30.4.16.

Saturday…Partial Cloud most of the morning..6ºC.

The male Wood Warbler was still showing well. With me taking photos of the bird the last couple of days, I decided to wait for the very illusive Cuckoo, which actually called longer this morning (but it still stayed out of view).

Ken did kindly send me one of his photos of the Wood Warbler from this morning..

1-003

Goldcrest was singing just below the Wood Warbler…

IMG_3231

Robin was collecting Moss off some broken Oak Branches…

IMG_3263

Me and Ken, then met up with Dave and Ron. Dave heard the 1st Garden Warblers that we had seen on HC this year. In fact there was a definite 3, with a possible 4th bird that flew to the main Common…

IMG_3332

Another 1st for me this year, was a male Whitethroat. I also heard a Lesser Whitethroat singing, but like the Cuckoo could not locate it. I will be trying over next week to do so.

IMG_3421

Tree Pipit was in a tree above the Island Pool…

IMG_3461

This Jay was searching through the leaf litter…

IMG_3487

Mistle Thrush was singing high up in the canopy, most of the morning…

IMG_3559

Song Thrush…

IMG_3586

Really pleased The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust have put some Bee Beaches on Goldie Heath…Hopefully if the weather ever gets warmer, this will be great to keep an eye on…

IMAG3713

Standard

29.4.16.

Friday…4ºC with the wind chill, It actually felt colder than the -1ºC the day before.

The Wood Warbler was still showing well, 200 metres west of The Birch Coppice car park. Although it was not so sunny conditions as the day before. Sometimes it’s nice to see the back and mantle of a bird, just to see other key features. Like the long primary projection, and also the pale edges to the tertials…

IMG_3043

IMG_3096

IMG_3101

Female Linnet…

IMG_3120

This Jay did not see me close by, it obviously had it’s mind on something else. It was either  disturbed or excited about something, because it kept raising it’s crest…

IMG_3187

Great Tit sitting amongst Blackthorn flower buds….

IMG_3020

The Cuckoo sang for the longest I have heard this year. But was still very illusive.

Standard

28.4.16.

Thursday…. Sunny most of the morning. When I arrived it was -1ºC. When I left HC it was 9ºC.

It’s nice to see the Lapwings have not been disturbed this year so far. Distant photo…

IMG_2619

 

I had quite a bit of luck today. My first bit of luck came with the Little Owl. It was sunning itself in a distant tree. But all the while I was taking distant photos, It was being pestered by a male Blackbird (1st photo). Finally the Little Owl got fed up of all the commotion , and flew right to the tree I was standing by (2nd photo)…

IMG_2631

IMG_2708

I would like to thank Gary for my next bit of luck. Late last night Gary got in touch with me, to tell me..he had heard a male Wood Warbler singing. Coincidently it was Gary who told me about last years Wood Warbler, and it was more or less in the same area. I had only been in the area of the wood a few minutes when I heard it’s distinct song. I did wonder being so cold if it would be singing at all. But luckily it was low down and kept finding areas of sunlight to sing in…..

IMG_2820

IMG_2804

The Tree Pipits have now reached Brants Hill….

IMG_2881

IMG_2937

Willow Warbler was checking out the Heather for inverts on Goldie Heath. I hope it had more success than I’m getting lately…

IMG_2969

Although this next photo is not that good (more of a record photo). It was really great seeing two Grey Partridge at Highgate Common. In fact this was my first Grey Partridge sighting for a number of years in my local area. Like I say not a great photo, and you will have to take my word that it was definitely a Grey and not a Red-legged Partridge…

IMG_2992

The Cuckoo is still calling, but for me…very illusive.

Standard

26.4.16.

Tuesday…Sunny, but really chilly. 3ºC.

With the cold Northerly  wind still blowing, it’s seemed to have slowed things down. The invertebrates did seem to be increasing last week, especially the Mining Bees. I did manage to spot this small, as yet Unidentified Mining Bee on a Dandelion…

IMG_1553

IMG_1561

IMG_1542

Willow Warbler…

IMG_2516

Song Thrush…

IMG_2529

A  distant female Sparrowhawk looked menacing as it dived into the trees…

IMG_2609

IMG_2605

 

Standard

24.4.16.

Sunday…Sunny Mid Morning, with Rain at Midday. The temp said 8ºC, but it felt way colder.

With rain forecast, me and Ken decided to visit Belvide Reservoir again, mainly so we could take cover in the hides.

The day started with great views of an Oystercatcher. Also some photos of one taking a dip in the Reservoir to get cleaned up, which were taken later on….

IMG_1884

IMG_1962

Two Common Sandpipers were seen early on in the morning…

IMG_1854

IMG_1879

A ringed Wren came really close on the path…

IMG_1971

A female Mallard flew in, to sift through the mud under the feeders looking for seed…

IMG_1986

Yet again really good numbers of Tree Sparrows at The Gazebo Hide…

IMG_2007

IMG_2018

Also looking for seed at The Gazebo hide was this Stock Dove, but it was always nervous and flew off several times, before landing…

IMG_2040

Great-crested Grebe was in Gazebo Bay. It’s a shame the two that were displaying off the Dam wasn’t this close…

IMG_2411

There were loads of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers singing either side of the 1.3 mile path to the new hide. Which in my opinion is an absolutely fantastic hide.

IMG_2125

IMG_2511

We heard at least 6 Sedge Warblers. Only this distant one gave me a photo opportunity. I don’t blame the others for staying so low, with the chilly wind conditions…

IMG_2144

These are the first Mallard Ducklings I’ve seen this year…

IMG_2167

We had really great views of Yellow Wagtails…

IMG_2172

IMG_2193

Not such a good photo, but it was nice to see a Pied and Yellow Wagtails so close…

IMG_2496

Distant White Wagtail….

IMG_2294

Highlight of the day was a Little-ringed Plover who passed by the new hide several times…

IMG_2471

 

Standard

19.4.16.

Tuesday..Full sun at 11ºC.

Today I went on Kens butterfly survey. He certainly did better than my zero count. But it still was certainly quiet. Kens count was 1 Peacock and 2 Tortoiseshells. Which I managed to photograph….

image

image

Saturday I heard my first Cuckoo, unfortunately I could not locate where it was calling from. This afternoon we at least got a very distant glimpse of a male….

image

Magpie…

image

Wren…

image

Common Pond Skater (Gerris lacustris)….

image

Other than a Buzzard carrying this dead Rabbit up a tree, It’s not something you see a lot on HC, so I’m not 100% sure why it was there….

image

Tachnid Fly (Tachina ursina)…..

image

Standard

17.4.16.

Sunday…Bright Sun and 5ºC early morning.

With 3 Ring Ouzels being reported at Walton Hill Worcestershire yesterday, I decided on a trip there this morning.

A couple of Foxes were either side of the car park. One looked in perfect condition, the other looked older and not in such good condition…

image

image

At the top of Walton Hill,in the same field were 4 Meadow Pipits and 2 Tree Pipits. When I arrived the one Tree Pipit was singing in a tree, and I saw it drop to the field. So I had to check it out. Really nice to see both species together….

image

image

Mistle Thush…

image

Male Linnet…

image

Most of the photos taken from now on, are mostly distant record photos. In the same valley as the Ring Ouzels was this male Common Redstart….

image

Now for the Ring Ouzels. There was 3 but could only manage 2 in one photo, because they didn’t get close enough together. I did get 3 birds in one photo, with a Ring Ouzel…Mistle Thrush and Blackbird close together.

image

image

image

image

image

 

Standard