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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Coleshill on 24th February & 1st March, 2009

Prompted by reports of two good birds within a short distance of each other, I headed off to Coleshill on a bright-looking Tuesday. It took me a while to find the location for the Black Redstart, but once there, the bird was directly in front of me when I arrived. The light started to go, and so I decided to head off to find the Firecrest before it was too late - guided by a local birder who knew exactly where to go. After a brief false alarm with a goldcrest at close quarters, we found the Firecrest almost immediately. The light was terrible, however, and so the photos were grim.
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Black Redstart
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Firecrest
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Goldcrest
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The following Saturday was a beautifully bright day, so I went back. However, after more than two hours, round a time when a local birder said that "it's always here at this time", I decided to give up, thinking that it had probably moved on (all the goldcrests seemed to have disappeared also), and take another look at the Black Redstart.
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Black Redstart

Barton Marina on 15th February, 2009

Another of Dave Scattergood's excellent birdwalks started with meeting up at Barton Marina, and then heading off to Catholme. Catholme was a great location, but nothing much in the way of photos was taken as it was a cold dull day. However, I did take a few shots at Barton Marina, and made a mental note to visit both these places again.
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Tufted Duck (female)
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Pied Wagtail (juvenile)

Alvaston (nr. Derby) on 4th February, 2009

I went to see the waxwings, and had an hour with approximately 100 birds there before they stripped the tree bare, and departed. The local fieldfare and songthrush (the latter not successfully photographed) were noisily disgruntled at being robbed of their larder. There must have been more photographs of waxwings , than of any other bird, published this winter. But I can understand why!!!
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Whitemoor Haye and Blithfield Reservoir on 17th January, 2009

This day I went on one of Dave Scattergood's excellent birdwalks. The venue for this one was Blithfield Reservoir. On the way, I called in at Whitemoor Haye to see the Whooper and Bewick's Swans. Although plenty of birds were seen on Dave's walk, I managed little in the way of photography.
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(l to r) Mute, Bewick's, Bewick's, Whooper
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(l to r) Bewick's, Whooper, Whooper
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Goldeneye
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Raven

Oakthorpe Colliery in January and February

The site of the old Oakthorpe colliery is a place where I like to go to feed and watch the birds from the comfort of my car. The birds were having a hard time in the bad weather as most of the regulars were finding it difficult to get there to feed the birds - I had to dig myself out of the snow on one occasion. Here are some of the birds seen.
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Kestrel
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Reed Bunting (male)
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Blue Tit
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Great Tit
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Nuthatch
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Woodpigeon

Staunton Harold in January and February

With the really harsh weather, I took to making relatively frequent visits to Staunton Harold and Oakthorpe Colliery to top up the feeders at the feeding stations, as fewer people were doing this through difficulty of access. These are some of the birds that I found there.

Greenfinch (male)

Collared Dove


Blackbird (male)

Pied Wagtail

Blue Tit

Tree Sparrow