Saturday, 24 April 2021
Saturday, 3 April 2021
Tuesday, 16 March 2021
Redpoll is a bird I see all too infrequently in recent years, and has become rather scarce locally, but 2021 saw a bit of an influx in Nottingham, with a small flock around the Wollaton area. Following my normal route I heard the flight call along with the odd Siskin and noticed a few birds perching high in the trees on the edge of Harrison's Plantation, close to Old Coach Road. This was on the 7th March and the birds remained high in the trees and I only managed some record shots.
I returned on 8th and there seemed to be more birds, maybe 15 in all along with a few Siskins, although the latter remained very elusive, with a few males singing from high up. After about an hour a couple of Redpolls came lower down and I managed a couple of decent shots.
That was until 20th March, when I located a very interesting looking bird, which I think fits with a spring Mealy Redpoll, although I'm not sure a pale Lesser can be absolutely ruled out.
Friday, 29 January 2021
Hearing about a Kingfisher that was showing at close quarters, I made the short journey to see the bird and it performed well, catching two gudgeon while I was there. A Little Grebe close up was a bonus, as were 80 Redpolls that dropped in, although evaded the camera one way or another.
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
The government restrictions meant that travelling to go birding was not allowed, so I was back on the patch.
It was a cold weekend and Saturday was particularly icy, as I negotiated the paths around Nottingham Business Park, which were decidedly tricky under foot. I past a row of alders, and I thought they looked good for Siskin, although with the sun barely up, any self-respecting Siskin was probably still tucked up in bed.
Turning up the path that runs along the fields between there and Nuthall, I spied movement and almost stumbled into a Jay, which was foraging among the leaf litter of a large oak. I froze and tentatively raised my camera, turning the shutter down as far as I dare, although the Sony A9, seems to be noise free up to 3200 ISO. Under the circumstances, I think it turned out quite well.
I spent a while with watching the Jay, which was very vocal, doing the buzzard-like mewing call and lots of whistles and tweets. A splendid bird.
The twinkling of goldfinch over head made me turn back, wondering if they were headed for the alders. I was greeted with a mixed flock dangling from the cones. My approach initially caused the Siskins and Goldfinches to take flight, but I found a lamp post to hide behind. Emerging from my post, I gradually won the confidence of the birds. Bit by bit, I got closer and closer, until I was too close to focus at 600mm.
I called my friend, Mike Hill to share the info, who I knew was also patch-watching and whose patch over-lapped with my own. He reciprocated with news of a pair of Stonechats not too far away, which he had seen on New Years Day and might still be around. After logging a female Sparrowhawk zoom overhead, I made my way towards the spot that mike had mentioned, I located the Stonechats without too much difficulty. However, given the sparse habitat, I didn't linger, obtaining a couple of record shots and moved on.
The pond was 80% frozen and 40 Black-headed Gulls and three Common were bathing and drinking from the water, which made for some nice photos. Around the reserve were the usual suspects, plus a single Little Egret, which is still scarce there. A gathering of 11 Eurasian Teal is my best count from the site.
I continued with my walk around the park. Still no Tawny Owl, but bagged Rose-ringed Parakeet for the list and the mainly frozen lake was holding good numbers of gulls, including Lesser Black-backed Gull and unusually for there - Herring Gull. Egyptian Geese were on good form.
Working my way back through the park, I was attracted by four Nuthatches, chasing each other around the trees under which the Redwing had been feeding. But they were of before I could get a photo. However, as I was about to move on, a Treecreeper alighted right in front of me - a smart little bird and I got some nice photos, before returning home for a coffee and a Danish.