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Birding In Staffordshire (2 Viewers)

Hi all,

Here is are three interesting news article/press release from the BTO in regard to what is described as the worst on record breeding season for nesting birds in the UK for 2012.

http://www.bto.org/news-events/pres...eeding-season-worst-record-many-nesting-birds

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs/results/2012-preliminary-nrs-results

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing/surveys/ces/ces-results/preliminary-ces-results/2012


Dean:t:

i have noticed alot lower numbers of great tits,blue tits and chaffinches visiting my feeders,and hardly any in the local woods.
 
Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas and season's greetings to all who pass by and read this thread.

There's still a few days birding to go before the end of the year and I'm sure we are all thinking about what next years birding will bring let alone looking back on our birding experiences of this past year.

Dean:t:
 
30+waxwings on Lincoln avenue Trent vale. They were there at 11.30 this morning feeding in a Mountain ash, still plenty of berries so they may hang around. Neil.
 
Its cold enough outside without this new look to Birdforum making us feel colder!!!! :eek: Just wondering if anyone has checked out the group of swans half way between Orgreave and Fradley Junction? I have been passed a few times this week but for work purposes and unable to check em properly till next Tuesday. Hoping for the odd Whooper/Bewick as none at Whitemoor Haye recently.
 
Although not a rare bird I was pleasently suprised to see a treecreeper on the feeders in the garden yesterday bearing in mind I have no mature trees!
 
Managed to check out the swan flock (??????) betweem Fradley Junction and Orgreave and counted 83 Mute Swan but no wild ones:-C
3 Ruff at Whitemoor Haye in with Lapwing and Golden Plover flock plus 118 Mute Swan.
 
Treecreeper

I have over a dozen feeders plus a bird table and have a different mix in almost every feeder including insect mixes, and mealworm fat balls that I make myself.

It's a good sighting Dean I have never heard of Treecreeper before on feeders, the RSPB handbook saying they eat insects and small seeds in winter. Also never heard of Goldcrest on feeders either. John
 
Happy Christmas and season's greetings to all who pass by and read this thread.

There's still a few days birding to go before the end of the year and I'm sure we are all thinking about what next years birding will bring let alone looking back on our birding experiences of this past year.

Dean:t:

Hi Dean,

Yep, seems about time to put the usual questions out there.

1. What are your best birding bits from 2012

2. What you looking forward to, or predicting, in 2013?

I'll let someone else go first though :t:

Adam
 
It's a good sighting Dean I have never heard of Treecreeper before on feeders, the RSPB handbook saying they eat insects and small seeds in winter. Also never heard of Goldcrest on feeders either. John

Treecreeper on the feeder is a cracking record - never had one myself. I've had Goldcrest twice coming to my fat ball feeder - both times during cold snaps like the current one.
 
An interesting report there of Tree Creeper on feeder. Ive never had one on feeder but have had sightings of this species creeping up the large tree at the back of the garden.

Dean:t:
 
Best Birding Moments 2012/Books/DVDs/Film Clips

Hi Adam,

Listening to the calls of Curlew, Lapwing, Raven and Cuckoo at Goldsitch Moss and watching Crossbill and hunting Kestral from Gib Tor have been good birding moments for me in the spring of this year.

Other best birding moments have been watching the behaviour of and counting Lapwing numbers at 10 locations in The Staffordshire Moorlands with four of these locations being of particular interest to me. One field in particular I enjoyed watching Lapwing, Golden Plover and Snipe all at the same time. Might try for a few photos next year.

I've enjoyed watching Golden Plover at three locations along Morridge and enjoyed listening to their calls on the higher moors.

Watching a single Merlin hunting and perching on a post at Swallow Moss on 07/10/2012 I thoroughly enjoyed.

There is a tree stump on a stretch of moor that I always watch with patience from some distance through my scope and this stump is sometimes used for perching and eating prey. Sometimes I get lucky:-O other times I see nothing:-O

Seeing both male Hen harrier and ringtail together on Middle Hills on 22/09/2012 was a particularly special moment and I have to say that seeing not one but two Snow bunting along the track by Blakemere (Mermaid pool) on 23/11/2012 was a moment I will not forget in a hurry. Meeting Steve Seal again and meeting Nick Smith for the first time at the Snow bunting site has to get a mention.

Of course I have to say that seeing the White rumped sandpiper at Drayton Basset Pits was an important Staffordshire birding moment this year and having cracking views of the Great Grey Shrike on the Clearfell at Cannock Chase completed a good day following seeing the Sandpiper.

My two top moments have been listening to the call of Long eared Owl at night (yes me birding in the dark!) and watching this species in flight (in daylight) at an undisclosed location on the moors.

I know an old derelict barn on the moors where a Little owl is known to frequent so having prolonged views of this bird here and perching in a tree opposite the barn was another one of those good birding moments. I've also had numerous sightings of Short eared owl on the moors this year and never tire of seeing this species.

Watching Redstart repeatedly taking food to a nest site in a fairly remote moorland location was another special moment.

My local Tawny Owl that perches in the tree at the top of my garden also has to get a mention along with its calls. There have been a larger number of House martins this year where I live which is always a welcome sight.

.......and finally seeing 7 Wheatear perched in a line close together along a drystone wall near Flash made me smile.

My favourite bird books this year have been:

Owls of The World-A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola

Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds Storm Petrels and Bulwers Petrel by Bob Flood and Ashley Fisher

Avian Survivors-The History and Biogeography of Palearctic Birds by Clive Finlayson

On the DVD front I finally managed to get my hands on two of my favourites 'Wild Wales' and 'Secret Life of Birds' with Lolo Williams presenting. Both are thoroughly enjoyable.

You Tube is a great place to find bird film clips and here are tree of my favourites I found this year. I find John Aitchison's wildlife film camera work and narration an inspiration and he is featured in the third of the above film clips. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufkcx-UqljM&list=PLYiyWZ7MUTmXWoFYWvzf4w9AmaT0zH9K7&index=11

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ENNzjy8QjU&list=PLYiyWZ7MUTmXWoFYWvzf4w9AmaT0zH9K7&index=17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAjEOXV0Ahc&list=PLYiyWZ7MUTmXWoFYWvzf4w9AmaT0zH9K7&index=28

As for 2013 I'm looking forward to the spring and to watching and listening to Staffordshire's moorland birds and I may just cross the moorland border on foot into the moors and hills of Cheshire again. It would be really nice if Twite could make a return to Staffordshire's moors! I know its a long shot but I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Dean:t:
 
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Many of my best birding bits from 2012 probably came from outside of Staffs!

I had the most amazing day at Leighton Moss in November. Bittern walking alongside the reeds for several minutes, great white egret (which myself and the assistant warden had re-found a couple of weeks earlier), 8 bearded tits coming down to the path to collect grit, but best of all, about 10,000 starlings shooting right over my head as I walked towards Public Hide.

An amazing week in Scotland, seeing many (but sadly not all) of the Scottish specialities. But best of all, canoeing across Loch Insh and having a male osprey no higher than 30-40ft above me and my girlfriend, clearly still hunting as it disappeared behind an island for about 30-60 seconds thenreturned to a perch near-by with a fish.

In Wales I went swimming in the sea and walked out in between 3 sanderling, one of my favourite birds. Great close views of these lovely birds.

But in Staffs...

Hearing a singing tree pipit along the ride I helped to clear was pretty good. So nice to think it was only there because of the work I helped to complete. Seeing the first cuckoo at Coombes Valley for several years was good, as was picking it up on a point count survey.

The best though has to be seeing the barn owl at Coombes Valley. I confirmed two birds present in mid-March and quickly ran off to the pub to drink to the possibility of them breeding. I then saw the chicks grow literally from day 1 to fledging. I even got to hold one when it was a few weeks old whilst it was rung. It was so good getting to stand in the visitor centre and show visitors live images of the chicks.

And finding the Staffs Bird News blog. It's a fantastic service that I'm sure many now wonder how they lived without it. Well done to the lads involved in it's creation and upkeep.

Away from birding, graduating with a first, getting the internship at Leighton Moss and being asked to be on the Staffs Branch on WMBC were all highlights.

Looking forward to 2013.

I'm looking forward to getting more settled and finding a local patch to work. Not to mention never writing an essay again.

Predicitons, I think it's time Westport or Berry Hill had another good un. Dunna ask me what though.

I'm also predicting wood warbler breeding at Coombes Valley in 2013, plenty of clearing of the understory this winter should provide the right habitat.

Adam
 
Treecreeper on the feeder is a cracking record - never had one myself. I've had Goldcrest twice coming to my fat ball feeder - both times during cold snaps like the current one.

I knew it was unusual to get one on a feeder but perhaps didn't realise quite how rare.

I have one large conifer in my front garden but no trees of any significant size in the back garden where my feeders are. I do have some stunted fruit trees in large pots and some large shrubs which it also foraged around in briefly. There is a large tree to the side of the house outside the garden which it flew to before heading back up the lane.

I tried to post a picture of my feeders with my original post but they failed to upload. I'll try again.
 
2x Raven over a very cold looking Void at Blackbank this morning. Also Green Pecker and a few Rewing. A drive around Diglake lanes produced many Fieldfare and Redwing.
 
had 20x redwing 6x fieldfare 4x song thrush and 2x mistle thrush in fields near my house and 20x blackbird and 8x robin in my garden the frozen ground certainly bought them in today.
 
Blackcap and possible Mealy Redpoll in the garden this afternoon, will upload pictures later. neil.
 
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