a nice meal and some wine.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Sandwell Valley RSPB Reserve and another site ?????? Staffordshire, UK.

A day out birding with Friends Sharon and John.
Ebird List for Sandwell Valley.

A nice bit of fencing.
I met Sharon and John at theirs and we headed out to a local spot that I had not visited before, RSPB Sandwell Valley.
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Cotorra de Kramer / Psittacula krameri).
We parked and went into the Visitor's Center where we viewed the feeders finding Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), the first of several Rose-ringed Parakeets (Cotorra de Kramer / Psittacula krameri) and a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Cotorra de Kramer / Psittacula krameri).
On the pool below the Center we picked up Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and the first two Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser) of the day but we were to see many more on the larger lake.
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Cotorra de Kramer / Psittacula krameri).
We walked down to the hide over looking the Forge Mill Lake, here we added Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), 3 domestic type Barnical Geese (Barnacla Cariblanca / Branta leucopsis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and 3x Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Other species seen between the hide and Swan Pool included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Barnical Geese (Barnacla Cariblanca / Branta leucopsis).
We got to Swan pool but the wind was horrendous so we retreated and completed the circuit of the reserve before returning to the car and heading to another spot which I don't know the name of but we were looking for Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) but we didn't manage to find them.
However we did pickup more Rose-ringed Parakeets, Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), I am sure there were other species but I can't remember them.
We headed back to Sharon and John's and then I headed back to Albrighton.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Green Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire, UK.

A couple of hours out in one of the very few brakes in the Rain.
Ebird List.

Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) one of quite a few.
It stopped raining for a short while so I got the Bin's and Camera and went for a walk to one of my old birding spots just on the edge of the village, on a field full of sheep right at the start of Green Lane I had a good number of Redwings (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) and Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii) down on the groud feeding.
As I walked up to the A464 I added Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and on the David Austin Roses irrigation lake a single Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) in amongst 70 odd Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus).

Other more common species listed on Ebird.

Friday, 6 January 2023

The Harp, Albrighton, Shropshire, UK.

A curry and a few Beer's with some of the Lad's from my Fire Service days.
 

After say goodbye to Lynn and Steve I travelled back from Cornwall during the day having had a great time.
Hess, Pete and myself.
Late in the evening met up with several of the Lad's I had worked with in the Defense Fire Service, which seems a very long time ago, what was even worse was some of them had hardly changed.
Murph, Sean (thanks for the Curry) and John.
The photo's are bad due to being tired after the drive and had absolutly nothing to do with the several beers, thanks for a great night and look forward to catching up again. 
Dave.

Thursday, 5 January 2023

Garden, Helston Boating Lake, Bell Lake Marsh and Great Wheal Seton in the Red River Valley, and the Tresillian River Path, Cornwall, UK.

A bit of a local twitch first thing then a visit to the Red River and later a walk along the Tresillian River Path.
Ebird List for Boating Lake.
Ebird List for Bell Lake Marsh.
Ebird List for Tresillian River Path.

Female Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris).
Whilst having breakfast we checked what was coming into the garden feeders, species included Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Rook (Graja / Corvus frugilegus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Female Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris).
Female Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris) with Tufted Ducks (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula).
Later we headed down the road to Helston Boating Lake to try and find a female Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris) which had been there for a couple of days, we arrived and after a bit of a search we located it with a coule of Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula),  whilst there we also saw Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), European Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis) and Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii).
Part of Bell Lake Marsh which the group are trying to keep open.
Our next stop was along the Red River Valley, we approached Bell Lake Marsh along a path from the South West, the opposite way to the last time I was there when I joined one of the Red River Rescuers Scrub bashes and had enjoyable few hours clearing Gorse, Willows and other invasive plants from the open wet areas.
One of several pools which have been dug out by hand to attract Dragonflies and other species.
On the walk up to the Marsh and on site we saw
Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and quite a bit of Frog Spawn from the Common Frog (Rana temporaria).
Frog Spawn from the Common Frog (Rana temporaria).
After having a good walk around the site we made our way back to the Car and the headed for another site along the Red River at Great Wheal Seton, this area was quite different and was made up of some quite large disused settling tanks / beds which have become very important habitats for a couple of rarer Dragonfly species, so the group again do quite a bit of work here to keep the site in a viable state for these insects.
One of the areas for the Dragonflies at Great Wheal Seton.
Whilst we walked around Steve (as he had at Bell Lake Marsh) explained what was going on at the sites and what they had been like in the past as this was his home turf from when he was a lad, his passion for both sites and the Red River in general was very obvious.
Arsenic Chimney at Great Wheal Seton.
The only new species added here was Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and as far as Steve was aware it was the first record for the site.
Next we went and picked up a member of Lynn's family and took her for an appointment in Truro, whilst she was there Steve and I went for a walk along the nearby Tresillian River Path, a really stunning area and nice easy walk, if not a bit muddy. 
Where we joined the Tresillian River Path.
As we walked we added several new species to the day list including Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus).
We returned to Truro, Camborne and the back to the house after a cracking last day for me in Cornwall for a while, Sadly.