Wednesday, 20 January 2010


A good forecast for Sunday mean't I could get out and
try for a few shot's, The venue I choose was Draycote,
with a detour to try and find the Great Grey Shrike
reported earlier in the week at Grandborough as well.

I set out nice and early so I could get there for first
light. On arriving I made my way to the spot it had
reported and had a good scout around.
I spent a good half an hour looking around with no
joy, apart from about 300 Linnet's and a Sparrowhawk
that was trying to crash their party causing havoc.

It wasn't long before before I was joined by another
birder also trying to locate the Shrike, He wasn't there
5 minutes before he whislted and said "over there".
I looked up to Telegraph Wire's where he had pointed
and sure enough there it was. A first for me, It looked
much bigger than I expected.

I stayed for the best part of a couple of hour's watching
it and trying to get a few decent shot's. I really didn't
expect what I see as I watched the Shrike going about it's
buisness hovering just like kestrel would before diving on
it's prey. It was great to see but bloody hard to photograph,
here's are a photo, Purely for my records really.

I made my way over to Draycote next to see what I could
get there. I arrived to find a jam packed car park and a
Warden on the gate explaining to everyone "I recommend
you turn around as we have no more room". I could believe
it no way was I turning around without first having a look, My
turn came and he explained the situation to me but saying "you
can try if you like you may get lucky". To cut a long story short
I got lucky, as I went in a car pulled out of a space. I was in there
like a Rat up a drain pipe.
The rest is history as they say..I made my way around the lake
taking photo's of all it's resident's although I didn't quite get
them all. Here's a few shot's of what I did manage to get.

Great Northern Diver!

Little Grebe!




A cracking days birding and a few nice photo's
too boot!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Snow!...and plenty of it.

One thing good about it is that it gave me another
opportunity to get a few photo's of the Redwings.

They've been visiting the berry bush in my garden
for a week or so now and have all but stripped it.

The last few remaining berries were too low for
them to reach, I took the opportunity and cut the
remainder off and strategically placed them on the
top of the bush giving me chance to get a shot or two.
I didn't have to wait long for them to descend!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Upton Warren NR

Well, I braved the elements today in the hope
of a few photo's. My choice was Upton Warren
NR as it's been a little while since I last visited.

I arrived at first light as I always do (best time
I think) In the hope of a glimpse of the now resident
Bitterns, I settled myself down in the Hobby hide
on North Moor's pool where there regularly
spotted. I watched patiently for a good two hours
but nothing showed, well apart from a Water rail
and a Fox both making good use of the Ice.

I made a move over to the Moor's pool as I thought
I stood a chance there, I thought at least the feeding
station would keep me busy while I waited, with the
cold weather still hanging on the feeders remained busy
all day.

In the few hours I was there I'd spotted male and female
Bullfinches, male and female reed bunting's along with
Long tailed tit's, Great tit's, Blue tit's,Dunnock and a Great
Spotted Woodpecker that was after the Fat.

On the floor beneath the feeders were probably even
more busy with Coot, Moorhen,Mallard and at least three
Water rail all taking advantage of the spillage's.

Through most of the day we were aware of a few raptor's
hanging around, while watching the feeders a male Sparrowhawk
made a pass but was unsuccessful, A buzzard soared overhead
and a Raven went over but the one that got us going was a female
Sparrowhawk that dropped in, in front of us giving me a perfect
opportunity for a few decent photo's.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

In the Garden

Just a quickie!

Over the last week I've noticed a few of Redwing
flying around in the Cemetary behind my garden.
I've been waiting patiently all week for them
to find the berries that I have my garden so I could
get out and get a few photo's.

They eventually found them today and here's what
I got!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Eymore Wood

Ok here we go again. This time a trip to
Eymore wood was planned to try and catch
a glimpse of the reported Crossbills.
Reports of Crossbill's have been pretty high
over this last week,sometimes as many as 60.

I set off early to stand a good chance of seeing
them, as I made my way down the slippery road
towards the wood I spotted a pair of eye's
looking at me it was a Tawny Owl.

A good start to the day. I think I've probably only
seen one other in the two years I've been
birding, mostly heard.

Once it got light I had a good scan of the larches
that they had been reported in but no sign I probably
had a good hour scouring the branches but
nothing, well a few Coal tits.

I decided to take a trip through the woods
down onto Trimpley Reservior to see what I
could find there, on the lower pool I found 10 LBG's
and probably something like 50 BHG's sitting
on the ice but that was about it apart from a
few mallards anyway.

I then took a trip up to the main reservior
to see what was on there, as I made my way
around the pathway I spotted a Peregrine feeding
on the tower with something in it's claws
(not sure what it was bit to far really seemed
like he was enjoying though) again to far for a shot.

Apart from the mentioned Peregrine there was
little else to speak of really apart from the
common stuff.

I made my way back to the top car park of the
wood to have another good search, on my way
back I went round the opposite way on the small
lake to see if I'd missed anything first time round.

I'm glad I did. I found about 20 Siskins amongst
5-6 Goldfinches a Nuthatch in the woods
Great spotted woodpecker a pair of Bullfinches, all
to far for photo's though or in the wrong light..

I eventually got back to the top car park and settled
down to search again for the elusive Crossbill's. I
didn't have to wait long before I had my first brief
glimpse's of them (probably about 5-6) Great! at last.

It makes it so much better if you get what you come
to see, I managed one photo and that wasn't the best
really, still at least I got one.
I spoke to few other birders that told me there were few
Goosander along the river and possibly Mandarin.

I took a walk along the river and found the Goosander
and the Mandarin although the later was right over
on the far bank and pretty impossible to get a
decent shot (maybe next time)

I continued to walk back a forth through the
Woods and around the reservior never really seeing
anything like the reported amount of Crossbill's.
I did manage a nice shot of a patient Kingfisher

which rounded the day off nicely.

I thought I'd also mention that I spotted some 43
different species through'out the day, which I thought
was pretty impressive.
The list included Buzzard, Peregrine, Kestral,Tawny Owl,
Mandarin, Goosander, Crossbill's,Siskins and Goldfinches
to name but a few.