Thursday, 28 June 2012

Going a-glowing

We had our annual trip out tonight to look for glow-worms in Sherwood Forest - something we've done for four years now. Walking up the broad ride from the Edwinstowe Road towards Centre Tree, we bumped into Trevor Pendleton (as usual!), who monitors them every night and who's excellent website provides details of exactly where to find then. Although apparently past their best, we saw 23, which is a personal best for us, and included several 'new' females (it's the females that glow) taking Trevors total for this year beyond 340. Add at least 4 churring Nightjars and good numbers of Woodcock, it all made for an excellent night.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fruitless Frampton

I was joined by Carl for a quick run over to Frampton Marshes on the Lincs coast this morning, in a bid to get Rose-coloured Starling on my life list; this proved unsuccessful (and wet), and this species remains the biggest hole in my British list. However, it wasn't a completely wasted trip as there were a few nice bits and pieces around the reserve, including a 1st S Little Gull, 2 ad Med Gulls, a pair of Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, a drake Garganey and plenty of other waders and wildfowl using the scrape and wet grassland areas, plus what appeared to be the entire Swift population of Boston feeding overhead.

Stormy skies over Frampton Marsh
My WeBS count at Girton occupied what was left of the afteroon once I'd watched the Grand Prix - the site was pretty quiet, as expected for this time of year, although an unseasonal Goldeneye (a female type, lacking any pink on the bill - or possibly an eclipse drake?) on the A1133 Pit was a surprise. Two Common Terns on the Trent included a fully grown juv - not sure where these bred.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Cotham not forgotten

It's been a while since I visited Cotham Flash, so I had a quick look there this evening. All that was on the Flash itself as far as I could see were 2 Mute Swans, whilst the field pool hosted 12 adult and one full grown juv Lapwing (it looks like the other youngsters didn't make it). The pair of Ringed Plovers are still present, the female on a nest - presumably their last attempt failed in the poor weather, so hopefully it'll work out for them this time. Also present were up to 6 Yellow Wags in the wheat crop with at least one carrying food to a nest site. On a frustrating note it looks like part of Hawton Works Grassland (closest to the green waste composting site) has been ploughed - why?!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

An egret quartet

A quick visit to Kilvington on the way home tonight produced 4 Little Egrets and a Curlew, on the West Lake, but not much else. The sightings board didn't suggest that there's been much here recently; the best listed were 8 Sanderling and 7 Dunlin back on the 3rd, which would've been nice to see.

Little Egrets at Kilvington

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Langford visit

At Langford Lowfields this afternoon there were 2 3CY Yellow-legged Gulls amongst a few Lesser Black-backs, plus 2 Green Sands, 6(+?) Little Egrets, and the 2 singing Cetti's Warblers in their usual spots. Also of note was at least one Oystercatcher chick, and quite a few hungry little faces poking out of the Sand Martin bank.

Yellow-legged Gull at Langford Lowfields

Friday, 15 June 2012

Besthorpe North

A quick look at Besthorpe NWT North late this arvo didn't reveal much, although there was an Oystercatcher and several Lapwing in the bare field on the north side of the access road, a Yellow Wag flew over, and there were 54 Southern Marsh Orchids in their usual spot on the southern bank of the Eon Lagoon, at the western end.

I then accessed Mons Pool from the north for a change, rather than via Collingham Pits, seeing a pair of Shoveler and the female Shelduck brooding her young (it was raining, again). Best was a Gropper reeling in the south-west corner of Besthorpe Meadow SSSI.   

Sunday, 10 June 2012

More orchids

After an unsuccessful look for Fly Orchids in Dyscarr Wood this morning (at the spot they last grew about 5 years ago), I whiled-away a bit of time at Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint. Despite being there for the best part of two hours, I failed to see any Honey Buzzards, and had to settle for a Red Kite instead.

I then headed for Langford Lowflields, via Hunt's Meadow near Kersall, counting 13 Early Marsh Orchids, plus a few Southern Marsh and Common Spotted. This is a lovely little spot, full of Ragged Robin and buttercups (well, the eastern meadow is, the western one is very rushy), and a Turtle Dove purring just off to the west was a bonus.

Early Marsh Orchid at Kersall
Best at Langford were a Dunlin and 4 Yellow-legged Gulls (all  3CY's, amongst 100 or so Lesser Black-backs - the arrival of Yellow-legs for the summer seems to get earlier every year), with a supporting cast of the 'usual' stuff, including at least 6 Little Egrets, 2 singing Cetti's Warblers, and a purring Turtle Dove.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Botanical birding

After my BBS visit to East Markham (which didn't throw up anything out of the ordinary), I called in at Gamston Wood. A pair of Spotted Flys in the northern part of the wood were good, but what I was really after was a bird-related plant; Bird's-nest Orchid. I'd been shown the gone-over flowerspikes of these plants last year, and despite a concerted effort I couldn't find any trace of them today, and I'm pretty sure I was in the right spot... However, a coppiced area nearby held at least 57 spectacular Greater Butterfly Orchids, with Common Spotted Orchid, Common Twayblade and non-flowering Broad-leaved Helleborine also present, along with a few patches of Herb-paris. Nearby, the SSSI road verges (which I have the pleasure/headache of being responsible for) held a further 6 GBOs, lots of Common Spots and Twayblades, plus a few Bee and Southern Marsh Orchids, bringing the orchid tally for the morning to six species; not bad.

Greater Butterfly Orchid in Gamston Wood
This afternoon, Collingham Pits wasn't up to much and Mons Pool was also quiet - water levels were up, and birds were few; the Shelduck pair still had 6 young, and a Hobby hung above the site monitoring the Swifts and Sand Martins.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Sacred Ibis at Langford

After a non-birding day yesterday, I managed to get out this afternoon; Mons Pool was fairly quiet, but nearby, on the Silt Lagoon at Collingham there was a pair of GC Grebes with 4 young and a pair of Shelduck with 13 ducklings. The Main Pit wasn't holding much, but there was a single Dunlin on Carlton Ferry Farm Pit.

I then went to Langford Lowfields, which was looking fantastic, and located the Sacred Ibis that was found here on friday on part pf the site with no general access (but it should be visible from the footpath along the Trent). It was a bit distant but I managed a few record shots. A fun bird to see, but given its status as an invasive species in Europe and the impact it has on native species (e.g. in France), perhaps not one we want to see on a regular basis...

Sacred Ibis at Langford Lowfields

Also present were a party of 5 Ringed Plover and 1 Dunlin which flew north, 2 singing Cetti's Warblers, a Barn Owl carrying prey off the the east, 5 Little Egrets, a pair of Turtle Doves, a Cuckoo, and a Peregrine which flew south, plus lots of common stuff; a nice evening.

Sedge Warbler at Langford Lowfields

Langford Lowfields - Phase 2

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Let the good times Roll

Myself, Carl, Mark Speck and Andy Victor headed up to Aldbrough in East Yorks this morning for the Roller. Definitely the best and most prolonged views I've ever had of this species, and what a superb bird - absolutely stunning, especially in flight. It seemed to be having no difficulties finding food in the ploughed fields, and it looked like it was taking ground beetles. We struggled to drag ourselves away at the end, whilst it sat on its favoured post regurgitating pellets.

Roller at Aldbrough, East Yorks

On the way home we called in at Blacktoft Sands, where we initially had to make do with just hearing the Marsh Warbler briefly as it sang from amongst some sallows, but it then appeared in the reeds and sang well for a few minutes and showed reasonably well.

Marsh Warbler at Blacktoft Sands
Whilst at waiting for the Marsh Warbler at Blacktoft, 3 Ruddy Shelduck flew over, which was a nice surprise (if plastic).

Friday, 1 June 2012

Great White Egret

After a rather uneventful week (a couple of additonal visits to Mons Pool had been unproductive, although 8 Crossbills over my house in Newark in the early evening of the 29th were nice), it was good to get a call about a Great White Egret. This is a species I have half-heartedly tried for in Notts in the past, so I felt I ought to make an effort for this one.

Arriving at the site (which, for various reasons, can't be identified at this stage unfortunately), I soon picked up the Egret, actively feeding and occaisionally flying short distances on its huge wings. Very nice indeed.

Great White Egret at undisclosed site

Also present was a Turnstone - my 7th of the spring (and 5th self-found); in spring 2010 there were just 5 seen in the whole county, and in spring 2009 there were 9, so it's clearly been a good year for them.

Turnstone at undisclosed site