Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Sunday, 13 April 2014

New Blog!

I have started a new blog - "On the dog walk....."

The aim of this blog is to provide an image based record of walking Symphony. It will be a BITZA blog, with images of Symphony and other areas such as sunrise, sunset, wild plants etc. etc.

Images are predominantly taken with my "carry everywhere" Olympus SP-820UZ camera.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Brandon Marsh


A very quick visit to Brandon Marsh this morning, hoping to touch base with the recently reported Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. My destination was Horsetail Glade and it was not long before a call was heard and the female bird was spotted high up in the tree canopy. Unfortunately, it did not come any closer in the time I had available, so I had to be content with a couple of record shots!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

While waiting and hoping, an obliging Jay appeared and a Wren busily gathered nesting material.



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Ryton Woods

Peacock Butterfly on Primrose

Despite being on my "doorstep", I have never visited Ryton Woods, until today, when this became one of several "firsts". Another first was meeting up up with the Coventry & Warwickshire RSPB local group for a walk in the woods.

Welly boots were advised and this was good advice as the woodland paths were thick with mud. It was hard to resist the temptation to return to childhood days of splashing and jumping in the puddles. The weather was brilliant - sunny and warm, which no doubt encouraged the good numbers of butterflies. The only downside was not locating any teddy bears having a picnic! The morning was perhaps a "BITZA" morning! Bitza bird, bitza plant, bitza butterfly, bitza mammal!

Pussy Willow under Blue Skies




Peacock Butterfly

Comma Butterfly


Wood Anemone


Des Res!

An excellent mornings walk and my thanks are extended to the groups organisers.

Bird Sightings:

Blue Tit; Blackbird; Chiffchaff; Great Tit; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Blackcap (m & f); Magpie; Greenfinch; Robin; Siskin (2 near car park, before group assembled); Goldfinch; Song Thrush; Jay; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Dunnock; Swallow; Lesser Redpoll; Long Tailed Tit; Wren; Willow Warbler; Mallard; Buzzard; LBB Gull; Black Headed Gull; Stock Dove; Sand Martin; Tufted Duck; Coot; Pheasant; Green Woodpecker; Nuthatch; Jackdaw; Canada Goose; Marsh Tit; Rook.

Butterfly Sightings:

Peacock; Small Tortoiseshell; Brimstone; Small White; Comma; Orange Tip.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Daventry Country Park

Snow Bunting

Sitting at home enjoying my second hobby of procrastination, I idly went on line to check the RBA news (I no longer receive alerts), to discover a Snow Bunting was showing well at Daventry Country Park, Northants, only ten miles from home! I had to go, as this would be my first Snow Bunting in two years! In my rush to get going, I left my mobile at home and half way to Daventry, realised I had no money for the car park! On arrival at Daventry, very few cars were in the car park, so I parked close to the end and legged to the dam where I could see three birders standing. This was to be a quick visit as I did not want to attract a parking fine! The Snow Bunting was showing well, but below brambles on the dam and seemed unconcerned at our presence. Images were soon obtained before interest was turned to a Little Gull (again my first in two yearsand a leucistic Black Headed Gull. I could not risk staying more than half an hour, fearing a parking ticket which would have made it a very expensive alternative to procrastination! I was lucky!

Snow Bunting

Little Gull

Leucistic Black Headed Gull

....and now back to procrastinating! Manana!!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Brandon Marsh

Fickle Sun over East Marsh

Wednesday is now officially my main birding day and I headed to Brandon Marsh in the hope of a few Spring migrants. I was not to be disappointed with the hedgerows providing singing posts for Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. As far as I am concerned, Spring is now here, but today the sunshine was to be rather fickle!

Fickle Sun over East Marsh

The first of the songsters I came across was a male Blackcap, one of at least six around the reserve.


Always in the background was the Chiffchaff but also, the fantastic song of the Willow Warbler was beginning to break through. At least six were singing around the reserve but getting an image was not happening for me today! However, the Chiffchaff was slightly more obliging!


The East Marsh Pool was quite quiet but did hold two Oystercatcher, four Redshank, three Snipe, a pair of Wigeon, one Shelduck and at least nine Sand Martins. A single Ringed Plover was on Tern Island and a flyby Kingfisher called loudly.

Great Crested Grebe

An early brood of at least eight Mallard chicks had taken to the water but preferred to stay close in on the dark bank!


Later in the day, a Swallow was reported on East Marsh Pool!

Todays Sightings:

Carrion Crow; Song Thrush; Rook; Grey Heron; Wood Pigeon; Robin; GreyLag Goose; Chiffchaff; Green Woodpecker; Magpie; Dunnock; Jackdaw; Wren; Pheasant; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Canada Goose; Coot; Stock Dove; Linnet; Bullfinch; Great Tit; Blackcap; Mute Swan; Blue Tit; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Redshank; Lapwing; Shoveler; Oystercatcher; Black Headed Gull; Common Gull; Cormorant; Snipe; Teal; Wigeon; Sand Martin; Kingfisher; Blackbird; Great Crested Grebe; Moorhen; Water Rail; Reed Bunting; Long Tailed Tit; LBB Gull; Gadwall; Cettis Warbler; Willow Warbler; Shelduck; Dabchick; Buzzard; Chaffinch; Nuthatch; Ringed Plover; Pied Wagtail.