You might see weeds, but I see wild flowers

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The sun



Today has been wall to wall sunshine ......... just like a spring day, despite the cool temperatures and a frost this morning.


Our early morning walks the last few days, at around 5:30, have found up to seven Song Thrushes singing from the tops of trees, along with Robins and Blackbirds. Almost like a dawn chorus.
By the Hilton Hotel, Lesser Celandine has been in flower for about a week, numerous Dandelions in the field for a number of weeks now, Primroses in flower in Kents Hill wood for some time, Daises for as long as I can remember, and yesterday I saw my first Buttercup.



About seven or eight in the mornings, we have walked around Caldecotte Lake for two to three hours. Whisky has made quite a few friends in the dog world, and really enjoys himself running around with them ............... in-between chasing after sticks.




Whisky






The long staying Ferruginous Duck seems to have moved on in the last few days.




 My guess he's over at Mount Farm, where it has been spotted a couple of times.



Strange how one particular twitcher by the name of Lee Evans was very sceptical about it's origins when it first appeared early in the month. In his mind it was very likely an escapee from a private collection.
Since most of these birds have their wings clipped, to stop them escaping from captivity, I guess this one must have initially taken a taxi to Caldecotte.



Today's walk round the lake produced a good variety of birds; 42 in all.




 Mute Swan in reflective mood in the early sun this morning.







 Song Thrush







 Lesser Redpoll








Kestrel





Hopefully, pretty soon, we'll be heading up to north Wales.



More new birds to see, and one of Whisky's brothers, Thistle; along with two of his friends Bud and Ellie.




Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42



Friday, 19 February 2016

Ferruginous Duck still here at the local



A frosty, but sunny day today, and we had another visit to Caldecotte Lake, to see what was around.


A Kingfisher down at the south lake.




We watched her fishing for a while, and then moved on.




Would the resident Ferrtuginous Duck still be here?






Yup, still here



It's been seen by quite a few people now, but I guess the problem for a lot of birders is do they 'tick' it or not? A certain self proclaimed expert twitcher, has proclaimed it might be an escapee from a private collection. Horror of horrors!!!
If that's the case, then it's not a bona fide bird.
Bugger!!


This Mallard is wild and free flying; I wonder if I can 'tick' him?








Well, Whisky is certainly wild and free at times, and love chasing sticks.








As we made our way back to the car, we spotted a Tufted Duck with a nasal saddle on.






What a hideous thing to have to wear.




Monday, 15 February 2016

Plenty of walking



A cold but sunny day today. Myself and Whisky had our usual two hours plus walk round Caldecotte Lake this morning. He enjoyed himself playing with a few dogs we met on our travels, and I enjoyed trying to spot some birds.


No rarities today, and no pictures from there, but there's a list of birds seen at the end of the post.



Later, it was time for another walk, so we had one of our regular walks through Kents Hill, Walton, the river, Simpson, then home.



At the moment, Milton Keynes Council seem obsessed with cutting down shrubs and trees everywhere.




 This alongside the Open University, on the way to Walton.


A real shame, because it did provide some cover for any wildlife, but now it's just bare. It's the same on my estate, Kents Hill and Caldecotte Lake. It also shows off all the dumped rubbish - paper, bags, cans of drink, bottles etc. Everywhere looks a complete eyesore.


Up at Walton Lake, and they've even hacked some of the bushes round here.





Not much out on the water, a couple of Coots, and a couple of male Gadwall.








Just along the path there is an area of reeds




also had its shelter of shrubs destroyed.



It makes me wonder if the Bearded Tits would still be around after all this disruption.



 The boardwalk down to the viewing screen.




We made our way alongside the River Ouzell that makes its way towards Simpson, Caldecotte and beyond.






By now Whisky was really enjoying himself.





He'd been playing most of the time chasing sticks and running around with a couple of other dogs we had met. I don't know where he gets his energy from.



Pretty soon it was time to make our way back home. Quite a few Daffodils out in flower along the way.






And then the final stretch, not far from home now.





I could hear the sound of chainsaws and a chipping machine on the estate. I wonder if these shrubs are next? 




**********



Full list from Caldecotte Lake

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31


********


Full List from Kents Hill/Simpson etc


Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  18




Saturday, 13 February 2016

Halfway through February



Well, this year is spurting on, and we've had some good days out so far.


The Ferruginous Duck has been at the local lake for the past few days, despite the initial disbelief of local twitcher Lee Evans.





Even accused me on Twitter of making it all up.







What a cunt.





Then he had the cheek to congratulate me ............








Oh dear; and then some people wonder why I have a low opinion of local birders.


Here's another, who once used to text me of local birds and then suddenly stopped for no apparent reason.





Ah yes, when you want something.







But the birds have been good.




Red Crested Pochard






Water Rail, top left and the Ferruginous Duck with some Tufted Duck.





Had some Goosander with a brief visit,





 flying Mallards






and even a few Grey Wagtails








Sometimes it's all been too much .............







We'll both be glad to get back to Wales.




Friday, 5 February 2016

Ferruginous Duck


I got an e-mail from a resident at Caldecotte Lake telling me that he had found a male Ferruginous Duck at the lake the other day.

I haven't seen one of these for a couple of years, and a very distant one at that, so today we went to the local lake to see if we could see it.
The directions were spot on, and we were soon 'on the duck'


Sounding like a real birder there ..............






We spent about 5 hours there taking numerous pictures; most of which were crap due to the rubbish light, but did mange a few that were worth keeping, especially as this is a duck that isn't seen every day, and causes some twitchers to 'twitch'.












Whisky also had a great time, playing with some new friends, a ball, and some old sticks.






An added bonus was that the Red Crested Pochard was still there ................ 








A good day all round.




Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Caldecotte Lake



Myself and Whisky had a wander over the local lake this morning.


Cloudy start, with the odd quick light shower, but we still had a great time; especially Whisky when he met a couple of dogs he knows. So much play; he's now fast asleep recharging his batteries for the next outing.


(More about today's visit on the Caldecotte Lake blog)


The big star today though, was a Red Crested Pochard on the south lake.







I'm pretty certain it's an eclipse male.




A very short video











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Coal Tit (Periparus ater britannicus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species seen 33