Saturday, 31 December 2011

31st December 2011

Another photo of the Common Sandpiper on the Stewartby lake sailing club bank and one of a Magpie that was also on the sailing club bank.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

29th December 2011

Common Sandpiper on the Stewartby Lake sailing club bank.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

20th November 2011

A very foggy day, the fog over Stewartby Lake was only just beginning to lift as I was leaving at 4.10pm.
c20 Siskins near the scrapyard corner of Stewartby Lake
Treecreeper found by Neil Wright between the visitors centre and the sewage works, only seen very badly by me.
Goldcrests in sewage works copse and near Stewartby Lake
Goldcrest - sewage works copse
Long-tailed Tit - on the edge of Stewartby Lake near to the visitors centre.
A photo of the sun taken through the thick fog. I've heavily processed the image to increase the contrast. The arrows mark the position of a few sunspots.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

19th November 2011

8.45am - 4.30pm
A Common Buzzard being mobbed by a Kestrel by the Pillinge.
Female Red-crested Pochard - Pillinge
2 Caspian Gulls seen in the roost, another one present by not seen by me.

This video shows a Kestrel mobbing a Common Buzzard by the Pillinge:

And here is a video still of the moment of impact:

One of the three Caspian Gulls at the Stewartby Lake roost this afternoon:

Redwing by the Marston corner of Stewartby Lake this afternoon:

Monday, 12 September 2011

12th September 2011

A very windy day with south-westerly winds gusting to 40-50mph around midday. Disappointingly, no seabirds on Stewartby Lake...
2 Ruff & 2 Green Sandpipers on the Pillinge
Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher from the Gullwatch
3 Black Terns - Stewartby Lake
1 young Little Grebe with an adult on the Pillinge

Sunday, 11 September 2011

11th September 2011

Spoonbill!! Seen flying over the Pillinge form outside the cafe at about 4.15 -4.20pm

Spoonbill - Initially picked up flying over Stewartby Lake by Neil Wright and Steve Blain. I saw it flying behind the visitors centre and then over the Pillinge. Very pleased to get this bird over the country park after narrowing missing seeing it over the park yesterday evening.

Peregrine - good view of one flying over Stewartby Lake this afternoon
Ruff, 2+ Green Sandpipers on the Pillinge
4 Black Terns, now including an adult on Stewartby Lake
Turtle Dove - flew south low over Stewartby Lake about 7pm.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

10th September 2011

8am -6.45pm
Guided walk (8 -11am) highlights:
2 Whinchats on posts at the Wetland 9 corner of the Pillinge
3 Black Terns on Stewartby Lake
Good views of Hobby
Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover on the Pillinge
A combined total of 64 species seen.
A party of about 10 Yellow Wagtails flew over the vistors centre bank of Stewartby Lake.

Red Kite seen later in the afternoon over Stewartby Lake.

Friday, 9 September 2011

9th September 2011

Two digiscoped photos of a Ruff on the Pillinge, the 157th species I've photographed on the country park.

Two photographs of one of the three Black Terns on Stewartby Lake today.

A video of one of the Black Terns


c90 Sand Martins and 2 Black Terns on Stewartby early morning.

Cetti's Warbler - Marston corner of Stewartby Lake

1 Ruff, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1+ Hobby and Kingfisher on the Pillinge in the afternoon

1 Swift over the visitors centre at 5pm.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

12th June 2011

A couple of photos of some of the 60 or so hirundines hawking for insects low over Stewartby Lake in the rain.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

7th May 2011

Dingy Skipper feeding on Birdsfoot trefoil - Stewartby Lake

A couple of hours spent around the visitors centre and the nearest part of Stewartby Lake was (eventually..) rewarded with a decent picture of a Dingy Skipper. They were being rather difficult to approach.

Friday, 6 May 2011

6th May 2011

Little Ringed Plover - Stewartby Lake Sailing Club bank.

Hairy Dragonfly - Sensory Garden


A morning walk along the Sailing Club bank of Stewartby Lake produced the hoped for Little Ringed Plover. The bird was very obliging, I stopped about 15 yards away from it at the top of the main slipway and it walked straight passed me along the waters edge... :-) This was the 156th species of bird I have photographed in the MVCP / Stewartby Lake area.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

5th May 2011

Red Kite - Near Visitors Centre and later over Stewartby Tip
Good views of a Garden Warbler near the gullwatch
Cetti's Warbler seen in Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake
c30 Swifts and c6 Common Terns - Stewartby Lake (6.40am)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

4th May 2011

Black Tern -Stewartby Lake

Little Egret -Access Track

Green Hairstreak


Black Tern -Stewartby Lake - found by Dave Ball

Red Kite - Over Stewartby Tip

c8 Hobbies - Over Rookery


Again plenty of Green Hairstreaks and Dingy Skippers

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

3rd May 2011

White Stork!!!

Wetland 9

Green Hairstreak

Four-spotted Chaser

Red-and-Black Froghopper - a rather smart bug which Bob found near the railway line, the first one either of us had seen...

The White Stork flew over Bob Hook and myself when we were near the Marston Corner of Stewartby Lake. I was in the middle of photographing the Green Hairstreak butterfly shown above when the stork appeared, so I'm very glad that Bob was looking up! ... :-) The bird flew past us fairly low and then headed off East gaining height most of the time. We watched it for 5-6 minutes in total before it went out of sight, during which time we took turns to phone the news out. What was probably the same bird was seen twice near Oxford and then near Bicester the previous day. About 10 minutes after we lost it is was then seen over Priory Marina near Bedford and the following day it was seen twice in Cambridgeshire before ending up in Suffolk on the 5th May. A fabulous bird to see on the park, the first one seen here and only about the 10th county record.

Bob and I did a day-list and we saw around 66 birds on the park between us... I'll add more details when I get the list from Bob.

Monday, 2 May 2011

2nd May 2011

A Four-spotted Chaser -on the stream behind the Sensory Garden

A Common Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow

A Grizzled Skipper

A quiet day on the park...


Turtle Dove on wires above my parents garden - this bird was present virtually the whole week.

Green Hairstreak, Four-spotted Chasers and Hairy Dragonfly - Sensory Garden near the visitors centre.Hobby and c8 Common Terns on the Pillinge

A good selection of butterflies around Stewartby Lake - Small Heath, Common Blue, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Green Hairstreak and a few more Hairy Dragonflies.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

1st May 2011

A Pair of Gadwall on the rapidly drying out pool in front of the Jubilee Cottages overview.

A lazy day today with just an afternoon visit to the Jubilee Cottages overview and a brief check of Stewartby Lake.
Jubilee Cottages overview:
2 Yellow Wagtails (MVCP Year Tick)
2+ Gadwall
Stock Dove
60+ Starlings
3 Linnets
Male Kestrel
2 Cuckoos
MVCP Year list now: 99 (Yellow Wagtail added today) Plus Water Rail, Grasshopper Warbler and Cetti's warbler heard only)

Saturday, 30 April 2011

30th April 2011

Turnstone - Pillinge
Lesser Whitethroat - Singing near access track
Little Egret - Pillinge

Dawn Chorus Walk (4.30am - 7.45am)

A good turn out with about 25 people on the walk and several of us leading it. Although nothing unusual was seen we saw a good selecton of birds and had unusually good views of a Reed Warbler in the Marston Corner reedbed that most people saw in the scopes.

MVCP year ticks on the walk Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat & Swift.

After the walk and breakfast Bob Hook & I went down the access track and I got some video of a singing Lesser Whitethroat:

In the afternoon I went back to the Pillinge and was very pleased to find a Turnstone (MVCP Year Tick, at least) on the brick island there. If I have ever seen a Turnstone on the park before it was at least 20 years ago...There was also a Little Egret on the Pillinge.

MVCP Year list now... 98 (Birds added today Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Swift & Turnstone - with Cuckoo and Lesser Whitethroat now seen as well as heard. Additional heard-only species: Cetti's Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler & Water Rail.

Friday, 29 April 2011

29th April 2011

Purple Heron!! - Flying from Wetland 9 towards Rookery, awful photos, but a great bird... (MVCP and County Tick)
Holly Blue -surprisingly this seems to be the first one I have photographed on the park.

Highlight of the day was undoubtedly seeing the 1st summer Purple Heron drop into the reeds at the back of wetland 9 and then fly off again towards Rookery. The heron had been seen flying into the reeds at the Brogborough Lake gullwatch and then we got a call saying it was heading back this way. I was incredibly lucky to be at the right place to see it... :-)
My MVCP yearlist now stands at 92 (Purple Heron, Whitethroat and Stock Dove added today) plus Water Rail, Cuckoo, Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Cetti's heard only)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

28th April 2011

Goldcrest - Stewartby Lake Gullwatch

Gullwatch 5.30 -7.30pm

1 Hobby (MVCP Year Tick)

1 Oystercatcher - sailing club bank
3 Common Terns

Several House Martins (MVCP Year Tick) with small groups of Swallows

Several Buzzards over Rookery and 1-2 Grey Herons

MVCP Yearlist now 89 (With Cetti's Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and Water Rail heard only)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

10th April 2011

Three Red Kites - a very poor shot showing all three birds, seen flying over Stewartby Lake from my parent's garden.

Starling - Access Track.

Thanks to a call from Neil Wright I saw two adult Little Gulls on Stewartby Lake about 10am. (MVCP year-tick)

In the afternoon 3 Red Kites drifted over Stewartby Lake as seen from my parent's garden. (Garden tick)

MVCP Year List now 87 (+ Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler heard only)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

9th April 2011

Common Buzzard over Wetland 3

Speckled Wood - Pillinge

A very quiet day on the park. A few hours sky-watching from the visitors centre provided views of several Buzzards and a Peregrine distantly over Rookery.

Friday, 8 April 2011

8th April 2010

White Wagtail - Sailing club lawn (8.30am)
Another White Wagtail - Jubilee Cottages overview in the afternoon
Dunnock - Jubilee Cottages allotments
Mute Swan - Stewartby Lake
Brimstone - Pillinge
Comma - Pillinge

A fairly quiet day on the park:

A white Wagtail on the Stewartby Lake sailing club lawn at 8.30am and another at the Jubilee Cottages overview about 5.55pm.

At least 20 Willow Warblers singing all around the MVCP as well as a few Blackcaps. (Both MVCP year-ticks)

2 Common Terns on Stewartby Lake in the afternoon. (Another MVCP year-tick)

A Red Kite seen distantly over Stewartby Tip at 5.30pm.

A grasshopper Warbler hear about 200 yards from the Jubilee Cottages overview at 6.30pm.