WEEK 4 AND 5 SIGHTINGS

These past two weeks I have been spoilt, yet again, for sightings of more exciting birds around Nottinghamshire. A fantastic, bright morning out ringing last Sunday, and a dusky afternoon around Attenborough gave nothing short of a treat in my bird count of 2017.

Whilst out ringing, the new sightings of a Marsh and Coal tit, coupled with a Brambling made the frozen toes quite insignificant. As somebody who really is still learning their bird ID skills, it was so interesting and helpful to get up close whilst ringing. This sort of encounter allows you to pick up even the smallest characteristics of a species, like the large black patch between the legs of a female Great tit compared to the thinner and disjointed stripe seen on a male. In a tree, there would not be any hope of telling the two apart, but by getting such a good view makes it simple with some practice.

Sightings:

  • Brambling, male and female
  • Marsh tit
  • Coal tit
  • Long-tailed tit
  • Blue tit
  • Great tit
  • Blackbird

 

dsc_0002

The sun rising over a beautiful new, frosty morning

dsc_0008

my first Marsh tit!

dsc_0014

my first female Brambling, accompanied by an equally stunning male

 

dsc_0015

another shot of the female Brambling

 

After a fantastic morning ringing last weekend, this Sunday  was time for a trip to Attenborough nature reserve. The sky was grey and not remotely inviting, but as usual, we were rewarded for our stubborn persistence. A peaceful cycle ride around the whole reserve was a joy even without my first close up shots of a Teal (male and female), but that perfect little pair made my afternoon.

The Goosanders, one of my favourite species, were out in the plenty, each one snootily glancing down their long slightly hooked beaks across the lake. As seems to be the case with these birds, I was made to feel humbled for every moment I  got within 50 yards of these birds before they glided off towards the other end of the lake.

Perhaps our most exciting moment of the afternoon was just as the sun was closing in. We were making tracks back home before being distracted by a group of birders, a scope and many pairs of binoculars. After getting a little closer to the hide we were pointed in the direction of a browny looking shrub on the nearest spit. I was sure that this was not the point of the gathering but for a while, it was quite difficult to see that it was for anything else. After a few minutes, I managed to distinguish a couple of Snipe right at the water’s edge, barely moving, and doing their best effort to remain completely invisible. Like a cloak had been thrown over my eyes it was not a minute longer before they vanished and there was little hope of picking anything out from their brown backdrop again. However short, that glance was pretty special, and we cycled home a little warmer inside than before our encounter with these elusive individuals.

Sightings:

  • Snipe
  • Teal, male and female
  • Red-crested pochard
  • Shoveler
  • Aylesbury duck
  • Great-crested grebe
  • Goosander
  • Tufted ducks
  • Cormorant
  • Canada goose
  • Mute swan
  • Mallard
  • Robin

8 new sightings this week

total sightings: 46

 

dsc_0004

A  dubbed ‘manky mallard’, describing the mallard cross aylesbury hybrid

 

dsc_0050

Red-crested pochard

dsc_0052

standing on the bridge was the perfect opportunity to catch the comical tufted ducks undertaking their long dives. One would disappear with a splash, followed by his other fellow submarines on their mission under the surface. The Mute swans were like angry cruise ship obstacles to be avoided with each duck and dive.

dsc_0058

a Mute swan, having a groom on the water

 

dsc_0013

territoriality mounted between the ducks as seeds were thrown to them at the edge of the lake

dsc_0025

a beautiful male Goosander

dsc_0028

an Ayelsbury and a Mallard male looking for food

dsc_0031

a female Teal, with the flash of colour under her wing

dsc_0035

a male Teal

dsc_0074

a very curious robin

dsc_0110

male and female shoveler. Interestingly I only found out this afternoon that these birds migrate all the way fro Ethiopia – even with those huge beaks!

dsc_0065

a Snipe indicated by the arrow, just to show how hard these birds are to spot

dsc_0070

an end to a wonderful afternoon at Attenborough nature reserve

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “WEEK 4 AND 5 SIGHTINGS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s