Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Brilliant day out!

Today we decided to go to RSPB Saltholme again because we enjoyed it so much last week plus a Pectoral Sandpiper just turned up there.

When we got there we went to the hide which was near the reserves car park first because that's were the Sandpiper was sighted. When we got in the hide it was packed with birders so we had to wait a while to get a seat, after a little while some of them moved out of the hide so then we managed to get a seat. We watched the scrape for a while and then someone said the sandpiper is back out of the reeds so we looked around the scrape for it and then we saw it run by some black tailed godwits and then a little while after it ran back into the reeds! As we were waiting for it to come out again, we spotted a Fox running in front of the hide!
The Pectoral sandpiper came out a few more times which allowed us to get a few decent record shots, also on the scrape there was about 10 black tailed godwits, 12 little egrets, Common Snipes and a Dunlin.
After that we decided to go to another hide, when we got there, we looked around the lake to see if we could see anything then my dad spotted 4 Ringed plovers on a scrape quite close to the hide also there was lots of Common terns fishing around the hide which was great to watch.
Common Tern

Also Occasionally 3 Lapwings came really close to the hide which allowed us to have great views of them.
After we decided to have one last look in the hide near the car park just in case the Pectoral sandpiper came any closer so we walked in side and this time it wasn't as packed. When we sat down we saw that the Sandpiper had come miles closer which allowed us to have much better views of this stunning bird!  
Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper
After we decided to go home after a great day!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

First time at RSPB Saltholme!

Today we took our first visit to RSPB Saltholme!

When we got to the reserve we realised that we came a little to early, we got there at 9:15am when the reserve opened at 10:00am but near the car park there was a hide looking over a little lake which was probably for people who came a bit early, so we went in that for around about 45mins. At the end of the lake there was 3 little egrets, 2 of them was looking for food and the other one was asleep also near the front of the hide there was about 10 black tailed godwit and next to them was a couple of snipe which kept going in and out of the reeds. After that it was about time for the reserve to open so we went out of the hide and went into the visitor centre.
Black tailed godwit

When we got in the visitor centre, we got news that there was a Temmincks Stint on the reserve and a Spoonbill so this man who worked for the reserve showed us were they were because we didn't have a clue. They were both on the same lake, on the way lots of reed and sedge warblers singing up at the top of the reeds which was nice to watch. When we reached the hide, there was no sign of the Spoonbill but right at the back of the lake was 4 more little egrets, Then we were then told that the Stint had moved down the lake to a scrape in the middle of the lake which was only viewable from the road outside Saltholme, so then we walked back to the car to get to the scrape were it was sighted. At the side of the road there was a few lay byes so we pulled into one of them, when we got to the bit were it was sighted there was lots of men with scopes and they said they could see it and they allowed us to take a look through the scopes because the Stint was very distant and when we looked it was there! We were very happy when we saw it! On the scrape with the Stint there was a Ruff, Dunlin and a Ringed plover.

After all that we decided to have a walk round the reserve, on the way we went in a few hides one had some feeders in it and they had Juvenile Blue tits feeding on them and when we walked out of that hide a whitethroat was in the reeds along with a few Goldfinches and Sedge warblers.
Sedge warbler
When we were walking down the path to get to one last hide we saw something on the path in front of us, it was a skylark, this little guy allowed us to get really close to him which was a great experience.
  In the last hide lots of Common terns were nesting on banks on the lake along with some black headed gulls, It was amazing to watch the Terns catch fish, have a bath in the lake and mob other terns who had caught fish earlier.
Common Terns
After a very fantastic days birding we decided to go home.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Stavely Nature Reserve!

Yesterday evening we decided to go to Stavely Nature Reserve.

When we arrived at Stavely, on one of the lines was a stunning swallow which allowed us to get good views of him. We walked down the path through the wood to get to the lake, in the wood once again the blackbirds started going mental so then we thought the Tawny was about but since he was so camouflaged we couldn't find him.

When we got to the lake, on the path there was quite a few toadlets and froglets, we tried our best to not step on any. We sat on this bench which over looked the lake, in the middle of it was two rafts were two family's of nesting Common terns were on it, the chicks were having there first couple of flights around the lake.

As we were watching them I saw something come out of the reeds at the back, it was a Little egret, it flew out of the reeds and started flying around the lake and it was occasionally getting mobbed by a grey heron and some of the common terns, a little while after it flew back down into the reeds.

After that we decided to go to the other part of the reserve were there was another lake too, when we got there we scanned the scrapes for waders and after a couple of seconds I picked up a little ringed plover family at the back on the scrape, it was great to see the chicks looking really healthy. On this lake too there was lots more common terns flying around plus on the scrape there was quite a few lapwings. After that I decided to move over to a different part of the scrape were there was quite a few snipes there, I counted three in total, it was great watching these guys walk around the scrape picking up bits and pieces.
Two of the three Snipes feeding along the scrape
After about another twenty mins of watching these great little birds, something landed in the tree just next to us, it was a cracking male linnet, after when we had flew away, we heard the terns calling so we looked behind us and there behind us was one of the barn owls who was getting mobbed by the terns, It was great to watch him plus after a couple of mins he came back the other way with a vole!
Barn owl
After when he was out of sight we decided to wait a little longer to see if he came back but after a while of waiting he didn't, so we decided to watch a common tern family for a bit which was brilliant to see an adult with its juvenile flying around the lake.
Adult common tern with Juvenile

After an enjoyable evening we decided to go home.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Another great visit to blacktoft sands!

We woke up at 5:30am to get to Blacktoft which was about a 45min journey.

On the way we got an unexpected surprise, when we were coming down the road I noticed something sitting on a sign, as we rode past it I noticed that it was a Little owl! So we pulled into a lay by at the side of the road to take some photos but as we got our cameras out he had flew away. What a start to the day all ready!

As we arrived at Blacktoft, we walked down the bank to get in the reserve and in the field next to it was a Female Roe deer after about a couple of mins of watching it we saw a Female marsh harrier pass over our heads. When we got to the first hide we put our things down and stayed in the hide for at least an hour, on the lake which was in front of the hide there was quite a few avocets and black headed gulls with chicks and right on the far end of the lake was two common sandpipers. After a while my dad noticed something on one of the scrapes it turned out to be a stunning black tailed godwit.
Black tailed godwit
After a little while a little egret dropped in which spooked most of the gulls and the godwit. When we were watching the little egret I noticed a bunch of birds land in the middle of the lake, when I looked most of them were black headed gulls but then i saw something different in the middle of them it was another three black tailed godwits!
After that I looked along the reeds to see if there was anything there and then I saw something fly to the front of the reeds it was a bearded tit and not soon after a few more of them came to the front too!
After that we went to visit some other hides and in one of them there was more avocets with young, two Dunlin, about five redshanks and right at the front of the scrape was thirteen spotted redshanks! Also as we were watching them another Marsh harrier flew over. I scanned the reeds again to see if there was any more bearded tits and then I saw another two of them fly around the reeds.
Juv Avocet
After that we decided to go and have a look at what the reserve had caught in their moth traps, They had some absolute stunners they had Elephant hawkmoth, Large Emerald, poplar hawkmoth, garden tiger and much more beautiful moths!
Elephant hawkmoth
After that we decided to check out one last hide, In this one there was at least five Grey herons and a bit later on another little egret flew in! Also we got great views of a Female marsh harrier which flew right over the reed bed.
Little egret
After that we went home after a very enjoyable day!

Sunday, 7 July 2013


This afternoon we decided to have a visit to Allerthorpe common to look for adders!

When we walking through the wood to get to the scrub and heath we heard this sound which was coming from the wood and then we saw a bird fly over our heads it was a stunning Goshawk!

When we got to the spot for the adders we went over to probably the best area were they usually were, my dad lifted up one of the heat panels were they usually hid under and there was five female adders under it!

Four of the five female adders
After that we went over to another panel and there was another Female adder under it!
When we were walking around the heath we saw a bird fly out of the heath which was very close to us, my dad looked down and there a couple centimetres of the ground was a nest with one chick in but then we noticed that the chick was very big and it only looked a couple of days old so then we thought a Cuckoo may have layed her egg in there and then the chick had pushed all the other eggs out but we weren't 100% sure, we stood and watched for a while we kept on seeing the bird which was on the nest and then we got a quick look at it and we thought it may have been a whitethroat?
On the way back to the car we saw two cracking male linnets and two goldcrests

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A good short days birding

This morning me and my dad decided to get up early to have a quick visit to RSPB St Aidans.

When we got there we walked down the path to get to were the black necked grebes were, on the way we saw many kestrels hovering over the fields which was fantastic to watch. When we got to were they were usually sighted they weren't there but on the lake there were many great crested grebes and tons of nesting black headed gulls, we decided to go round the reserve a bit more, while we were walking around the reserve we saw a pair of reed warblers flying about in the reeds and one of them showed very nicely anyway while we were watching them i noticed something out of the corner of my eye, I turned and it was a stunning Male marsh harrier! After about two mins of watching him he went down into the reeds to try catch something, he was down there for at least five mins, when he came up by the looks of it he had caught nothing after that he flew of back of over the marsh.

When we got to another little lake there was two common terns fishing on it and on the other side of it was two young little grebes. The terns were very entertaining they came quite close to us.
Common Tern
On the way back to the car we saw a few more kestrels and two buzzards, one of the kestrels was mobbing one of the buzzards also on the way back we saw quite a few sedge and reed warblers.
We knew at the reserve that there had been quite a few little owl sightings very recently so we went to ask in the Visitor centre if any of them had been sighted today and the man said that one had been sitting on some stone poles just in front of the visitor centre behind this massive metal thing, so we took a look and there was one sitting on one of the poles! What a way to end the day!
Little Owl