29.1.17.

Sunday… I left the freezing misty conditions, that seemed to be set to hang over the Midlands for the rest of the day, and drove into beautiful sunny conditions of Lincolnshire. 3ºC.

I decided to travel over to Stixwould, Lincolnshire this morning. I wanted to see the White-billed Diver that is swimming up and down a stretch of the River Witham. I have got to admit I was not prepared for such a long walk with all my gear. It took at least 45 minutes walk up the river to get to the Diver. But once there, I had fantastic views of the White-billed Diver. At first the Diver was swimming north, and away from where I had parked. But at least the sun was in the right direction. After about 10 minutes, the bird decided to turn round, and head back south down the Witham. So below I added a photo with the the light behind the Diver. This was number 318 on my Life List…

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26.1.17.

Thursday, 0ºC but the wind chill felt a lot colder.

Me and Ken went to the Fens Pool, Brierley Hill this morning, to see if we could see the Iceland Gull which has been there the last few days. Instead of seeing my first White winged Gull this year (no sign of Iceland Gull) I got to see a White winged Blackbird. This is my first ever completely Leucistic Blackbird….

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This Little Grebe was a new year tick….

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Like I said…No Iceland Gull, but things were looking up for this Great Black-backed Gull…

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24.1.17.

Tuesday…I left home with a beautiful blue sky. I only drove 500 yards, right into freezing fog. That was the conditions for the rest of my mornings walk on HC….1ºC

Fog on the Common….

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Frosty the Oak Leaf…

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At the Wardens Office I got to see my first Early Moth of the year….

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Almost missed this Mottled Umber, it was so well camouflaged….

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You can always rely on a Robin for a photo opportunity, even on a Frosty Foggy morning…

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I saw six Reed Buntings near the Island Pool. Two Males and Four Females…

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Hopefully tomorrow, the sun will break through!!

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22.1.17.

Sunday…Mainly a grey morning, and 2ºC.

I had a good tip off this morning by Matt Lissimore. 21 Waxwings had turned up at the Red House Glass Cone, High Street, Wordsley. I used my small lens on these birds, mainly to get record photos of the Waxwings with Glass Cone in the background….

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Thanks Matt!!!

I also checked out the SWT Wardens Office out for Moths. Unfortunately there wasn’t any.

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21.1.17.

Saturday…Unfortunately it was back to the doom and gloomy conditions. It also felt a very cold 2ºC in Beeley-Derbyshire. After yesterdays conditions, this was After the Lord Mayors Show!!!

The main purpose of the trip today was to see the Mega Rare Dusky Thrush. Of late the bird has been showing quite a distance away, especially since all the apples have gone from a nearby orchard. So Me, Ken, and Dave knew we had a real task on our hands to even find the bird. On arrival there were around 100 Redwings in 2 fields. So the three of us started to scan through the Redwings, to look for the Dusky Thrush. Amazingly Dave spotted it, and called me and Ken, only for the bird to fly into a hedge and out of sight, which left me and Ken disappointed. If it had stayed where Dave had spotted it, I would now be posting some decent photos. Instead we had to wait around 2 hours for the Dusky Thrush re-emerge. This time the bird was very distant, so I can only post heavily cropped images. As usual the bird was unmistakable through the scope, and this meant I get to add number 317 to my Life List…

Version 3

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The Award for 1st Spot of a Dusky Thrush 21.1.17….Goes to Mr Dave Collins…

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We all had 2 Year Ticks with Stock Dove, and these Pink-Footed Geese..

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Tried a new Wi-Fi remote out for my camera. The only bird around long enough to try it on was this Robin….

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20.1.17.

Friday…At last the sun was back in the sky. I really hope we don’t get days and days of gloom again this winter…A warm feeling 6ºC.

With such a nice day, and the chance to photograph Waxwings with a Blue Sky background, I headed off the short distance to see the 12 Waxwings opposite Geoff Hills Electrics Ltd in Amblecote. I’ve photographed Waxwings since 2005, and all of my previous photos are with a gloomy background. So I was so pleased they were still there today…..

3 of the 12 Waxwings. wish I had taken my smaller camera, so I could have got all 12 birds on photo…

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You Looking at Me…You Looking at Me?…. Goldfinch and Waxwing…

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The one that got away…..

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I have a trip to Derbyshire tomorrow, hopefully for 2nd Lifer of the year…Dusky Thrush…here we come!!!

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14.1.17.

Saturday…Mainly Dull, with an overnight ground frost…..2ºC (Where did that beautiful sunshine Saturday the weathermen forecast go too?).

Had a trip to Stow-on-the-Wold today, to see the Blue Rock Thrush. This was my second trip within a month, to see this bird. My first trip I was lucky enough to see the bird for at least 10 seconds through my binoculars. I had not even unpacked my camera, when the bird flew from a roof top, and was not seen again the rest of that day. I felt really frustrated that I didn’t even get a record photo of the bird, especially with the bird showing so well, in full sunshine.

So today with a sunny Saturday forecast, me and Ken set off around 7am. The first time I visited Stow-on-the-Wold the Thrush had only been there a week, and it attracted at least 200 birders. On arrival this time, it was going to be totally different, with only me and Ken there so early. So it looked like we would have to find the Thrush ourselves. Within half an hour, we were joined by another four birders, which gave us a better chance. With six of us now spread out all scanning roof tops, it was not long after one of the other guys spotted the Thrush. Unfortunately it was low in a bush, and I could only take a photo through someones yellow washing line. Not long after the bird flew out of the garden and onto a nearby roof top. This was number 316 on my Life List…Happy Days….

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While waiting for a sight of the Blue Rock Thrush, the only bird on a roof was this Jackdaw with it’s breakfast…

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On the way home, Me and Ken decided to check out a couple of Waxwing locations.Both within a mile of where we live. This bird (one of two) was Opposite Geoff Hills Electrical shop in Amblecote. We did not stay long as it started to rain (Damn Weathermen). The other site Granville Drive had 30 birds yesterday…but none were there today!

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