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Old 07-02-17, 06:08 PM
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Here are the last few -
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Old 14-02-17, 07:50 AM
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I haven't had time to do much birding lately but have managed a few hours here and there in the garden -

February 07th -


Clear skies, mild air temp but very chilly on ground

Magpie, Blackbird, Blue tit, Lesser black backed gull, Dunnock, Wood pigeon, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Song thrush, Robin, Sparrowhawk (pair), Carrion crow, Great tit, Herring gull, Coal tit, Wren, Mistle thrush, Starling, Goldfinch & Collared dove.

February 13th -

Mist clearing, sun breaking through, but very chilly in the wind

Magpie, Mute swan (single over), Carrion crow, Long tailed tit, Blackbird, Song thrush, Great spotted woodpecker, Wood pigeon, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Coal tit, Dunnock, Robin, House sparrow & Raven

Note no Great tit's heard or seen this is a first ever and a movement of Greenfinch as I have hardly seen any over the period Oct - Jan now they appear to have increased in numbers as there are small flocks moving through the tree's and on my feeding stations.
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Old 16-02-17, 09:17 PM
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Default Bartley Reservoir visit 14 02 2017

This as to be the best quick change of mind I have ever made, arrived around 14.30pm after getting the 14 & 202 buses and walking done the road and onto the grounds of the Reservoir.

Couldn’t go all the way down the main road as they were recording an episode of Doctors and the road was closed off by Police.

The ground around the reservoir was very damp and slippery in places but in general it was very good for views across the reservoir, and the grounds on the other side of the water.

I walked around and did manage to get to see the ROOST start to form in fact by the time I left there were 100’s of Gulls on the water and some on the landing area of the Sailing club.

Managed 3 LIFERS thanks to a couple of other birders Alan Timmins & Tony Griffiths both from Birmingham I had turned up with my Bins and Camera and they were kind enough to let me look through their scopes when the time was needed, the lifers were ICELANDIC GULL 1 X FW, CASPIAN GULL 1 X 2W & GLAUCOUS GULL 2 X ADULTS and year ticks of 4 X Yellow legged gull and these to the usual suspects then a great gulfest was had 8 species of gull I did dip on the Med though.

SPECIES SEEN TODAY -


Black headed gull, Blackbird, Blue tit, Canada goose, Carrion crow, CASPIAN GULL, Common gull, Coot, Dunnock, GLAUCOUS GULL, Goldeneye, Great black backed gull, Great crested grebe, Great tit, Herring gull, House sparrow, ICELANDIC GULL, Lesser black backed gull, Little grebe, Magpie, Mallard, Robin, Wood pigeon, Wren & Yellow legged gull

This is a place I will be returning to as it's quite easy to get to by public transport for me.
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Old 16-02-17, 09:23 PM
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Added the following to this years tick list of species seen -

Caspian gull, Common gull, Glaucous gull, Icelandic gull & Yellow legged gull bringing my total up to a useful 85 so far this year

Also added Yellow legged gull to photographed list was unable to get any others as they were to far away to get focused on.

Will be visiting Llanelli WWT on Sunday 19th with my planned visit to Upton warren now for a Thursday in March along with my first Captive visit this being Chester Zoo the first Saturday in march.
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Old 25-02-17, 07:05 AM
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Sorry about the delayed report for my Llanelli WWT visit but will update in the next couple of days but I did eventually catch up with the Blackcap I have now seen it twice in the garden in the last week along with a small flock of Siskins that frequent my Niger seed feeder.

Will also be putting up a complete list of seen and photographed birds for 2017 shortly will be visiting Chester Zoo, Upton Warren Nature Reserve, Rutland Water, Burton Mere RSPB, Park Gate RSPB, Birdland Park & Gardens & Cotswold Falconry Centre in March

Now booked for April -

Slimbridge WWT, Titchfield Haven, Dudley Zoo, Rutland Water, Birmingham Nature Centre, Sandwell Valley RSPB, Hagley Falonry Centre, Dudley Zoo & Attenborough Nature Reserve.

Looks like being a busy year for me this year so here's hoping the weather and my health hold up as I intend to make up for lost time over the couple of years.
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Old 28-02-17, 07:40 PM
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Default Llanelli WWT wild species 119 02 2017

Arrived at 10.30 on what could only be described as a wet morning with fog moving in but let’s not dwell on this, I began by concentrating on the Captive area as this was going to be the best option as I couldn’t see much due to the weather.

After around a couple of hours the weather did pick up slightly to allow me to go hide hunting, I did a few of the lesser used hides to start with and to be honest they were only giving the usual suspects (Mallard, Tufted duck, Mute swan, Coot & Gadwall only) and nothing else infact I had the same problems with all the hides except for the British Steel hide which did give good views for a short period across the water.

From here I did manage to get a few a new year ticks in the form of Greenshank, Redshank, Black tailed godwit & Redshank but with the fog now moving in at a good rate of speed I went back to the captive collection part of the site.

SPECIES SEEN TODAY –

Blackbird, Carrion crow, Magpie, Mute swan, Pheasant, Wood pigeon, Mallard, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Lesser black backed gull, Gadwall, Shelduck, Tufted duck, Bullfinch, Coot, Grey heron, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Coal tit, Moorhen, Lapwing, Song thrush, Great spotted woodpecker, Greylag goose, Black headed gull, Herring gull, Wren, Little egret, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Collared dove, Greenshank, Redshank, Black tailed godwit, Water rail, Dunlin, Green woodpecker, Wigeon, Brent goose, Starling, House sparrow & Long tailed tit
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Old 28-02-17, 07:42 PM
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Default Llanelli WWT - Captive area 19 02 2017

Arrived around 10.30am on a very damp morning it was the sort of rain that soaks you (very fine) and after looking at the BBC weather app it didn’t look like getting any better with fog coming after the rain.

So, I decided to concentrate on the Captive collection part of the centre to start with, must admit I wasn’t impressed with the signage around the enclosures as most of it was shall we say a little miss placed.

On the other hand, what species, they had in the collection were giving a great viewing to the public with nearly all the species out and about, unfortunately the Flamingos were still OFF show as the DEFRA INSTRUCTIONS ON BIRD FLU these were to be lifted in around 3 weeks’ time.

I did manage to see some of my favourite wildfowl today in the shape of the Smew, Magpie Goose, Mandarin duck, Carolina wood duck and the most underrated species in the UK if not the world The Mallard such a strikingly beautiful bird.

Sad news the Whooper Swan in the NRA Scrapes pool will be the last in the collection as the Old Male bird is no longer drawing in the Wild birds which now resident a few miles up the road so once the male bird as died there will no longer be any Whooper swans at the collection.

I was a little surprised to see the Red Crowned Cranes out what with the Bird Flu Instructions but still a great species.

I must admit I did keep going back to the Swan Goose this is fastly becoming a favourite of mine but still quite away behind the gorgeous Magpie goose though.

SPECIES SEEN TODAY -

American black duck, American wigeon, Barnacle goose, Barrow’s goldeneye, Bewick swan, Black brant, Black necked swan, Black swan, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Cape barren goose, Carolina wood duck, Chestnut teal, Chiloe wigeon, White winged duck, Coscoroba swan, Eider duck, Falcated teal, Ferruginous duck, Freckled duck, Gadwall, Garganey, Hardhead, Hawaiian goose/Ne-ne, Laysan duck, Lesser scaup, Lesser snow goose, Lesser white fronted goose, Maccoa duck, Madagascan/Bernier’s teal, Magpie goose, Mandarin duck, Maned/Australian wood duck, Muscovy duck, Philippine duck, Red billed teal, Puna teal, Red breasted goose, Red crested pochard, Red crowned crane, Red/Argentine shoveler, Richardson’s Canada goose, Ringed teal, Ross’s goose, Ruddy headed goose, Sharp winged teal, Smew, Swan goose, White headed duck, Whooper swan & Wigeon.

Will update with photographs from the Captive collection shortly.

Chester Zoo visit 04 - 03 - 2017
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Old 21-03-17, 05:06 PM
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Default Chester zoo 04 - 03 - 2017 captive species

MARCH 04TH (10.05am) 2017

This was the first time I have made my own way to the collection using public transport and to be honest I had no problems getting here train to Chester from Birmingham New Street and then caught the bus just outside the rail station X8 on the opposite side of the road to the right.

On arriving at the collection, I was expecting a crowd but to be honest I walked straight to the paying kiosk and straight into the collection this was a sign of things to come as the place was very quiet all day long, not like my previous trips the weekend after half term they were very busy.

Species wise I had a great day with many harder to see species now visible even Islands was quiet and all area’s open except for the one bird walk through, highlight for me as to be seeing the Mountain Chicken for the first time I am not normally an amphibian man but I was very impressed with the Mountain Chicken a great looking species.
Round Islands I hand great views of the Silvery Gibbon in the outdoor area and spent quite some time here watching the gibbon and snapping some great shots, also around Islands I saw my first Bornean River Turtle again a nice surprise to see I was a little disappointed with the Bird species within Islands as most of them were transferred from other parts of the collection to fill what to me was a slightly improved Tropical Realm.

I did manage to see the Aye-aye only one though that was very active and giving great views to the public, Again I failed to see the hyacinth Macaw still to see the species at Chester but have seen the Species at other collections.

Did notice no Spotted Deer in their enclosure but was told the collection still holds 2 individuals, The Brow antler deer have at least one youngster in the herd as seen from the walk over.

Binturong was in the indoor exhibit and hard to see but did get a glimpse of a single individual, the Lesser Pudu was showing well it was up against the fence line by the public path.

Did feel a little disappointed by the multiple use of bird species to fill exhibits that could be used for other species of birds and not to impressed with the new aviary for the birds from the edge of Europe exhibit it looks rather small and a lot lower height wise but I may be wrong.

Overall the place is great but a growing play area theme and less exhibits outside of Islands makes you wonder where this collection is going it may well end up as a glorified Drayton Manor for young children I hope not but business wise it makes sense.

SPECIES SEEN TODAY –
(please note these are not ALL the species the collection holds as other species may be off show)

Asian glossy starling, Azure winged magpie, Bali or Rothchild’s mynah, Black crowned crane, Black naped fruit dove, Black necked weaver, Black stork, Blue crowned hanging parrot, Blue crowned laughingthrush, Blue throated macaw, Brazilian tanager, Brown wood owl, Buzzard, Cape teal, Caribbean or red flamingo, Chestnut backed thrush, Chilean flamingo, Collared dove, Congo peafowl, Crested wood partridge or Roul-roul, Emerald dove, Emerald starling, European black vulture, European spoonbill, Fairy bluebird, Garganey, Golden heart dove, Great (Indian) hornbill, Great argus pheasant, Great grey owl, Green aracari, Green naped pheasant pigeon, Grosbeak starling, Hottentot teal, Humboldt penguin, Jackdaw, Javan rhinoceros hornbill, Javan sparrow, Lesser white fronted goose, Little egret, Luzon bleeding heart dove, Luzon lowland scops owl, Madagascan red fody, Mindanao bleeding heart dove, Mindanao writhe hornbill, Montserrat oriole, Moorhen, Nicobar pigeon, Northern hawk owl, Palawan peacock pheasant, Peking robin, Pied imperial pigeon, Pink headed dove, Red billed blue magpie, Red billed teal, Red breasted goose, Red crested pochard, Red tailed laughingthrush, Ruddy shelduck, Schalow’s turaco, Smew, Snowy crowned robin chat, Southern or double wattled cassowary, Spectacled owl, Starling, Sumatran laughingthrush, Sunbittern, Sunda wrinkled hornbill, Superb fruit dove, Timor sparrow, Ural owl, Victoria crowned pigeon, Violet backed starling, Visayan tarictic hornbill, Waldrapp or northern bald ibis, West african crowned crane, White backed duck, White crested turaco, White faced whistling duck, White headed duck, White naped pheasant pigeon, White rumped shama, White winged duck & Yellow faced mynah.
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Old 21-03-17, 05:07 PM
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Default Chester 04 - 03 - 2017 wild species

This was a visit to the zoological collection at Chester but the sightings below were what was seen around the collection and on route from the trains I had to catch to get to Chester.

SPECIES SEEN –

Lesser black backed gull, Wood pigeon, Black headed gull, Grey heron, Magpie, Carrion crow, Mallard, Coot, Canada goose, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Redwing, Pheasant, Greylag goose, Barnacle goose, Pied wagtail, Jackdaw, Collared dove, Rook, Herring gull, Buzzard, Starling, House sparrow, Robin & Dunnock
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Old 21-03-17, 05:09 PM
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Default Upton warren nature reserve 09 - 03 - 2017

This was my first visit of the year to one of my favourites locations and it was great to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen for quite a while.

Arrived around 07.15am on a bright but chilly morning and just after setting off for the East Hide I was greeted with the improvements done by the Volunteers and to be honest it was a great improvement and looked rather hard work so well done to all.

On the way to the East Hide I went past Life Styles and in the paddock just before there were at least 85 Redwing but I couldn’t see a Fieldfare anywhere.

Must admit not too much really to report on the rarer species but had great views of the usual suspects these included Shoveler on the island right infront of the hide and at least 3 Little egrets around the pool.

Had my first Butterfly of the year in the shape of a Brimstone from the Cuckoo Hide it was fluttering around the Wild Bird Seed Drum and moved off into the undergrowth to the right of the drum while I was watching the butterfly a Wasp decided to enter the hide and after a few minutes left and flew towards the Tower Hide.

SPECIES SEEN –

Avocet, Black headed gull, Blackbird, Buzzard, Collared dove, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti’s warbler, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great crested grebe, Great tit, Greenfinch, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, Jackdaw, Jay, Lapwing, Lesser black backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Redwing, Reed bunting, Shelduck, Shoveler, Song thrush, Starling, Stock dove, Teal, Tufted duck, Wood pigeon & Wren
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