Sunday, 13 November 2016

Birds on my doorstep & amazing Walmsley Sanctuary

With less than a week to go until my trip to the Hula Valley in Israel I spent some time this morning getting ready for my adventure whilst keeping an eye on the birds visiting my garden. I always take for granted how many birds live right on my doorstep and I had great fun photographing these stunning Nuthatches as they sped around running up and down the tree's finding and storing food , they almost look like they should belong in a rainforest rather than my garden!

Adding to the colour was this smart Great Spotted Woodpecker ( one of two birds, both unringed which is interesting seeing that Pete has ringed 3 here this year, I wonder how many Woodpeckers live in my garden!)

      After my garden fix I had a quick walk down the road and along the river to the local sewage works ( yes this sounds weird but they are very good for birds! You don't actually go into the sewage works but the birds are attracted by the insects..) A Peregrine Falcon circled above whilst a Dipper was a nice local record, 117 Redwings , 1 Stock Dove, 1 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs were noted but no Yellow-browed Warbler or Siberian Chiff-chaffs yet...


Great Tit

Amongst the 15 or so Goldcrests today was this rather grey looking individual ( record shot below- compare with typical Goldcrest above). I keep reading on the internet about ' Eastern Goldcrests' and this is the first one I have seen which looked obviously different, I'm still unsure whether it's just wishful thinking that these grey birds are from the eastern Europe or maybe they are just abherrant individuals, I guess ringing data may prove this eventually ( come and ring this bird Pete!).                                          
Eastern type Goldcrest???

Treecreeper at Walmsley

Later on in the afternoon I drove over to Walmsley Sanctuary to see what birds would get pushed into the reserve by the high spring tide and I was rewarded with a really excellent visit! Nothing that rare but a wide variety of thousands of birds. Even my walk to the hide gave me 2 Treecreepers which amazingly are the first I have ever seen here in 12 years! Things got better as I settled into birding from the hide and watched as hundreds of waders from the estuary joined the masses of wildfowl already on show. The highlight for me however was EIGHT (!) Water Pipits settled in front of the hide happily feeding on the waters edge, this is by far the biggest count of this species I have had in the county and I wonder whether it could be a record....
Look at all these waders!

Even more waders!
Record shot of the Curlew Sandpiper

Other birds counted this evening included 1 Barnacle Goose, 26 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, 7 Pintail, 207 Teal, 3 Water Rail, 2 Coot, 1200 Golden Plover, 266 lapwing, 24 Curlew, 41 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff, 1 late Curlew Sandpiper ( found by local birders Stan and Jim ) , 303 Dunlin, 24 Common Snipe,1 Green Sandpiper, 218 Common Redshank, 1 Ad Med Gull and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Black-tailed Godwits

A great day off and a reminder that I shouldn't take my local patches for granted!

Not quite a Murmuration of starlings... more like a Murm :p

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