Sunday, 23 October 2016

Patch Birding

This is something I do anyway but due to some pretty major spinal surgery i'm having this week (EDIT op postponed till the 7th so a little breathing space!) i'm going to have limited mobility for a few months it's pretty much all i'm going to be able to do!

My garden is possibly going to have the most documented birds in town!

As walking is part of the recovery process i'll be able to get out locally in time so hopefully i'll be able to cover the local parks and eventually the urban woodlands too. I've considered doing the patchwork challenge i've seen others do - details here - and this may be the perfect time to start. Granted my patch is not going to produce huge numbers but at least it's something that will help keep me occupied (sitting still and not doing anything is not something i'm good at!)

Where I live has parks and my own garden has its good moments.There isn't a huge variety of species here but I figure if I included the woodlands that'll broaden the number of species I could see. 

I've figured out a patch that covers my area including three parks in town, my walk to work and the urban woodland/beck. It comes in at just under 3km²

It took a bit of fiddling but it does just cover everything. The three parks are varied, the one close to home is the smallest with the least amount of species (or the not so nice park as we call it!), the park in the centre of town is ok, it has a few little paths and hidden away areas and it has in the past produced my first (of only two) ever views of Waxwings! The third park is the best one for a walk and for the birds and is good for Redwings/Fieldfares in winter.

It's going to be a tough few months and blogging will probably be sparse but at least i'll be able to keep up with everyone else's easily enough so that's something!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Golden Acre & Adel Dam

Sunday morning had myself and my daughter heading over to Golden Acre to test out a new pair of binoculars. Nothing too fancy just some a bit lighter than the ones we already have.  The path up to Breary Marsh by the car park is all closed off. I noticed back in August that there was a sign up about the refurbishment. I'm not sure if the whole of the woods there is closed off?

Onto Golden Acre and the usual noisy ducks and gulls on the lake. Black Headed Gulls, Mallards and Tufted Ducks, Swans, Moorhen and a lone Canada Goose. Trying to get my daughter to pose for a photo (not easy when new braces are involved!) I saw flash of blue behind her, not one but two Kingfishers flying low over the water and heading in the direction of the cafe. Very nice start to the morning. A couple of Crows were flying about the grass.

We could hear Great Tits and Robins in the trees and there were a couple of squirrels around too.

The first hide at Adel Dam was already quite busy, one gentleman hoping to get some decent photos of the Kingfishers but a recent fly by of a Sparrowhawk was keeping the birds a little skittish. We did see Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Robins, Chaffinch, Woodpigeons and a Chiffchaff right next to the window of the hide, despite that I couldn't get a good angle for a photo! Speckled Wood butterflies were flying about the brambles.

Walking on to the lake hide brought us Blackbirds, a Mistle Thrush and more squirrels. Now something unusual happened in the hide, for the first time ever in any hide i've been in anywhere it was full only of women! It's not often I see ladies birding on their own, often in couples, as I do myself on many occasions. My daughter spotted a Red Kite flying about the lake and around the trees and pointed it out.

On the water were a fair few Teal, a Mandarin at the back of the lake and a Coot popped out of the reeds at the side. We sat a while and enjoyed the moment, serenaded by first a Robin then a Great Tit right by the hide.

The hide filled up so we moved on and walked through the rest of the woods not seeing much bird wise apart from a Wren and a couple more Blackbirds.

Back into Golden Acre and we could see a Heron hiding out by the lake and half a dozen Sand Martins skimming the water. A Nuthatch and a couple of Chaffinch were by the bird feeding are but there were a lot of dogs running wild by now so not much of anything else.

In a tree by the cafe a Jay was screeching loudly for quite some time, we heard it long before we saw it, an answering call kept coming from somewhere down by the lake.

Quite a few Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were around the flowerbeds.

After a little bit of lunch at the suggestion of the my daughter we walked up behind the cafe, this is the first time i've ever done this in all the years i've been coming here and discovered a greenhouse with a water feature and a beautiful garden full of all sorts of flowers and walk ways. I can't believe i've missed this till now!

A lovely way to end our morning.