Friday, 31 December 2010

31st December 2010

Three Scaup (with a Tufted Duck behind them)
A flock of 60 Wigeon on Stewartby Lake
A slightly closer view of the Wigeon flock.
A bank of fog across the middle of Stewartby Lake, seen from the gullwatch.

3 sightings of Bitterns today, at least two different birds present.
4 Scaup - time first time I've seen all 4 of these birds in one day.
The redhead Smew was also seen again today, but not by me. a flock of about 60 Wigeon were in the centre of Stewartby Lake around 11.30am and the male Pintail was in the stream outlet at the Marston corner again around 8.45am. Cetti's Warbler heard singing, and Water Rail also heard - both in the Marston corner of Stewartby Lake.
At least 4 Bullfinch in Bramble Meadow, Sparrowhawk seen twice from the visitors centre and a Buzzard was perched by the Pillinge around 1.20pm.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

30th December 2010

Video-grab of a group of Coot on a small piece of ice floating in the scrapyard corner of Stewartby Lake. And here is a short video:

Video-grab of a typical view of a Scaup on Stewartby Lake (asleep...)
Video-grab of a female-type Goldeneye - near the scrapyard corner of Stewartby Lake.
2 Scaup - One near the scrapyard corner, a different one near the gullwatch later. (At least three were seen by Roy Nye, who also saw the female Smew)
A good selection of duck were still present but the numbers were well down on previous days as the snow/ice had pretty much gone.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

29th December 2010

1 Bittern - Marston corner of Stewartby Lake (11am)
Bearded Tit - Heard only in wetland 3, early afternoon.

A walk round the Pillinge Lake revealed that all the berries had been stripped from the bushes, hence no thrushes (or Waxwings...) were present.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

28th December 2010

Guided Walk: (Started 8am)

About 15 people turned up for the guided walk. We saw 3 Bitterns at the Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake. Some people (but not me) also saw 2 Waxwings near the sewage works and the female Smew on Stewartby Lake.

Monday, 27 December 2010

27th December 2010

This female Smew was found by John Lynch near the Stewartby Lake gullwatch. Here is a short video of the Smew:

Also seen today:

1 Dunlin, 1 Lapwing and 2 Redshank on the sailing club bank of Stewartby Lake
Bittern - 1 near the lagoon corner of Stewartby Lake
Water Rail - lagoon corner of Stewartby Lake
2 Foxes

I missed 4 Waxwings seen briefly by Steve Blain near the Sailing club bank of Stewartby Lake,and two more seen by Phil Candlish by Jubilee Cottages...

Sunday, 26 December 2010

26th December 2010

More Bitterns... :-)
The above is a video-grab from the following video taken at the marston corner of Stewartby Lake.

Also seen today:
Cetti's Warbler, Little Egret, Water Rails, male Pintail all in the marston corner of Stewartby Lake and a total of at least four Bitterns. I missed two Bewick's Swans which were seen on the lake, probably whilst I was trying to video the Bitterns...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

25th December 2010 - White Xmas...

This Little Egret was standing in the marston corner of Stewartby Lake. Here is a video of the egret:

This Water Rail walked passed me in the marston corner of Stewartby Lake.

Also seen:

1 Bittern - more distantly this time...
Peregrine - on one of the chimneys
Kingfisher - in the marston corner of Stewartby Lake.

Friday, 24 December 2010

24th December 2010

Another video grab of a Bittern on Stewartby Lake - There are currently 5 or 6 around the edge of the lake.
Two Scaup in the Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake.
Water Rail - Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake.
Here is some video of the Bittern:
Also seen:
The male Pintail was still in the stream outlet at the marston corner of Stewartby Lake.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

23rd December 2010

Another Bittern video-grab, getting better now, this time with a fish... :-)
Male Pintail - in the Marston Corner stream outlet into Stewartby Lake.
Assorted birds on the ice near the scrapyard corner of Stewartby Lake.
Also seen today:
1 Scaup

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

22nd December 2010

Video grab of a Bittern on Stewartby Lake.
A snowy visitors centre...
A panorama taken from the Pillinge hide.

I arrived at the gullwatch about 8am. It started to snow about 8.05am and continued to snow until about 9.40am. I got the above video grab of the Bittern when it was walking on the ice not far from the Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake. During the rest of the day I also saw 2 female-type Scaup and a male Goosander.

Monday, 13 December 2010

13th December 2010

Coal Tit - Stewartby Lake gullwatch
Fieldfare - near wetland 3
Jay - Feeding station near the Pillinge hide
Fox - Marston corner of Stewartby Lake.

I postponed my plans for an early start this morning as it was extremely foggy. Even by 9am when I got to Stewartby Lake the entire lake was still hidden in the fog. Just as I was leaving the gullwatch the Coal Tit appeared right in front of me for just long enough to get a few poor records shots of it in the very dull and foggy light. I also saw a Fox near the stream outlet in the Marston corner of Stewartby Lake.
I then walked round to the visitors centre to get a coffee and wait for the fog to lift. A Red Kite flew passed the centre about 11am but it disappeared too quickly for me to get any photos. I watched a Peregrine was sitting on one of the chimneys on the far side of Stewartby Lake for a few minutes before it took over and flew away towards the tip.

I then did a circuit of the Pillinge where I saw large numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares. There were 100s of both of these birds on the park all weekend. Again, no sight or sound of Bearded Tits or Cetti's Warblers...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

12th December 2010

Panorama taken from the wetland 3 bank of the Pillinge
Panorama taken from the Pillinge Hide

These panoramas are both made up of 8 or 9 photos taken on my Canon S95 compact digital camera and stitched together using Photoshop Elements 8. (These are both very compressed versions of these images, the originals have far more detail in them...)
The Coal Tit was still in my parent's garden this morning, and still refused to go on to the country park...
The Great Northern Diver was still on Stewartby Lake in the morning and later Neil Wright and I saw it fly over the Pillinge heading in the direction of Rookery.
A walk round the Pillinge failed to show any sight or sound of either Bearded Tits or Cetti's Warblers... Neil and I did see a Common Buzzard perched up in a bush on the far side of wetland 3 and I got some digiscoped video of it. As the bird was about 300 yards away I had to use the digital zoom on my compact camera:

Saturday, 11 December 2010

11th December 2010

Dunlin - Pillinge Lake
Goosander - Stewartby Lake
Great Northern Diver - Stewartby Lake
I was pleased to see that the two female-type Goosanders were still present when I got to Stewartby Lake. I initially saw one of them from the gullwatch and then got a lift round to the sailing club bank where I took a couple of distant record shots of the Great Northern Diver.
Later I got a few, again rather poor, record shots of one of the Goosanders on Stewartby Lake not far from the visitors centre. These were the first Goosanders photos I have taken on the country park so I was pleased to get them even though they weren't great, and I was pretty sure I'd get the chance to get better ones over the long weekend. As it turned out these were the only photos I got of them...
Whilst I was watching the Goosander I had a phone cal from Bob Hook saying he had just found a Dunlin on the Pillinge, another bird I hadn't photographed on the park so I walked round to meet him. Fortunately, the bird was feeding on one of the small island when I got there and I got some digiscoped photos and video from about 100 yards range.
A Coal Tit appeared on the bird feeders at my parents in the afternoon. I had photographed one in their garden before, but not on the country park. Unfortunately, it spent the whole time in either my parent's or their next door neighbours garden this afternoon rather than venturing on to the park...