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by PaulS

A Few More From The Farnes.

May 31, 2012 in Holiday and Trip Reports by PaulS

Been a bit wet and miserable today so to brighten everything up here’s a few more shots of the Farne residents.

A few Puffins (bless ‘em) to start with.

And now some of the other residents. Bridled Guillemot, Razorbill & Arctic tern.




Early Days At Bennerley

May 31, 2012 in Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Yellow Iris

A somewhat damp dog walk turned in to something much nicer – with persistence !

Lots of wildlife about, flowers and birds mostly, but a few Bumble Bees battled the elements.

Hirundines and Swifts seem to be having a good summer, as are Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, but not so Willow Warbler or Reed Warbler, only two in at Tathams so far, still ‘ its early days !


Bennerley. 2 Grey Heron, 6 Lapwing, Common Tern, 30 Swift, 70 Carrion Crow, 33 Swallow, 20 House Martin,  5 Chiffchaff, Song Thrush. Tathams Pond. 4 Swift, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Bullfinch. Chat Corner. 2 Grey Heron, 3 Swift, 6 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet.



Water-Side Plant
Ragged Robin

A day out around Notts

May 30, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by ChrisLuv

Jim, Dave and I went out on Sunday for a tour around some spots in Notts (I’m a poet and I don’t know it!). A mixed day, the first part of the day was spent checking some likely Wood Warbler spots but no luck was had. We did find a Great Spotted Woodpecker hole though and were delighted to see a little head poking out, what a joy to see the parents coming in and feeding it. A very privileged view but we departed as soon as it became we weren’t welcome.

We did later see a gorgeous Nuthatch, but a tricky bird to photograph as it was in full shadow while the background was in bright sunshine – a good lesson in adapting to the conditions quickly.

After a fairly uneventful tour around the wider Notts area, the only real highlight being four Raven, and after I’d missed my bogey bird Crossbill, we called in at the Nottingham Canal. What a delightful end to the day. A single Azure and several Blue Tailed Damsel , as well as a Forest Bug and a few Cardinal Beetles (and a few nettle stings trying to photograph the damsels).

Blue Tailed

Azure (note the tell-tale 2nd segment)

I’ll add these to the Biopedia when I get time.

Breeding Birds – if in doubt, leave it out

May 30, 2012 in Latest News by ChrisLuv

Just a reminder, as I’ve neglected this a bit this year, that any breeding birds or suspected breeding birds, or even unusual records that could be breeding, play it safe and leave out of your report. Wait until the young are mobile before reporting them. Do not give directions to nests. Unfortunately there are people who watch forums for information on breeding birds, usually to steal eggs, and the valley could be seen as an easier target – even with the more common species you think may not be affected.

If you are in doubt drop me a message, and we’ll discuss the situation and decide on the best course of action. There is always a difficult balance to strike between discussing these on an open forum to stoke interest and saying too much. I’d rather air on the side of caution.

On a similar note, always remember not to stray from public footpaths – especially during the breeding season. Breeding birds have enough pressures at this time of year without having unwanted, if inadvertent, attention. I always remember a story I was told about some nightjar watchers, not in the valley I might add, who strayed from the path to get good views of nightjars in the evening. The next day 2 eggs were found crushed where they had accidentally trodden on the nest in a bid to get good views. Certainly not intentional but just a reminder of what can happen. Birds can abandon eggs after the slightest disturbance.

We don’t have many rules on the site but, after much consideration, I’ve decided to ask people not to post photos of if birds on or near their nest. This is in line with policies on other nature websites. Unfortunately that means I can’t share the photos of GS Woodpecker I took this weekend (from a public footpath I might add) but I think this is the right approach.

Also, with continued persecution throughout the county, I would ask NO Goshawk sightings to be discussed on the site, without exception. I don’t want to inadvertently provide any information that could lead to problems for these birds.

Please let me know any comments on these guidelines, if people disagree lets say so. We pride ourselves on being an open community with no rules or constitution, so if you think these are too much let me know.

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by PaulS

The Norfolk Journal. Knew I Should Have Turned Right Instead Of Left!! Part 3. Inner Farne.

May 30, 2012 in Holiday and Trip Reports by PaulS

We’ve really been looking forward to our trip to the Farnes but thanks to the great British weather it nearly didn’t happen. We’d booked on an all day trip around the whole island group but due to the weather the trip was cancelled. We were lucky though they were running a four hour trip to Inner Farne only in the afternoon. Although disappointed our originals plans had changed we were grateful of the chance of the shorter trip. And what a trip it was. Despite the misty, murky drizzly weather we had a ball. Well who wouldn’t with tens of thousands of birds around you? Here’s a brief pictorial review of our afternoon.

Whilst waiting in Seahouses harbour for our trip we took the chance to get close to the Eiders. That close in fact they ate our ginger biscuits!!

Male Eider.

So off we set on the good ship Glad Tidings 4. No let up with the weather and we didn’t see Inner Farne until we were very near.

Guillemot and Kittiwake colony.

As you leave the boat the first birds you encounter are Arctic Terns.

They nest on the ground right next to the path. It’s easy to get flight shots like the one below…

The reality though is this bird is attacking the person in front of you…..

A hat is essential!! Blood was drawn on our trip from very sharp beaks. Oh, and they also crap on you so don’t put your best gear on. Do look out for Terns coming in to their nests with Sand Eels.

What a stunning bird!!

Once you’ve run the gauntlet of the Artics you reach the cliff edge colonies of Kittiwakes, Shags, Guillemots, Razorbills and Cormorants.

Guillemots (including a bridled one).

The undoubted stars of the show though are the Puffins.

I think there’s around 15000 pairs on this one island alone. They nest on the ground in burrows.

Puffin at its nest.

Look out to sea and try and catch the Puffins coming in with beaks full of Sand Eels.

Things though get tricky now for the Puffins. They have to remember where there burrow is amongst the thousands of holes. If they don’t go straight to the hole and disappear down it they get mobbed by Black Headed Gulls…

Quite a few Puffins lost a good mouthful of Eels when they returned to the island.

So our time was far to quickly up on Inner Farne and it was time to go. I’m sure we’ll be back soon, and hopefully the weather will be better. I’d have liked the opportunity for more flight shots but it was just to grey and cloudy. Hope the shots here are OK.

Time to fly.

Off to Yorkshire tomorrow. Not sure if we’ll be wildlife watching as Allison wants to go to Whitby. I’ll keep you posted though ;)



Nottingham Canal 30/05/2012

May 30, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Damselfly extravaganza! Spent an hour in the hot sun on the section between Cossall and Trowell. Azure damsels by the hundreds, a few Blue-tails, Large Red and my first Red-eyed damsels bossing everything about. Banded Demoiselle. Many of the Azures were in ‘tandem’ or ‘cop’ – not seen such rampancy since my college days! 2 Four-spotted Chasers. Still no Hairy Dragonfly! A few Orange Tip butterfly about – they will doubtless make it now into June after such a wet and cold April and part of May? Single Common Blue butterfly. Sedge Warbler, Song Thrush and Blackcap all singing. Kestrel and a pair of Buzzards that were actually, if briefly, talon-grappling.

Went to the Millenium Park NR by Cossall Marsh – never been there before. Lovely spot. Loads of Hayrattle plant – doubtless been seeded. Single Common Blue and a welcome Speckled Wood. Yet more rampant Azure damsels, a Large Red and another Banded Demoiselle on the canal.






Notts sightings for Wed 23rd May (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

May 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Clipstone Forest - 14 Common Crossbill, 1 Common Whitethroat.
  • Maun Valley Trail - Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Kingfisher, Common Cuckoo.
  • Besthorpe NWT - South: Garganey [drake], 1 Little Egret, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Turtle Dove.
  • Kilvington Lakes - 3 Red-crested Pochard [drakes on North Lake], 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin.
  • Rolleston - 2 Hobby [river].
  • Wellow - 5 Common Buzzard [Eakring Road].

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Notts sightings for Fri 25th May (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

May 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Spalford Warren NWT - 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Common Cuckoo, 4 Common Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker.
  • Besthorpe NWT - South: 1 Garganey [drake], 3 Turtle Dove, 2 Ringed Plover.
  • Kilvington Lakes - West Lake: 1 Northern Wheatear.
  • Nottingham - 1 Red-legged Partridge [City Hospital].
  • Pinxton - Reed Bunting, 3 Common Buzzard, 1 Common Kingfisher.
  • Beeston to Nottingham - canal walk: 2 Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Canada Goose, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Common Pheasant, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Sand Martin, 2 Barn Swallow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Eurasian Starling.

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Notts sightings for Sat 26th May (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

May 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Underwood - 1 Red Kite.

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Notts sightings for Sun 27th May (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

May 29, 2012 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Maplebeck - Common Cuckoo.
  • Fountaindale - Mandarin Duck [female].
  • Old Basford - Common Cuckoo [heard].
  • Budby Common - Tree Pipit, Common Cuckoo, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Swift, Sand Martin, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow.
  • Keyworth - Hobby, Yellow Wagtail.
  • Rainworth Heath - Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, Common Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Jay, Common Buzzard [mobbed by crows], Common Swift, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Chaffinch.

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