Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Smew, Collingham Pits, Notts

A couple of hours out at Collingham Pits today. The wind was biting cold compared to the last couple of days,  but we saw the smew that have been there for over a week, 2 males and a female, so it was well worth it. The Red Arrows were practicing loopy moves in the distance and our first SAND MARTIN of the year flew past. An excellent couple of hours, now home for a few hours gardening. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Red Kites, Muddy Boots Cafe, Harewood House

The snow had finally cleared so we thought we would have a  few hours at the Muddy Boots Cafe, Harewood House.  A brilliant afternoon with at least 30 red kites in the air, although only a few came down to feed. We always take chopped chicken or belly pork to put on the garage roof (if only all the other photographers could do the same instead of using your food to get their photos.....) and the cafe proprietor throws his scraps up there aswell. They are used to being fed daily at 2.30pm by a lovely lady that lived in the next road but she had sadly passed away that week. The locals all love the kites and watch them daily so I am sure that someone will still feed them. If you have never been to this cafe, it is well worth a visit. The cafe sells lovely homemade food and their cakes are to die for. And then you can sit outside and watch the kites all day, what more could you ask for. 
A heron had started to drop in for food aswell. He had a poorly leg and looked to be struggling to walk - but not to eat chicken!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Snowy Owl, Thornham Point / Titchwell Beach, Norfolk

Couldn't sleep Friday night knowing there was a snowy owl in Norfolk and praying it would be around the next day. So, up early this morning and packup made then waited for it to come on the pager, off to Norfolk we go! The car park was packed but we did eventually get in and started the long walk, and I mean long, to the bird. Very distant, well out on the beach, but good views through the telescope and managed to get these few digi-shots. A lifer for us that took Karen's world tally to 2491 and her UK list to 404. The first new UK bird of the year...lets hope there's a few more to come. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Green-winged Teal, North Cave Wetlands

We always try to go out each day, sometimes local and other times, a bit further afield. Today we started off at Hornsea Mere with a very distant Long-tailed Duck. Then onto North Cave Wetlands for this Green-winged Teal. This reserve is brilliant, whatever they do, they do it right and always for birding. The hides are full of I.D. charts and helpful info, adverts and leaflets. A total contrast to the hides we have at Alkborough Flats that are totally sterile with no info whatsoever. Two reserves that are totally opposite. One covered in birds, managed for birds, info in the hides, a massive feeding station, circular walks, bird boxes, screening, cut reeds to enable viewing all the water and Alkborough Flats is the total opposite.  

We did have a laugh in the turret hide listening to a hide expert giving directions for the green-winged teal and photographing it. Then asking 'what are these other ducks with the yellow rump?' Made us smile !

Monday, March 5, 2018

Yellow-browed Warbler, Wombwell Ings

A fabulous day out to Wombwell Ings. Brilliant reserves with friendly, chatty locals which always makes for a good laugh as the banter flows!  We have never been before and with exact location of parking and birds from Richard, we were soon stood in the mud with the crowd,  watching not only a yellow-browed warbler but a firecrest also. The firecrest wasn't still for a second, flitting between bushes on both sides of the river but it didn't help matters as both a photographer and a birder thought they could get even closer than the crowd, standing almost in the bushes ! These 28 whooper swans flew in to add to the tally. An excellent day.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Last weeks bits and bobs (most pre snow!)

Bearded Tit, Far Ings 



Kestrel, Sammy's Point 



Ring Ouzel, Sammy's Point 

Slav Grebes, Barton 

Song Thrush 


Well, what a week that has been. We got out a couple of times and then the snow arrived which made driving almost impossible, and it's still around with more forecast. Got caught up with house jobs, read a couple of books and watched masses of TV !  Boring !