12/13.2.17.

Sunday… Rainy with a cold wind. 3ºC

Monday… Sunny, feeling a lot warmer than yesterday. 7ºC

The last two days I’ve been over Swanhurst Park, in Moseley B’Ham. To see the Iceland Gull. Although me and Ken got to see the Gull yesterday, unfortunately it flew off before we had chance to photograph it.

Today was a totally different story with the Iceland Gull showing really well. I was not going to stay long this afternoon (I had been ill overnight), but with this beautiful White-winged Gull showing so well, I could not resist keep clicking away on my camera.

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For such a small pool, and in the middle of a busy town, It was amazing how many Gulls Swanhurst Park in Moseley attracts. Over the 2 days I took a few more photos including what I believe to be this Yellow-legged Gull…

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Below are some of the other birds I took over the two days…

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5.2.17.

Sunday..Over the day we had a range of conditions..Mainly Cloudy, with sunny spells and a small amount of rain. Temperatures-between 3ºC and 8ºC.

Me and Ken decided to have trip to the North East today, and try our hand at getting a possible 5 lifers for me, and 2 for Ken. The 5 proved way to hard, especially with the small amount of winter daylight hours available. But also the fact when we got to the Pacific Diver site at East Chevington NWT, there was little information about the site. In fact it was about half an hour before we found one of those Maps with…You Are Here on it. Add to that when we looked at Birdguides App on my phone… they were giving the wrong pool out. It was also about 1 hour before we found a birder to point us in the right direction. Eventually we got to the hide where the Pacific Diver was showing in front of. Unlike the White-billed Diver last week, this bird kept vanishing in the reed beds. We must have only had a couple of minutes looking at the Diver (My 5th Diver for Britain), when it disappeared in the reeds, and headed away from us. I only managed this one decent photo, and we both agreed…we may have to wait far too long before it showed again. So with number 319 Lifer under my belt, it was time to go after number 2.

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The below photo is of Skinningrove, Cleveland. This was the place where we got number 2 lifer for both of us…

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Our 2nd Lifer proved way easier to find, and also showed well. In fact I swear it was modelling for us. It was a shame we had waisted so much time trying to find the Pacific Diver, as the sun was disappearing behind a steep cliff, so the light was not perfect to take photos of this Eastern Black Redstart. But even so, I wish all birds would give you so many great photo opportunities. Plus the fact it was such a stunning bird and number 320 on my Life List…

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In amongst the same rocks as the Eastern Black Redstart, we both got to add a Stonechat to our year list. It obviously did not want to be out done by the Redstart and posed equally as well…

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Some Numpty trying to photograph the Eastern Black Redstart..

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At Skinningrove, we decided to have our dinner on a bench and do a bit of seawatching. When I punched the next postcode in the Sat Nav for my number 3 lifer, it was going to take till 4pm to get there. With the light already looking gloomy, we both agreed this could be a pointless exercise. I know you must think, I may have been disappointed, only getting 2 out of the 5 lifers. But with 2 top birds under our belts, I think the day was a success.

Thanks to Ken for the photos of Skinningrove/The Numpty. Also hanging out my car window at about 70mph 🙂 to take the below photo of The Angel of the North….

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So the Lifers Pallid Harrier/Pine Bunting and Black Scoter will have to wait for another day…Already looking forward to it!!!

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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…

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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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