15th - 17th January. Positive Birding

Another long weekend meant I had the chance to catch up with Mssrs Garner and Wragg in the January challenge. Whilst I initially started in a fairly laid back style the thrill of the chase has taken hold. Having managed to combine a few key species with site visits earlier in the week the weekend was looking good to catch up on a few bogeys.
A few sites around Rotherham came good on Friday morning where I managed to add Green Sandpiper and Little Grebe at Centenary Riverside and Red-legged Partridge and Little Owl at Thrybergh. However my abandoned visit to RV left me still needing Willow Tit. The reason for abandoning was this cracking adult Caspian Gull found by Pete Wragg at Poolsbrook.


My return to RV to look again for Willow Tit and Chiffchaff was disturbed by larusophile Pete who had now found a Yellow-legged but not wanting to leave Bethany sitting on the doorstep I passed.

Saturday was never going to be a good birding day, several hours work, taking Beth to school and pissing down rain did not bode well. Fortunately I had a two hour window. I tossed a mental coin and headed for Beeley Wood in search of Lesser Pecker. Walking a mile or so from the car and scrambling up / falling down a railway embankment proved fruitless. Time running out and almost back at the car I stumbled upon a tit flock, gave a quick blast on the ipod and nothing. A text to Martin informing him of my failings did the trick and almost as soon as I'd pressed send the little bugger appeared in front of me. Another trip to RV mid-afternoon was again aborted in favour of 8 Corn Buntings at Pebley.

Sunday was going to be tricky I had to juggle family stuff with a few birds in the Peak. Monsal Dale first for Marsh Tits which eventually (after sending Jo and Beth to the cafe) were found adjacent to the viaduct followed by another sliding / falling over session on the ice.
The Derwent at Froggatt was somewhat in heavy flow and consequently the Dipper wasn't there.
Brambling appear to be in short supply this winter and Longshaw Visitors Centre at the moment is the only site pulling them in. Walking up to the centre I received a text from Pete which stated "Mealy Redpoll on feeders Longshaw" Bonus! A frustrating wait, another hot chocolate for Beth and a few tantalising glimpses of Redpolls did nothing for my patience - though an invisible skein of Pinkies over head added themselves to the list. I was clear by now that Jo was also losing patience - not with not seeing the Mealy or the Brambling but with my apparent obsession! Fortunately a nice white-wing barred, grey toned Mealy dropped on the floor with the lessers and a drake Brambling landed in the tree opposite. Brownie points now running in the negative we headed back to the car for a delicious crisp sandwich - I know I spoil them two!
Aware of a situation brewing I decided not to spend too long looking over Ladybower for Raven and thus failed. Another call from Pete left me frustrated in that he'd scored Raven, Dipper and Marsh Tit just down the road from Monsal Dale - bugger!

A quick tally up leaves me just 4 species behind the leader, though getting Willow Tit, Golden Plover, Raven and Dipper would see to that.


10 comments:

thedrunkbirder said...

SBSG recording area - I'm surprised you don't count South Mainalnd, Shetland!

I'd love a Willow Tit in the Soar Valley - I don't think one's been seen in two years.

Mark said...

Think how shit Leicestershire would be without Rutland John ;-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Ooh crisp butties - there's a bvlast from the past and something celebratory to savour when we get our lesser pecker

cheers

Dave

thedrunkbirder said...

I hardly go to Rutty Mark - I'm sticking mostly to the Soar Valley this year with a high target of 140 species. Probably aimed too high there but hey - life's nothing without a challenge.

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

Osprey water is ok in small doses, but the Soar Valley had the best sightings last year!
Also Mark, your Caspian Gull looks like a hybrid to me!? ;-)

Mark said...

Hmm midlands humour, don't ya just love it.

thedrunkbirder said...

No, Dave's being serious... we'll have to get one of our gull experts in to take a look! ;o)

Mark said...

Without naming names and getting into some kind of scrap I think the 'gull expert' that was stood watching it with me would piss all over you're local experts ;-)

thedrunkbirder said...

I wasn't being at serious... looks like a perfectly good Caspian Gull to me...

Mark said...

I know John, don't panic ;-)