Birding Highlights of 2013

Over this last year I have had 13 new lifers and some of the best are; Black Stork, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Great White Egret, Night Heron and Ring-billed Gull.
Ring-Billed Gull at Melton Mowbray CP (My local Town!)

Pectoral Sandpiper (Circled) at Titchwell

Bearded Tit at Cley Marsh

Bitten at Rutland Water

Red-Breasted Merganser at Rutland Water
 Night Heron at Thornton Res
Best of all Black Stork at Rutland Water 


Odd Birds

Partial Albino Golden Plover
Since I have started Birding you get to realise birds can sometime have odd feathers here are a few pics of some odd birds.

Greenfinch x Goldfinch


Fineshade Woods Kites

On Saturday I went to another outing with LROS with my Dad to Northamptonshire's Fineshade Wood, to look for Crossbill, Siskin and the Red Kite Roost, hoping for a great day out.

Red Kite

We set off at 7:30am to go to Fineshade Wood, but 1st we headed off to Eyebrook Reservoir to look for a *Velvet Scoter* which sadly we didn't managed to see it but got some nice views of Goldeneye, Mute swan and Marsh Tit at the feeders.
Goldeneye at Eyebrook

We got to Fineshade with about 5 Red Kites flying over our heads, then when we all arrived within 10 Minutes we had a great variety of species including 2*Nuthatches*, *Marsh Tit* and *Coal Tit*. Then after 15 minutes of nothing there was 2 separate nasal screeches then two *Jays* flew right in front of us, adding our list up to 27.

Then carrying down the path we went into a bird hide which overlooks some feeders in a clearing of the Wood, and on our way down this woman and I were startled when a *Woodcock* flew from about a meter away from us, after recovering from the *Woodcock* the feeders were packed with birds mainly  of a Tit flock including *Great Tit, *Blue Tit*, *Coal Tit*, *Marsh Tit* and some *Chaffinches* then briefly a female *Great Spotted Woodpecker*.

After lunch it was pretty quite apart from another *Woodcock* and many more *Red Kites* and the last bird of the day ended with a nice *Mistle Thrush*.


Birding with the County Recorder and A focus on Nature

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go birdwatching with Leicestershire and Rutland's County recorder Steve Lister.

So we met at the Anglian Birdwatching Centre at Rutland Water and from the visitor center we got great views of *Wigeon*, *Pintail*, *Gadwall* and my first since February this year *Goosander* 10 of them 8 Males and 2 Females. Then Steve got a phone call that two *Bitterns* were showing well from Lagoon 3 at my favourite hide Shoveler.

When we got their we got given news that a plane had been flying low and disturbed one of the two *Bittens* and then after 10 minutes of waiting their it was about 400m away standing half way up the reeds this is a bird I have been waiting to see for about 6 years and now I have seen a *Bitten*. We watched it for about 3/4 hour then two people that I had met before at the Birdfair this year and at a talk near one of my local villages, Rob Lambert and Lucy McRobert and we got talking about one of their recent twitch to see the *Western Orphean Warbler* in Pembrokshire.

Bittern on Lagoon 3
Then we headed to look at Burley Fishponds and North Arm to look for some *Black-necked Grebes* which I had previously tried to locate but failed but this time I got them all three even though my dad had to pick me up so I could look through Rob Lambert's telescope. Then their was two Green Woodpeckers sat around some ant hills.

So the day paid of with to new lifers for me *Bittern* and *Black-necked Grebe*, also hope Rob Lambert and Lucy Mcrobert have good luck on Sunday for *Hawfinch* and *Two-barred Crossbill* at Lynford Arboretum.
Green Woodpecker one of two sighted


After-school Birding

On Wednesday I went with my friend who lives in Oakham who I went and saw the Black stork with and we were hoping to go to the Dam at the Eastern end of Rutland Water and while we were at his house we got news of a *Lesser Scaup* at the dam so we headed straight for the dam and got dropped of and rushed to were it had been seen and on our way we saw loads of *Tufted Ducks* and *Black-headed Gull* and a 1st ever for me a female Red-Breasted Merganser.

When we got to the south end of the dam were it had been reported, the light was fading fast as we checked through a flock of *Tufted Ducks* and 2 *Scaup* a male and a female, then another birdwatcher came who was form Loughborough and said that sadly that it was a Aythya hybrid but still I got a Red Breasted Merganser.
Red Breasted Merganser Silhouette 


Weekly Wildlife Round 2

Hello everyone sorry I have not been Blogging recently I have been so busy with school work and things that are happening a school.
2 Bullfinchs (Male in bottom Left corner and female in top right)
Over the last 2 weekends their has been a burst of migration mainly birds being *Lesser Redpoll*, *Siskin*, *Fieldfare* and *Redwing*. But near one of the local villages over the last few years maze has been planted in a closed small field surrounded by Hawthorn Bushes and mainly Ash Trees which will give the birds a lot of shelter. So last 2 weekends I have been paying a visit and I have been amazed by the variety of species some of the highlights being *a possible Common Redpoll with a Lesser Redpoll*, *Siskin*, and *3 Song Thrush*. But their has been one bird that I have seen with a group of Greenfinch which I thought stood out so could you please comment one what you think it is.

Also a very sad thing which has been a problem I bet for many animal lovers FLY-TIPPING has been a infuriating thing as the wildlife gets infected in this case was whatever is in that fridge. So if any one see's any FLY TIPPING please contact the council as it can be very damaging for the wildlife. 
Odd bird


Plovers and Raptors

After being at Cley Marsh for the morning it was straight of to Titchwell hopefully to get some more species, when we got to the visitor Centre and there was loads sighted around the reserve including ;Slav Grebes, Beaded Tits, Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Ducks.
Partial Albino Golden Plover

We headed straight for the first lagoon and got c2000 Golden Plover and in with the Golden Plover was a Partial Albino Golden Plover and 5 Knot. Moving towards the Salt marsh, a Stonechat popped up for a couple of seconds and went back down into the marsh.

Drake Teal

Then heading straight towards the sea and got amazing views in our telescopes of 8 Long-tailed Ducks plus a 1st for me 5 Slav Grebes.

Bat sp
On our way back we stayed a bit longer to watch the starling and the raptor roost which ended up to be amazing with 5 Marsh Harriers, 1 male Hen Harrier,1 Merlin and 1 Kestrel. And then suddenly we could here munching in the reeds behind it was a Water Vole after being almost extinct in Britain they have made a come back and have now been released into Titchwell.
In the car park c3000 Pink footed Geese flew over and a Bat sp of some sort.


Gesse, Wigeon and much much more

On the 24th I went to the North Norfolk Coast for a birthday party with my friend, we have been doing it for years, we usually go to Cley Marsh and Titchwell Marsh.

2 Bearded Tits
So I got up at 5:30am and got to my friends house for 7:10am and set of to Cley Marsh, the weather looked brilliant still calm wind and bright sunshine and what a day it turned out to be.

We arrived at Cley at about 9:50am and I was desperate for the toilet so I jumped out of the car and ran to the nearest bush and almost trod on a Common Toad! We waited until the visitor centre opened but while waiting for it to open we already had about 15 species already including; Brent Geese, Skylark, Blue Tit and a possible Stonechat.
When it opened we dashed straight down to the 3 hides looking over Pats Pool and Simmonds Scrape and saw a variety of species; Wigeon, Pintail, Marsh Harrier and a escapee Maned Duck!
After going to the hides we headed towards the beach and got close views to Gannets and a Peregrine then two navy helicopters spooked all the birds again and got amazing shots of Brent Geese, Wigeon and a dead Fieldfare the only other thrush apart from Song Thrush and Blackbird. Then my friend showed me were  a few groups of birds had landed at sea they ended out to be rafts of Common Scoter, Eider and unusually Wigeon.
So after half a day at Cley the species total stood at 50 species which was very good indeed.


Weekly Wildlife Round Up Week 1

2 Grey Herons
 This week has been a very busy time around my local patch, throughout the week masses of Redwing and Fieldfare are moving through {mainly Redwing}, also Skylarks and Meadow Pipits in other words Little Brown Jobs! Whilst watching the the LBJ's 2 Swallows flew over on the 20.10. But the most unusual thing this week was a very common bird mainly associated with lakes and rivers the Grey Heron, I have seen about 1 or 2 of these gorgeous birds but on Friday 2 Grey herons flew over.
Skylark with a seed
Roe Deer
  Meanwhile each morning before I go to school we walk the dog each day and on Thursday to my surprise there in the verge of the country lane was 2 Muntjac and in a field a Roe Deer, I have heard that other residents in the village had seen them before around but this was a 1st for me.
Coming away from my local patch along one of the main roads near by, a farrowed field has been full of of birds, about c200 Golden Plover plus c100 Lapwing and Black-headed Gulls and Lesser-blacked backed Gulls.

Hopefully this next week will also be full of exciting wildlife around.   


Young Conservationists » A Focus On Nature

Young Conservationists » A Focus On Nature
So if you are a budding naturalist between the ages of 16-30 and want more out of nature come and look at this website.
Me realising a flock of Long-tailed Tits

Varanger Ringing: Last but not least

Varanger Ringing: Last but not least: What a cracking day, I feel so jealous of ringing those birds some of them I dream about ringing those birds.


Birdfair 2013 - the worlds greatest gathering of birders

Birdfair 2013 - the worlds greatest gathering of birders
Thank you for letting me be in the video, the Birdfair was amazing.
Can't wait for next years Birdfair.
Biotope is based in Varanger, Norway, which has a diverse habitats for different birds to show so go and check out their website.


Finches and Sparrows

At the weekend I went to my trainers house to do some mist netting and we put up two nets one net was 30ft and the other one was 20ft, all together we caught 94 birds! Also other birds that flew over were 2 Mistle Thrushes and 1 Little Egret which was nice to see.
Juv Goldfinch


Bird Ringing - From the Beginning

Since May 2012 I have taken part in bird ringing and I one of the best things that I have ever done, since I have started I have had great opportunities like; Canon netting in March 2013, Swallow roost in August 2013 and raptor and owl boxes. Since I have started I have ringed 5 Wigeon, 2 Stock Doves, 1 Little Owl chick, 2 Kestrel Chicks and 2 Jackdaw chicks.
Me with my 1st ever ringed bird a Wigeon
Me and a Lesser Redpoll
Me with a Juvenile Green Woodpecker


Birding in Norfolk

On the 14th September my dad and I went out to Norfolk with some other members from LROS (Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society), which each month do an outing to various reserves across the country and this months outing was to the North Norfolk Coast to Holme Dunes and RSPB's best reserve I think in Norfolk, Titchwell Marsh.

So on Saturday it was a early morning, up at 5:30am (which isn't that early compared to bird ringing in the summer). We arrived at Holme Dunes at 9am in the rain but we had all ready got a few good ticks for the day e.g. At Hunstanton school fields there was Grey Plover, Curlew and Lapwing. When everyone had arrived we headed straight for the beach to wait for passing seabirds on their migration south and we ended up with some amazing birds e.g. an Arctic Skua being mobbed by 6 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua which had been blown by the freezing cold winds, it flew right over our heads, it was just amazing. Then when just before we were about to look at the freshwater pools someone shouts " Gannets" and there were 3 Gannets, two immature and one lovely adult flying over the sea at a distance.
2 Curlew Sandpipers

Little Stint
Later on we headed to Titchwell Marsh hoping for some new species. So as soon as we got in the car park we got Blue tit and Great tit which was ticks for the list today, then we headed straight for the freshwater lagoon after seeing the board with some great species at the lagoon i.e 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 2  Little Stint , 4 Curlew Sandpiper and  1 Greenshank. When we got to the lagoon we had amazing views of the Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint and the PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, with a bonus of an adult winter Mediterranean Gull. Then moving to the Saltwater Marsh a few more ticks were added; Spotted Redshank, Cetti's Warbler,  Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit which was good for comparison. Then moving to the sea, hoping for some other species and we got 3 Eider flying past then an adult Eider on the sea. Also we got a lovely Kittwake fly past which I really loved. Then on the way back to the car park we looked at the feeders and we saw Chaffinch and Greenfinch. In the car park a flock of Long-tailed Tits with about 5 Chiffchaffs and one Willow Warbler. So the end of a fantastic day with a total of 65 species with 4 new species Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Pectoral Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper.
Pectoral Sandpiper in the middle with Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin


Black Stork at Rutland Water

I went with a friend to Rutland Water in August. I was hoping to see a Black-necked Grebe which had been sighted in the last few days.When we looked at the sighting board it listed Garganey 1, Juv little gull and a Common Scoter, sadly we did not see any of these birds but I did get my second sighting this year of a  Ringed Plover (as I had been busy with Ringing and jobs at home) which was nice. Also we saw what we think was a Juvenile Black Tern . Then moving to my favourite hide at Rutland Water, Shoveler hide, we saw Ruff, 20+ Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and a Male Sparrowhawk, which set everything of in the air, it was like watching a Knot spectacle on a estuary. Then when things started to calm down there were two birds flying towards me, on the left was the common Grey Heron but on the right was what at first we thought was a  Common Crane, so there is me shouting out 'Common Crane!' And two people just about to walk out of the hide and look at me as if "really a common crane in the East Midlands yer right" and then walked out. But after taking some photos, it showed a white underside on the belly and a straight red bill and looking in a field guide we decided it was a Black Stork. It was to be the 2nd ever County Record. Going back to the main center we spoke to Tim Apellton who had also seen it, but I was the 1st to see it, because it had been reported a further 15 mins after we had seen it, but no one else had photographed it meaning I was the only person to do so. But the Black Stork sighting in Bosworth a further 22 years before hadn't been photographed so I was the only person ever to photograph a Black Stork in Leicestershire and Rutland.  
Black Stork at Rutland Water


Hello everyone, this is my blog devoted to wildlife. I'll be posting my sightings, thoughts along with some of my photographs.
Here is my favourite photograph of a Kittiwake at Scarborough harbour in 2011.