Sunday, 4 January 2009

Finishing off the New Year Birding

Just one addition from Friday 2nd, as I was too tired to carry on blogging at that point.

Park Hall Country Park, 13:30 - 15:00

2 Long-Eared Owls, 1 Little Owl about 100 Golden Plover.

Saturday 3rd January, Cannock Chase, 10:30 - 12:30

A look round the Marquis Drive bird tables revealed a pair of Bramblings. Then after viewing a couple of blogs recently (see? not an original thought in my head!) over to another new area of the chase for me, the cadet huts and rifle range.

In fact, there wasn't very much here, but a short walk north of the cadet huts produced 5 Crossbills. They had found a large, but very icy, puddle in order to take a drink. Then took off into the tall pine trees, and then shortly later moved on.

Time to move onto the next port of call:

Chase Water eh. I wonder if it comes straight from the reservoir? Trouble is, with that thought and knowing the amount of gulls that come into roost, I haven't dared to drink it yet!

It was nice to see the Brightsiders at Chasewater also. A couple of areas of the reservoir's surface were not iced over, and after a short time we managed to find the drake Smew. Also 70 Goldeneye and a few Goosander.

Sunday 4th January.

Time to find me some Waxwings, especially as Steve had found a flock around Uttoxeter Quarry the previous evening. I did manage to find some today, although I can't quite claim it as a Uttoxeter Quarry tick:

These (there were more than one!) were along Old Knotty Way, on the southern edge of town. I did have a look in the morning, and managed to find a single bird then. After getting my shopping done and gone home to drop it off, I decided to return.

I eventually found a flock of about 30 Waxwings around the nearby housing estate. Quite appropriately I thought, all the roads in the estate are named after birds. I first saw the flock in Robin Close, then they flew back to Old Knotty Way by going over Kingfisher Way. Incidentally, there's a cracking rowan full of berries in Sandpiper Drive.

As I was about to leave a text appeared from Andy, "Dark-Bellied Brent Goose at Hales Hall Pool!". Wow, on the edge of Cheadle only a couple of minutes from home. Not only that, should be much easier to photograph than at Uttoxeter Quarry. And a Cheadle mega to boot, a real local twitch for local people! Get a load of this folks, also note the lack of bling on the legs.

After that I decided to tag along with Andy and Mad Malc, exploring some local farmland. Which was quite successful actually. 10 Bramblings in a flock of around 100 Chaffinches, and also 5 Yellowhammers.

A most enjoyable end to four successful days. Trouble is, I've got to go back to work tomorrow. Still, can't be off all the time. And only five weeks to work and then I'm off to India.

No comments: