Monday, 11 February 2008

Carsington Water 10/02/2008

We arrived at the Visitor Centre Car Park at about 20 past 11 and decided to have a walk all the way along the dam to see if we could see the Great Northern Diver that was still there but as usual we couldn't find it but we did see a nice drake Goldeneye and loads Great Crested and Little Grebes. We then had lunch and went to the Wildlife Centre.

At the Wildlife Centre we saw a Pink-Footed Goose in with the Canada Geese and it was the first time I had seen 1 at Carsington Water and the first Oystercatchers of the year where on Horseshoe Island. I looked for the Little Owl that sits on the posts near the Wildlife Centre and found it in the lower branches of a tree preening itself. I decided to scan the far end of the reservoir where the Great Northern Diver usually hangs out and to my suprise I saw it, although it was very distant it was definitly it.

Pink-Footed Goose

After School Waxwing

When I was on the computer at school on Friday I went onto Birdguides website and found out that a Waxwing had been found on Ferrers Way in the Allestree area of Derby. Instead of doing my school work I went on to multi-map to find out where exactly Ferrers Way is and memorise the route my house to there.

As soon as the bell went I ran home all 1 mile of it and persuaded my dad to take there. I grabbed my binoculars and telescope and still in my school we left for Ferrers Way. We first went to the place it had been seen in the morning but there was nothing there. My dad then went to the nearby shopping centre and said I could go and look at the place it had been seen in the afternoon which was near the Shopping Centre.
After about 10 minutes the Waxwing flew and landed in a tree about 25 meters away from where I was standng and was feeding on the berries. It was bigger than I thought it would be and its yellow wing bars really stood out. It was still feeding in the same tree when I had to go home.

Friday, 1 February 2008

American Adventure. Mediterranean Duck

On Sunday news broke of a drake Ferruginous Duck on Shipley Lake in the old American Adventure Theme Park. It had been there for eight previous days.
We left home early and arrived just after 10:30. It was a long wall easily a mile around the perimiter fence of the the old theme park that they had just started to buldoze. It was asleep under a bush near the bank of an island with a few silver birchs on it. It was sleeping next to some Pochards and Tufted Ducks and a Shoveler drifted by at one point.
The fudge duck as it is commonly reffered to did wake up for about a minute and even had a little swim but soon went back to its origonal sleeping place. A flock of Siskin were calling in a nearby wood but I was unable to see them because of the sun.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

WWT Slimbridge 26/01/2008

An early start awaited me on Sunday so me and my parents could get to WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. We left our hosue at around 20 past 8 and arrived there at 10:54am. We first went to the Robbie Garnett Hide where I got the first new bird for the year list in the form of Shelduck, there was loads of them swimming and grazing on the marsh. Right at the back were hundereds of European White-Fronted Geese, most of these were busy eating but some were sleeping. A bit nearer the hide were loads of Bewick's Swans. A few thousand Lapwings were giving a marvellous arial dislplay along with hundereds of European Golden Plovers and Dunlins but the reason for the flights wasn't discovered till we reached the next hide.

From the next hide along we saw a 2 Buzzards and thought his was the reason the waders to be flying but that idea soon went out the window when one of them flew into the middle of the marsh and landed right in the middle of the Lapwings and they didn't move a muscle. A few Pintail drifted past looking very elegant and a few Ruffs were mixed in with some Redshank looking very cold. Then all of a sudden all the waders even a Bar-Tailed Godwit flew up again as Peregrine Falcon raced through them snatching what looked like a Lapwing. As it landed another Peregrine joined it. As soon as they had ate that they were up again looking for another tasty wader to eat and this time there target was a Dunlin. They chased it for about a minute with one of them chasing it while the other one flew overhead wating for it to fly underneath it and after a minute there plan had succeded and they had another meal.

We then went to the Holden Tower to look for the Tundra Bean Goose that was spending the winter at WWT Slimbridge. After about 5 minutes a gentleman let me have a look through his telescope at it. He had seen it moving about but at the moment it was sleeping but it was definetly the Bean Goose becuse its head was darker. We then went for lunch.

After lunch we went to Zesis Hide. From there we saw loads of Wigeon and even more waders and another new bird for the yearlist, a Snipe. At half past my dad said it was time to go home so home we went.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Allestree Park 19/01/2008

Just after 12 noon a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk flew over our house and landed on a TV ariel opposite allowing for good views. Its the first time I have seen a Sparrowhawk around our area.

After we had lunch me and my dad went to a local park which normally has wintering flock of Mandarin Ducks but after 2 attempts already this year I hadn't got my hopes up. We first went to the small lake first and after scanning all the very active Tufted Ducks and under every bush I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to see them. We started to continue our walk around the lake when I noticed a female Aix species. I knew that there was an escaped female Wood Duck on the lakes but had never seen it so I got my scope ready to look at it and she swam under the furthest away bush. I could still see her but not clear enough to Id her to a species. Then some body started to feed the Mallards and Canada Geese and the duck was swimming as fast as it could to get there to get some bread and out of nowhere a male Mandarin had appeared.

Wood Duck

Mandarin Duck

Monday, 14 January 2008

Carsington Water 12/01/2008

Me and my parents arrived at Carsington Waters visitor centre at 25 to 3 in the afternoon and after sitting down I started to scan the reservoir for ducks and the sun was shinig and all drakes were shining.

A Redshank flew across the reservoir and after looking at the year tick for about 5 minutes it flew to the furthest corner viewable form the Wildlife Centre. About 4 mins later a huge flock of Canada Geese flew out the fields and landed on the water. In the flock of Canada Geese were about 30 Barnacle Geese and associating with the Barnacles was a lone Lesser Canada Goose of the race minima also known as the Cackling Goose. I was the first to spot this very small Canada Goose and after I had shown everyone in the hide where it was we left the hide.

We then went for a walk around Stones Island to see if we could see the wintering Great Northern Diver and not for the first ime we left dissapointed.

On the way the biggest suprise happened. My dad was driving and just before we reached Hulland Ward a whacking great Indian Peafowl flew out of a field straight over the car with its tail feathers dangling in front of the windscreen and landed in a tree over hanging the road.