Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Birding on the Bounce

I do love getting home for a few days. For a start its always a few degrees warmer, but it also means a long journey past plenty of good birding spots, I can always get a couple of extra ticks on the year list.

A quick spin around Attenborough is a sure fire way of picking up Egyptian goose, RC pochard and a couple of warblers. Its even better in the sun. This year, my whistle-stop tour gave me the first 2 plus Cetti's (heard), reed, sedge, willow, chiffchaff and whitethroat. Common terns, little and great crested grebe. Tufted duck, mallard, widgeon, and gadwall were all in attendance. And there were good numbers of tits, buntings and other odds and ends.

RC Pochard with Egyptian Geese (background)
A particularly Bold Dunnock
Great Crested Grebe

Visible Reed Warbler
Inquisitive Reed Warbler

The next gains were made on my way north. After a tip, I nipped over to Willington (30 mins from home) to pick up a pair of black necked grebe that had been seen in the morning. Its a lovely spot, and I wish I'd had a bit more time. A couple of fella's on one of the platforms soon put me onto the birds, but sadly they kept there distance during my short visit.

Black neck grebe record


The reedies at Willington were nowhere near as confining as those at Attenborough

After an overnight stop in York I debated nipping over to North Cave in search of the red necked phalarope that had been seen over the weekend, but decided that I didn't fancy extending my drive. Instead I dropped quickly into North Duffield Carrs, adding whimbrel to the year list, before hitting the motor way. At junction 49 I spotted a red kite overhead (second sighting here in six trips).

After another 2 and a half hours driving I took a break at Baron's Haugh in Motherwell, where a handsome drake garganey was feeding with gadwall and teal. Then stopped briefly in at Lochwinnoch to say hi to everyone (and replace my decrepit collins guide). There were the usual odds and sods kicking about, and a wheatear on the turned soil in front of the visitors centre.

Phonescoped garnaney

Swallow daft enough to try and take a short-cut through the visitor's centre at Lochwinnoch

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