Sunday, 23 October 2016

I was up and out of the house this morning at 6.15am where I drove over to Nethergong and parked up outside to listen to the day waking up in the darkness. Redwings, Mallard and Teal could be heard calling as they flew over and 1 Tawny and 1 Little Owl were heard calling. As the light picked up slightly, 1 Woodcock flew over the car providing a nice silhouette and my first of the autumn here. After parking up and getting ready, I spent the next 3 and a half hours walking around the site and also sitting for an hour in the hope a Kingfisher would fly by and land on the post. Despite seeing a Kingfisher further down the stream fishing, I never saw one fly past me and I hope that throughout the winter, they get used to the perch and give me the odd photo opportunity. I did see or hear 56 species today which included 3 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechat, 2 Water Rail calling, 147 Cormorant, 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Pheasant, 8 Long tailed Tit, 2 Redpoll, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrel, 2 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 3 Jay and 8 Skylark over. At the frog pond which is now very low, there was a Grey Wagtail which after a bit of patience, I finally managed to grab a few shots of.

Grey Wagtail

There were 2 Mistle Thrush, c20 Fieldfare, 7 Little Egret flew east together, 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Reed Bunting, 7 Bullfinch, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Ring necked Parakeet, 2 Lapwing, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellowhammer and 2 Siskin. Despite a few looks at the lake for the Little Grebe, I could not find it. Perhaps it has moved on or just hiding in the reeds which they seem very good at. With 2 weeks off work now, hopefully I can get out for the odd visit during this time to see what else is to be found at Nethergong.

Grey Wagtail

Saturday, 22 October 2016

With some nice sunshine forecast for this morning, I decided on a trip over to Nethergong to see if any new birds could could found as the year list has somewhat haltered. I left home at 6.30am where I cycled the 20 minute journey in the dark which was actually quite nice. Good number of Thrushes could be heard calling as I made my way along the lanes. I arrived just before 7am where after parking up, I collected my tripod and camouflage coat which I had brought down the night before. I have decided to set myself a Kingfisher challenge and see if I can get any better quality shots than I did the other day. I have positioned a stick, albeit not the best looking one which I might have to change on the stream and a few metres away, I have a place where I can sit quietly, sheltered by some bushes and a wooden fence. It gives me a nice view of the post but I think I will have to purchase some camouflage netting so I can get really comfortable and move around unnoticed. After a walk around, I settled in position for an hour or so when the sun broke through and despite seeing the Kingfisher on a few occasions whizzing up the stream, it didn't stop to check out the post. I suspect it may take some time but hopefully I can persevere and get lucky sometime. With my legs seizing up, I spent a few hours walking around the site which is now closed to the public which allows me to walk anywhere in peace and really check the site out. I managed to see or hear 52 species today which included a new bird for the year when a Brambling (106) was heard calling as it flew over. A bonus bird and one which I thought I had a chance with. Other birds noted included 1 Barn Owl, 1 Little Owl, c30 Fieldfare, c15 Redwing, 1 Green Woodpecker, 4 Jay, 2 Stonechat which showed incredibly well and allowed me to grab a number of pleasing images of this species, possibly my best yet.

Stonechat (male)

There were 2 Great spotted Woodpecker, 4 Pheasant, 2 Common Buzzard, 16 Cormorant, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Reed Bunting, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 17 Skylark west, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Blackcap, 1 Merlin chasing groups of Starling, 1 Snipe, 4 Siskin and 1 Yellowhammer.  Before I left I met up with the owner of the site, Jed, who informed me that he had seen a Little Grebe on the lake a few days earlier but wasn't sure if it had moved on or not. This would be a new bird for me at Nethergong so I shall make a point of taking some time to look tomorrow morning in between staking out the Kingfishers.    

 Stonechat (male)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

I made a couple of visits to Nethergong last weekend where I wandered around the site which is now closed to the public for the winter until April. I managed to see or hear 55 species which seemed pretty good which included 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Redwing, 4 Jay, 1 Bullfinch, 10 Cormorant, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Green Woodpecker, c75 Fieldfare, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Pheasant, 3 Skylark, 1 Little Egret, 1 young Barn Owl looking out from its nest, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Kestrel and 3 Reed Bunting.


 There were 6 Bearded Tit in the northern reedbed which flew up occasionally where I was able to grab a few rushed efforts before they returned back to the reedbed.

Bearded Tits

Also seen were 9 Long tailed Tit, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Stonechat, 6 Mute Swan, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Buzzard, 6 Swallow, 1 Treecreeper, 9 Siskin and 2 Kingfisher flew up the stream with one alighting briefly on part of a fence which hangs over the stream where I managed a few brief shots.

Long tailed Tit

This could prove to be an interesting project in the next few months if I maybe put a few perches along the stream and set up nearby in camouflage and hope I can get a few visits from them for the camera.