Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Big Water - Couple of Drop-Ins over the Weekend

Went by myself and missed the walk on Sunday due to a late Moth Trapping session with Tom T and Graham W.  Only got to see Mick McG in the first hide and John D in the main hide who had been checking nest boxes.  The Canada Goose was on the main scrape with its young and the Great Crested Grebes had appeared with their young, how many is another question until they are in the open away from the reeds.  Played with camera in the dipping pond but didn't see much, so just had a walk round on my lonesome.  Here are a few pics from Sunday and previous visit.

Canada Geese into double figures on the pond
 Lesser Black Back feeling lonesome?
 Now where did I leave the Kids?
 Aaahhh, found them
 Flowers now coming through on the boardwalk to the main hide
 Check out the little'un having a ride on its parents back (still don't know how many though)
 Canada couple with 5 of its 6 offspring

 Between 5-7 Lapwing about on the prowl

Finally the Videos, the first is a one made over a couple of visits to Big Waters and Brenkley

The second one is from our garden where the young starlings
are being fed en masse by their parents, the noise they make
is extremely loud but it is fantastic just watching and listening


Monday, 16 May 2016

"Oot and Aboot" with Johnny at Brenkley and Big Waters

Sunday, Sedgie and I had an early start at 7 for a walk round Brenkley.  This was the first time we had both walked the circuit, which at the time we didn't know was a circuit but who cared on such a lovely morning.  On the way there we stopped at a pond and noticed that one of the Lapwings had at least 3 young although it was distant and the only picture we got was from a long way.

At Brenkley itself we watched 3 Hares playing chase for the first part of the circuit although viewable for over 20mins they never came too close and didn't do any boxing, but it was glorious just watching them.  At the same time we saw Curlew, Lapwings, Oystercatchers, 3 Wheatear, lots of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks and only saw one other human being (isn't life grand)  The circuit took about an hour to walk at a real gentle pace and no doubt we will be doing it again although next time I will take by Lumix 60x zoom.

 A cracking piece of dried mud turning up at the edges

We then headed on to Big Waters where we met up with Ian D, Keith B, Alan J then set off for the walk.  Nothing much out of the ordinary but plenty of sounds and now getting extremely difficult to see through the evergrowing foliage.   We then bumped into Graeme and Tony B so the Secret 7 then set off after quite a lengthy stop and catchup session in which we spotted a Canada with 6 young at the public end looking for offerings.

At the T Junction near the bridge over the A1 Sedgie, Keith and I decided to go and look for the Cuckoo and to check out Little Waters for Odanata.  We dawdled around but failed to find any although the walk was nice and we did see plenty with Greenfinch and Whitethroat the best.  We then all met up at the 1st hide where Mick McG was already in his corner noting anything of note and not of note also.  Alan J asked had we not got his message, we checked our phones and sure enough at 11.17 there was a message on both Keith and I's phone saying there was Quail calling at Redstart Corner.  C'est la vie as they say, another dip.  We once again had a big chat then moved up to the main hide where a Common Sandpiper had Alan J getting various bird books out to check on it, we all could have told him it was a Common Sandpiper but then again you have to let these youngsters find out for themselves and not keep telling them what every bird is uuummmmm !!

Well that was about it but here are a couple more photos from the day to keep you interested

 15 Common Terns are now flying around and seem to be digging scrapes on the island
although they are having some serious word with the Canada Goose which is sitting
on eggs just a few feet away

Farmer Nick has moved the fence in the North Field closer to the pond so that hopefully the
cows can churn up a bit of mud to entice some wagtails in.  Although this deer didn't come
any closer and stuck to his well worn path.

Haven't figured this one out yet - Having a leaf  like structure stuck up your bum to act 
as a paddle and a rudder for such an unaerodynamic object is not what I expect to 
happen in nature.  Also no mouth at the front so how is it going to eat although if
you look closely you will see the refuse disposal hole on the top.  This is one that
Alan needs to get his books out for
 A different landscape shot for a change, lots to listen to when you walk through this tunnel
 Daddy Canada getting upset at other greylags coming near his brood.
Did you expert toggers notice how I intentionally slowed the camera
shutter speed down to blur the wings so that the extremely sharp head
would draw your eyes in.  I might just take up togging full time to help
some of you out
 Where are those bloody Civil Enforcement Officers when you need one, mind you they do
bugger all to sort out those throwers (Known as TOSSERS) of plastic bags with dog shit in
instead of taking them to a bin  so you dont really expect them to do anything about this
NOTE the sign above the car in a Nature Reserve
 Mr and Mrs Swan and their offspring having a lazy Sunday morning sleep-in at Little Waters

Well thats it for the day, I have a few bits of video to look at but am hopefully going out Mothing
a bit later so if all you movie buffs want to watch just head for the local UTube Cinema at

John's UTube Videos

Although for those of you who have heard but missed a Gropper this year I can recommend this one that I prepared earlier (OK Keith and Mick)

ps.  Haven't had time to Spellcheck the above for misspellings of mididentifications so........

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Big Waters 8/9 May 2016

Here are a few more pictures from Big Waters mainly taken on Monday morning, although a couple were taken on Sunday, including a video of a few of the birds singing 


Monday, 9 May 2016

"Oot and Aboot with Johnny" Black Terns at Big Waters 8 May 2016

Mr Sedgy Warbler and I were out for a walk round Big Waters which was very pleasant but after the long and arduous walk with a blistering pace set by myself trying to speed him and Ian D up as Alan J could not attend early due to other commitments (Bad Head) we arrived at the First Hide where Mick Mcg was already ensconced with his scope.  We exchanged pleasantries and after a short while Mick casually mentioned that one of the Terns looked a little dark, I agreed and before any more could be said Ian D confirmed that they were Black Terns and eventually we all agreed that there were a total of 4.  A couple of phone calls were made and tweets sent and the hide was a bit full within the next 45 mins and plenty of people were enjoying these graceful birds.  After people came and went Mick Mcg again mentioned that there seemed to be more Black Terns at the bottom of the pond so we again scanned and after about 5-10 minutes the word went out that there was now 10 of these little beauties there.  Anyway thats enough waffle so here are a few pictures and a short  video of them although they never actually came close to the hide you can still make out the ever changing black/white/grey lines of them in the sunlight.

The Video

We did see a few other things whilst wandering around that day so here are a few more pictures.

Obliging Wren at Little Waters
 Common Tern at Little Waters

One of the brood of 5 Moorhen chicks

Can't get enough of the Swan pictures (Carole luvs em)
 Beautiful and still Early Morning

The first of the year at Big Waters

Well I must head out now as have already been up for 2 hours, writing blogs, tidying up (as we have people coming to see Carole at 9 - thats a bit early for her and I have been told she "wants to be alone with them without me sticking my nose in") emptied my moth trap (only found 3 baaahhh) potted a couple of plants and even cleaned my boots (sort of).  Will do another video of the rest of the day hopefully tonight although I might have to sort the audio out on one of them where Alan J overdoes his praise of my birding skills.