Found on the afternoon of Sunday 13th July at Chainbridge Bridge. An expensive looking 'Army' style Multi Tool. Have you lost one? Contact the finder John Tupling via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 22.05pm
Thursday 21st August 2014 - Evening car trip to Fairburn Ings RSPB Reserve, near Castleford.
Meeting at 5:00pm in reserve main Car Park and returning before 8:00pm.
Leaders for this trip will be Janet Nyland and Gary Hobson.
Please contact Janet Nyland on mobile no 07538029010 to confirm your attendance on this trip and to let her know if you can offer or would like a lift.
Posted on Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 22:00pm
Six raptors, three Bitterns and one Savi’s Warbler (or Four Go Mad at Minsmere)
Following a 5.30 am departure from chez Braund I picked up Colin Smith from Retford and set off for Rutland Water to pick up Paul and Emily Hobson. Zoomed off down the A1 then ‘Janis’, the sat nav decided to miss out Oakham altogether! So driving around the back lanes of Rutland we suddenly saw an object flying out of a wood. Being birders we quickly established that it was of avian origin. Closer inspection revealed a Red Kite (Raptor 1), this was then mobbed by a Hobby (Raptor 2). Clearly ‘Janis’ has strong birding instincts. As we were a little early for picking up Paul and Emily we stopped off at Manton Bay to look over Rutland Water. Great views of two Ospreys - one consuming a fish (Raptor 3) silhouetted against the morning sunshine. Further inspection of power lines revealed a Buzzard (Raptor 4) and Chiffchaff and Garden Warbler were singing in the trees nearby. It was now time to pick up Paul and Emily, but not before we picked up a hunting kestrel (Raptor 5).
A fairly uneventful journey to Minsmere, though we did record two 'Adult Stores' on the A1 and also noted that rather too many attractive houses in Suffolk are painted a disgusting pink colour. A quick bit of 'googling' by Paul revealed that this is a traditional practice and the colour is known as Suffolk Pink.
On arrival at Minsmere we were quite surprised and pleased by the relative lack of cars given that the BBC were still there. A quick visit to the shop, where Paul became rather excited by a bug viewer. Emily told him that he could have it as a present BUT he must come birding first!
First stop was the Sand Martin Bank by the visitor centre, superb views and amazing photo opportunities. Then on to the North Hide for a view over the scrape. This is the site used by many of Minsmere’s breeding Avocet and Common Terns. We also picked up Little Egret, Grey Heron, a Female Red-crested Pochard and some dubious Barnacle Geese and other wildfowl. A flock of Black-tailed Godwits flew over but failed to land. Paul and Neil then engaged in a discussion about the exact origins of the Barnacle Geese (was one a hybrid?). This clearly bored Emily because she then left the Hide, and at that moment a Bittern (Number 1) emerged and flew across the reedbed towards the North Wall and then landed out of site….. Emily returned. Fortunately another Bittern (Number 2) later flew across the reedbed in the opposite direction so all four of us were able to record it.
We then moved onto the North Wall, towards the Seashore. But first we were distracted by a sign indicating the presence of a Stone Curlew. Neil picked up a bird that looked promising but then decided it was a Red-legged Partridge. We spent some time here trying to trace this elusive bird, but to no avail so we moved on to the shingle beach, as a Mediterranean Gull flew overhead.
Lunch on the beach was enlivened by a movement of Sandwich Terns (Above) between the sea and the East Scrape. A number of Little Terns and Kittiwakes were also flying parallel to the shore. Paul then refocused his scope on the Stone Curlew area. Though distant he found the hide and cameras used by the Springwatch team. Neil and Colin proceeded at a leisurely pace towards the East Hide. Here we found resting Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes as well as two early returning Knot and a Ringed Plover. The presence of a Spoonbill (Below) was especially pleasing as we were hoping for gloating opportunities. These hopes were dashed when we returned to Paul and Emily as he had picked up the Stone Curlew! Needless to say we did not locate it again.
Finally we moved along to the Bittern Hide. This was rather crowded but we did see another Bittern (number 3) fly across the reeds to settle out of sight. We then moved on to Island Mere Hide for Marsh Harriers (Raptor 6) and were duly rewarded with superb views of an adult female, and more distant ones of a male. Bearded Tits were clearly pinging nicely and just before we moved on an adult male popped in front of us. It was now time to return to the visitor centre.
As we strolled back we were hoping for a Sparrowhawk but none materialised though we did find lots of evidence of BBC Springwatch. This included their hut/studio which was cleverly positioned to avoid views of Sizewell B nuclear power station. After a quick return visit to the visitor centre to collect a bug viewer for Paul (well he had led us very well) we moved onto Walberswick for a reported Savi’s Warbler.
On arrival at Walberswick we had some difficulty in finding the exact location of the bird and a suitable parking place. Eventually through the use of new technology (Paul again on google maps) and old (Neil’s copy of Where to Watch Birds in Britain) we located the site. The short walk to the marshes yielded a couple of commoner species and we finally reached the disused Windmill and a group of local birders. While waiting for the target bird to start singing we had great views of a male Marsh Harrier and Bearded Tits. A few minutes before we were going to call it a day a small warbler flew across one of the channels and then we heard a very distinctive reeling! A Savi's Warbler! A wonderful finish to the day!
Overall a superb days birding and many thanks to Paul Hobson for leading this trip and we never did locate a Sparrowhawk!
Posted on Saturday 14th June 2014 at 16:30pm.
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Posted on Saturday 7th June 2014 at 22:50pm.
Please click here to get details on the forthcoming Springwatch 2014 episodes broadcast from the RSPB's Minsmere reserve. Lound Bird Club will be running a car trip to this reserve on Sunday 8th June so you might want to check out the programs and get an idea of how fantastic Minsmere is for its birdlife.
Posted on Saturday 24th May 2014 at 22:25pm