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Bedford Patch (1 Viewer)

Peewit

Once a bird lover ... always a bird lover
United Kingdom
hi there

I thought I would open this thread up for Bedford area.

I would love to know any who are out there who want to add their quota.Today: Time 12.15pm. I was out on one of my regular walks around Bedford with my camera in hand as you do.

I wanted to take some pictures of the resident wildfowl along the Great River Ouse and at Bedford Park. The sun was out so that make it all the more exhilarating, and it was good all round weather for a pleasant walk around my favourite patches :-O

While walking along the Embankment (Great River Ouse) quite close to the Swan Hotel, I came across a very bedraggled adult Canadian goose which looked worse for wear. :-C
On closer inspection I would that both of it's wings where out of shape and the feathers where pointing out at a awkward angle. I could not get very close and the goose had me in its sights.
I could not see any blood as such. At this point I thought a dog had mauled it.

I returned home about 2.15 to watch Animal 24:7 on BBC 2 and it was then I decided to ring up the RSPA about the goose.They took my details and the place where the goose was seen. Then a very polite lady contacted me to explain that she believed that the goose might be suffering from a problem called 'Angels Wing'.

The solution was to leave the bird alone as the deformity was seen as incurable.

It stopped the bird from flying at all. This is deformity in the wings which some geese, Swans and ducks are prone too.

It is incurable. I have never heard of it at all before and I am wondering I widespread the problem of Angel Wing is at the moment.

Has anyone else heard of this is their local area at all. I have posted a couple of pictures so the wings can be seen just incase any one else has seen it, and is worried about what they have seen

Kathy
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http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Angel-Wing

I have managed to find more details about 'Angel Wing'

It appears that it can be caused by excessive bread consumption by the birds. That explains it.

It upsets the natural food intake by the birds such as sugars and proteins. So that is where the inbalance comes from, in the birds dietary needs

Makes me think that bread is a no-no for wildfowl now. :-C

Kathy
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Marston Vale - Country Park

Hi there

My OH brought this local Country Park information to my attention this morning!

http://www.marstonvale.org/index.html

Could anyone advise me of their own experiences of Marston Vale Country Park. I have the information from the website already, and we are considering going there for a visit tomorrow.

I see that there is a bird hide there. Any interesting birds to look out for?

Kathy
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Paxton Pits Nature Reserve

It was too wet over the weekend so we have put Marston Vale on the back burner until a less wet day comes along - it could be next weekend yet you never know.

I have been looking through some of the paperwork we got from the Bird Fair 2008, and another place of interest has cropped up and as it is local we will pop in for a visit.

A short car trip is all it takes.Here is the linkhttp://www.paxton-pits.org.uk

It is well, worth a visit and from what I understand there is a lot of work to be done to this area so it will be interesting what becomes of this area in the near future.

There is going to be a large extension to the existing area, so that will mean more reserve space and that will make it more interesting as there is a lot of water ways nearby to observe.

The reserve itself is being extended from 192 acres to over 700 acres over the next decade - good news.

This campaign has been ongoing since 2002.Any other information on this area will be appreciated too.

Kathy
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Hi there

We visited Paxton Pits on a beautiful day, and we really loved it. We did not do the full 2 circuit but we will come back once more to another visit.

The Heron Walk appealed to us for a start, and we followed that particular route. We spent a good couple of hours there.

As we walked through, we found our first butterfly. It did the honours of sitting in the middle of the track so we could get a picture of it quite easily. It was a lovely Comma butterfly. I am sure I saw a few of them fluttering while walking around this reserve as they have a distinctive colour that is very bold a clear to see.

We went to the Hayden bird hide and sat there for quite a while. The first birds we noticed where Long Tail tits flitting between the bushes right in front of our eyes. OH has never seen LTT and he was so pleased to see them so close up to the hide windows.
OH set up the digiscope and we made good use of it as we saw each species appear. We looked over Herony South Lake. The Lake was alive with quite a few birds.
OH saw a glimpse of a Kingfisher and he said that the speed they moved made it hard to follow them with the Binoculars. He was so pleased seeing this as he had never seen one before in his life.
There where quite a few Grey Herons either sitting quietly on their own, or flying about. One of the islands in the middle of the lake had logs and branches on the ground, and there where at least 4 Cormorants perched there stretching their wings.
A few Grebes where around, and one Grebe looked like a youngster as it still had its black and white stripes on its head. A Mute Swan gently moved in the distance and just floated calmly like they do.
I could see Geese sitting amongst the branches on the far side of the lake. I was not sure what I was seeing. Whatever they where they had a yellow coloured rear, and strongly coloured Red/Pink feet

A Buzzard continually called in the background, but we never saw any of them. The bird table next to the hide had Collared Doves sitting on the table most of the time. They coo-ed as they do.

We left Hayden Hide as it was getting a little busy. As we walked we came across a Dragonfly sitting on the track sunning itself. We took a picture of it and would love to know the ID.

Lots of non native Primroses seen to grow at Paxton and what I read it is not a native species to the UK. Still very pretty to look at. I wonder if they have grown because of the type of soil that is there. They where everywhere.
Beautiful place to visit

picture 1 - Picture of Reserve
Picture 2 - Water scene
Picture 3 - Comma butterfly
Picture 4 - Non Native Primroses everywhere you looked
Picture 5 - Dragonfly (need ID)!

Kathy
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Some more pictures from todays events


Picture 1 - Hayden hide
Picture 2 - Picture from the hide itself across the Lake
Picture 3 and 5 - Swans
Picture 4 - Flower (need ID)
 

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hi there

Sunday was a beautiful we we went out a short time to Paxton Pits once again.

We decided to go for another wander close and try out the other Bird Hide (Kingfisher) and see what it has to offer on the other side of Heronary south lake

As we entered the reserve the place was full of very large Dragonflies. They where everywhere that you looked.

Once we established ourselves in the smaller Kingfisher hide, we stayed there for a half an hour so.
It was so much quieter than it was last time we visited. There where plenty of GC Grebes feeding their young. Still great to watch and that was all inn the bird department that we saw to be honest.

We must get gemmed up with our digiscope so we can take pictures of the birds and post them here. Looking forward to doing that now. :-O

Kathy
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Glad to see something on Bedford. My son lives there and I visit every 8 weeks and am always looking for info. It seems the real hard birders in the area use a Beds Birds site on Yahoo so there isnt much to find on Bird Forum, basically they use their own site and do their own thing. I can let you have a link if you want, but it would be a shame if you bogged off there as well and abandoned this thread. Next time I am there I will post a report. The last time I managed to get to Priory Country Park and saw a kingfisher for the first time. I know they are regular but have never seen one there. I also picked up Corn Bunting along the old railway line walk between Willington and Sandy. There are some super walks in the area along the Ouse and via the footpath network which I have done over the 4 years I have been visiting. Keep up the good work.
 
Priory Country Park

Was round there in a dry spell last Saturday and had a kingfisher and a goldcrest in the same tree just to the left of the small hide overlooking 5 fingers lake.Stunning views of both. The walk also produced a flock of 9 long-tailed tits, kestrel, grey wagtail, Green woodpecker, plus the usual assortment of wildfowl, grebes and cormorants.
 
Glad to see something on Bedford. My son lives there and I visit every 8 weeks and am always looking for info. It seems the real hard birders in the area use a Beds Birds site on Yahoo so there isnt much to find on Bird Forum, basically they use their own site and do their own thing. I can let you have a link if you want, but it would be a shame if you bogged off there as well and abandoned this thread. Next time I am there I will post a report. The last time I managed to get to Priory Country Park and saw a kingfisher for the first time. I know they are regular but have never seen one there. I also picked up Corn Bunting along the old railway line walk between Willington and Sandy. There are some super walks in the area along the Ouse and via the footpath network which I have done over the 4 years I have been visiting. Keep up the good work.

hi Derek

Great to see someone who is local to me here. Do not worry i will not disappear as I am happy on this forum.

You are lucky to see Kingfishers as you have done on more than one occasion, and yes there are some interesting birds on the walks along the Great River Ouse.

My OH has cycled between Willington and Sandy more than once, but alias I have not been there yet. More great finds for you and I will tell him what you have been seeing birdwise.

I saw a Diver silhouetted amongst the Mute Swans (close to Swan Hotel) not so long ago and it was very distinctive as its head carriage gave it away.

You have seen some interesting birds and a Corn Bunting goes without saying. Great find. The regular species are still a joy to see anyday, and as bird watchers we never tire of them.

Was round there in a dry spell last Saturday and had a kingfisher and a goldcrest in the same tree just to the left of the small hide overlooking 5 fingers lake.Stunning views of both. The walk also produced a flock of 9 long-tailed tits, kestrel, grey wagtail, Green woodpecker, plus the usual assortment of wildfowl, grebes and cormorants.

Hi Derek

Another Kingfisher - lucky you!! :t:

I have never been to 5 fingers lake and will make a point in doing so in the future (so much to see here). Great to see LTT anytime as they like to hang around in flocks at this time of year.

Saw a few of them at Paxton Pits not so long ago and it was my OH's first time in seeing them so close up at one of the hides, and he was over the moon

My OH and I have spent some of our weekend time together visiting Paxton Pits and last weekend the RSPB Headquarters at Sandy. Well worth a visit in both cases.

I have a small reserve close to me called 'Putnoe Nature Reserve' and it is small but lovely place to visit. A 10 min walk from my house. and a quiet serene place to be.
Last time I was there, could hear a lot of 'Jays' squawking to one another high in the Trees,

Some of Bedford areas are very close to Cambridgeshire/Oxford so I think that some of the areas will be discussed on the Cambridgeshire Patch on this forum too. So well worth a look in!

Love to hear more about your adventures in the future, so Derek, so keep in contact. We can compare more notes about where we have been and are going too in the future.

Still so much to find out! :-O:t:
 
http://www.bedford.gov.uk/GetResource.aspx?file=Parks leaflet for North Bedford .pdf

This is a link showing the Reserve close to the Mowsbury Park Golf course.

http://www.english-nature.gov.uk/special/lnr/office.htm

The Putnoe Wood Nature Reserve (LNR)

There has been a debate about building new houses in this area recently and I am up in arms about it. Grrr....

As far as I understand the houses will be built using park of the Golf course, and part of the School Playing park close by

I have rejected Planning permission, and said no, as I feel it is too close to the Reserve itself.
 
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A short walk today, around Putnoe Nature Reserve

Hi there

Just been for a short walk today in our local nature reserves (Putnoe Nature Reserve).
My OH and I decided to go for a hour or so around the Putnoe Nature Reserve, and see if anything interesting was around to look at. We found some interesting sightings for us anyway as birders go

The weather has gone downhill as the morning wore on. It has started to rain, and the 'cold' wind was making its presence known to us, as we made our way around the reserve. Still the birds where in full, singing mode at least. There where songs coming in all directions and we had to listen to work what songs belonged to what birds - not an easy task at all.
The Green Woodpeckers where 'yaffling' as we walked around the Reserve, What made us stop in our tracks was the Green Woodpeckers hammering at the tree trunks, and the echoing of pounded wood ricocheted of all corners of the woodland. Must be the time of year for all the Woodpecker activity. This small Reserve has lots of dead trees still upright, and the Woodpeckers love this type of environment. We could see lots of holes in trunks of trees to prove it.
The hammering noises where so interesting to listen to, but the moment we looked up it was although the hammering had moved further away so it was very hard to pinpoint where the bird in question was situated at all.

Lots of little birds flitted about all over the place although they where playing follow my leader. Lots of Bluetits, Robins and Blackbirds flew about in all directions.
Then we both stopped in our tracks when some movement occured in some bushes close by. We first thought we saw a Goldcrest, but no it was a Firecrest (two of them) in close harmony, twittering to one another, like they wanted to keep in communication with each other through the tree canopy. We stood all of 5 minutes studying them. They are just the most enchanting bird to see. This is when I wish I had a better camera but never mind - the time will come that it will happen that way.
A Dog walker walked past us, and the Firecrests where gone in a flash. Too much disturbance from the dog crashing about - never mind!

We continued our stroll to see if we could see any more interesting birds up in the trees. Then my OH saw a Thrush, then two Thrushes busy looking for food under some fallen branches in the undergrowth.
We had another look and could see it was two Redwings as the eye marking just gave it away. Again it was fortunate that they stayed put for a while we looked at them through the binoculars. Great bird to see as I have never seen one in real life until today

I was over the moon and my OH has never seen a Firecrest before (I have once at Grafham). So we have added two birds to our list of spotted birds.
It is amazing, and it proves that you never need to go far, and still find some interesting birds to look at. We where lucky in a sense the birds stayed still for a long time so we had a good look at them. That chance was in our favour too.

Usually it is more of a fleeting glance but today was our day to see our subject to the best of our ability, without too much moving about too much.

Good day for our birding!

Must go for another visit to the same Reserve, and see if any more interesting birds make their appearance for us as it is the right time of year now with all the nesting that is going on at the moment.
 
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Hi Kathy,

I was very interested in your Firecrest sighting. Would you mind if I posted your sighting on the Bedsbirds Yahoo group to alert others?

Many thanks

Richard Bashford
Bedsbirds Moderator
 
Hi Kathy,

I was very interested in your Firecrest sighting. Would you mind if I posted your sighting on the Bedsbirds Yahoo group to alert others?

Many thanks

Richard Bashford
Bedsbirds Moderator

hi Richard

Sorry for keeping you waiting here

No no problems at all post away. I would love for others to know, as we where delighted to see them. The orange steak on top of the Firecrests head was very easily seen. Wonderful experience.

The sighting was on the side of Putnoe Wood LNR facing straight over the Mowsbury Golf course.

Speak soon
Kathy
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Hi, American black vulture spotted over Sandy (the Lodge) today around 11am - probably an escapee from Shuttleworth.....
 
Hi, American black vulture spotted over Sandy (the Lodge) today around 11am - probably an escapee from Shuttleworth.....

hi Daffy

I heard about this somewhere, and it sounds suspect to me. LOL. o:)o:)

Mind you you never know sometimes as it is, what is around locally :t: ;);)
 
A short walk today, around Putnoe Nature Reserve (Part2)

Hi there

My other half, and I decided to do back to the same place today for another look around Putnoe Wood for any more bird activity.
We live so close so it is convenient for us to get there quite easily. The sun was out and the weather was not to bad so it was an improvement over yesterday.

No luck with the Firecrest today, but we did see one or two Goldcrests in different places instead. There seemed to be lots of groups of Tits flitting around so all we could do is keep our eyes peeled for any activiity from any other birds that many may have joined the Tits at all. There is always another day though to see those Firecrests once more - fingers crossed.

We where lucky to see a male and female Bullfinch in a nearby tree. The Male Bullfinch was eating something, and disposed of the remains of what he was eating. The female was closeby him sitting on the nearby branch of the same tree.

There was a lot of Woodpecker activity going on. Lots hammering coming in all directions, including hammering from a tree next to me, as I walked the same tree near the golf course. We could see Great Spotted Woodpeckers moving around Tree trunks and Green Woodpeckers flying away from us but never towards us.

Lots of calls from Nuthatches, and a few viewings of Tree Creepers moving up, and around the trunks of trees at the speed that they do.
A lot of noisy interaction between a group of Goldfinches in the nearby conifers.. A couple of ChiffChaff's made their distinguished calls to each other through through the trees,

A few Woodpigeons, and Crows flew overhead. A fleeting glance of a Jay which I have never seen before and Stock Doves flew overhead. Another two birds to add to the bird lists.

The usual birds such as Blue tits, Great tits, Coal Tits, Long tail tits, Robins, Blackbirds, and Chaffinches made their presence known in the woods. There was a lot more bird song than there was yesterday so there was an improvement in the bird sightings today.

So we are tempted to go for another walk tomorrow, and se what we manage to find once more.
 
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Hi, American black vulture spotted over Sandy (the Lodge) today around 11am - probably an escapee from Shuttleworth.....

Hi Daffy

Great to know that the bird has been caught once more. It is now back at Shuttleworth. o:):t:
 
Barn Owl

Was over last weekend and managed Fri pm at the Lodge which had GSW, Green woodpecker, treecreeper and nuthatch plus loads of siskins 2 goldfinch and a LTTit on the feeders. Priory Country Park had sand martins over the lake at dusk . The highlight however was a barn owl near Willington at 1630 in broad daylight. I also saw a covey of partridge in a field near the A1(M) en route to Sandy. These are good ticks for me as we don't get woodpeckers or partridges and owls are like hen's teeth over here.
 

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Was over last weekend and managed Fri pm at the Lodge which had GSW, Green woodpecker, treecreeper and nuthatch plus loads of siskins 2 goldfinch and a LTTit on the feeders. Priory Country Park had sand martins over the lake at dusk . The highlight however was a barn owl near Willington at 1630 in broad daylight. I also saw a covey of partridge in a field near the A1(M) en route to Sandy. These are good ticks for me as we don't get woodpeckers or partridges and owls are like hen's teeth over here.

Hi Derek

Thank you for your interesting post, and the additional superb pictures that you have taken. Love the barn Owl in flight, along with the other picture of the Owl in quieter moments.

Yes, RSPB H/Q's have a good selection of feeders at the Bird hide. The Siskins like to use them. A few weeks ago we where lucky to see a Male and Female siskein feeding on the Nyger Feeder. Sadly we lack Siskins in our own garden at Bedford at the moment.
There are lots of LTT's on the same feeders and it a great chance to see them
I have also seen a GSW using the same feeders too and it seems to be indifferent to people watching it.
Last time we went, the hide was full and someone caused the door to slam loudly, and the GSW remained rooted on the nutfeeder, and did not move at all.

I heard that Ireland lacks woodpeckers. There is a thread on BF which is an interesting read all about the lack of GSW's in Ireland. I hope that become re-established once more in the near future.

Nuthatches are very vocal all of the time at the RSPB H/Q's, even to the point you can hear them while parked in the car park. Treecreepers I have seen elsewhere local to me.

Fantastic to se the Sand Martins as you have. The fact is that they are local here too. So your information is much appreciated, and will assist people who are keen on seeing these birds if the opportunity arises for them.
I have only seen Sand Martin's at Montrose Basin, Central Scotland. There are man made nest holes in a man-made 'Sand' bank. To see them nesting is fantastic sight. Montrose has a Web Cam last time I checked on the Montrose Basin SWT website if you want to see Sand Martins once again.

Partridges will be a more unusual thing to see so we must keep our own eyes peeled for them.
The main thing is you have seen species which are not close to where you stay, and that is something to add to your list anyday.

Hope that you visit this neck of the woods once more in the future. Love to read more of your reports anytime.
 
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