Saturday, 4 January 2020

Shropshire - Hen Harrier etc

A good start with Green Sandpiper at Walcot was followed by flyover Skylark and then, bird of the day, a ringtail Hen Harrier at Noneley Floods



It flew through over the far side of the field on the Sleap side, pursued by a crow. Shooting into the light at near 200m distance is never going to yield feather detail but there's enough info in these pics to suggest its the most likely candidate, a Hen Harrier?


Five fingered primary tips eliminate all others apart from Northern and finely streaked body, difficult to assess at distance whether it's an adult or juvenile...




Marsh Tit at Haughmond Hill...


No sign of the Marsh Harrier at Whixall Moss, a couple of Meadow Pipits seen there and we are into the nineties on 91

Friday, 3 January 2020

Shropshire - Golden Plover etc...

Another day with the morning spent south of Shrewsbury. The Long Mynd produced a good tally of Golden Plover where Rob Dowley had located a great flock of Golden Plover (I counted 196 twice!) in bracken stubble just west of Pole Cott, where there were 20+ flighty 'difficult' Bramblings!




You know your luck is in when a Red Grouse flies over the Golden Plover, crosses the road and sits up for you , albeit at distance!


Cetti's Warbler, Heron, Bullfinch and Dipper were added at Venus Pool / Cound Stank...




Then a pictureless (bloody awkward camera error!) Priorslee roost, teamed up with John Martin, produced Kingfisher, Med Gull, Great Black-backed Gull plus a smart 4th Winter Caspian Gull! Moving on nicely to 86!

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Shropshire - Pink-footed Goose etc

Another 12 species added today from a tour of Telford pools, Whixall Floods then finishing up at The Mere roost. The only half decent images came from Middle Pool, Telford where a Pink-foot was tagging along with the Greylags...






Plus three Goosander including this male...



The floods at Whixall produced: Little Egret, Pintail and Shelduck.  The Great Whites had deserted Crosemere and it was a poor roost at the Mere. Never mind, Goldeneye, Mandarin and Common Gull kept things ticking over and the list grows to 72...

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Shropshire - Happy New Year

I'd almost forgotten how to put a post together after a bit of a break from birding and blogging! But January 1st is always a great motivator with the list slate wiped clean (not that I kept any lists in 2019!!) Therein lies the problem, no list = no motivation so I'm going to revisit the Shropshire 'January list'. Simply how many birds can I see during the month of January within the county border? And ideally beat the '101' tally from Jan 2017!

I didn't exactly  hit the ground running as I missed the dawn exodus of the VP Whooper Swan, Egyptian (x2) and White-fronted Goose! Never mind I managed to catch up with the distant  Whooper Swan - relocated to one of the fields near Cross Houses...





Virtually all of the morning was spent wandering the reserve with Dave Chapman and smarting from the early 'misses' I still managed to get my Shire list up to 50 by late morning. No real surprises but the highlight was probably at least four Water Rail from the Fen hide...




And then, opting for a quick check of the pool before leaving - the Egyptian Geese were back in town!




The afternoon was spent near Shifnal, failing miserably to see the 'Sewage Works' Yellow Browed Warbler :-( A consolation adult Yellow-legged Gull at Priorslee lake helped but I'll have to await a return of a Caspian?



I might even be tempted to get out again tomorrow!