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CactusD's List 2009 (1 Viewer)

CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Another wander around the patch in the dying light of this afternoon produced yet more yellowhammers and meadow pipits; heard some more fieldfares, and had a very distant GSWoodpecker which I heard first, then saw "bouncing" through the air, and then land. Snap of 'pecker below, plus a rather better shot of a Dunnock in a Hawthorn bush (also posted in Gallery).
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Took a lunchtime drive over to Boddington Reservoir today for a first visit; not too many birds around, but the place was quiet - makes a change from all the dog-walkers I normally encounter (or rather, the other way around ;) ). There were some bullfinches around, and I saw what I'm pretty sure was a Green Sandpiper flying over the ploughed field on the other side of the road - my birdcalls CD seems to confirm. That would be a UK tick!

Got one or two nice pics, some of which appear below - trying out my new wimberley head:
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Went up to Derbyshire for a couple of days to see my parents, and had a total of 64 birds seen; went to Carsington Res. a couple of times, and also had a couple of brief visits to Matlock Forest/Beeley Moor. Didn't find any Short-Eared Owls or anything else too exotic at the latter places, but did get good views of Stonechats, and found a 100+ strong flock of Lesser Redpolls, a lifer for my wife. Carsington was pretty good as usual; we found the summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver, the Yellow-Legged Gull, Mandarin Duck, and Scaup, also picking up Kingfisher and Goldeneye. Scaup was a lifer for us both, and I hadn't seen a Mandarin for over 20 years!
Hence:

207. Mandarin Duck
208. SCAUP

Some pics of the usual stuff below; Mandarin was far too distant, and GND had swum off by the time I'd rushed back to the car to fetch the camera. Typical!
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Went to Otmoor this morning to see what was about. A large flock of Golden Plovers, and Lapwings, were in the field; also had 20+ Red-Legged Partridges in a small flock - looks as though these may have something to do with the Farm just through the hedge. Nothing much else too exciting to report, but the light was fantastic so good for photographs; v. pleased with my efforts with Stonechat, GSWoodpecker, and Kestrel. Some pics below:
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
And here are a few more shots: the Golden Plovers, a couple more Stonechats, another of the GSW, and another male Kestrel shot:
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Water Pipit!

207. WATER PIPIT

A new lifer today, from Otmoor. Thanks to the RSPB volunteer for pointing me in the right direction - in the scrape field in front of the new hide being built. Apparently there was a Black Redstart too, but I didn't find that. Mind you, I had no scope and just my long lens, and it was blowing an absolute gale, so I'm pleased I saw anything for certain; managed one or two record shots, too.
One or two other things about, but not a great deal. Got some good shots of Shoveler at the first screen, and found one or two other things around and about. Managed 38 species in total today, though I'm always surprised that there aren't more waders about the place - perhaps the new scrape will dramatically improve things.
Some shots below.
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Some more pics from today.
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Another trip to Otmoor yesterday.
Not too much about, unfortunately, and no sign of the Black Redstart.

But did get first views of Pintail in UK this year (+ distant shots). Lovely ducks!
Plus one of the great hovering Kestrels.
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Went to Brandon Marsh WWT today: a VERY grey day - in fact, I actually wanted it to snow.
One or two good things about, inc. Goldeneye, Siskin, and Redpoll. Unfortunately no sign of Water Rail, which I haven't had this year yet.
One or two pics below.
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Snipe on local patch!

Went for a walk for a couple of *VERY COLD!* hours yesterday afternoon around the local patch to see what was about, esp. to see if I could find any interesting finches. Snow coverage was about an inch, but some of the stubble fields lower down by the canal were clear of snow, and there was a field that was being ploughed, which I think probably increased numbers of one or two things. Altogether I had 25 species seen + Green Woodpecker heard, which is higher than average for a quick-ish wander in the afternoon; I took the scope rather than camera - a slighly more wieldy option given conditions underfoot.
Although no winter migrant finches, I did have good views of several bullfinches and jays, a variety of the winter thrushes, and a large and mobile flock of Skylarks in the stubble; but the highlights were good numbers of Lapwings close-to, and three Common Snipe bobbing about in one of the marshy areas of one of the fields, a patch with no snow-covering. My wife had seen a flyover Snipe locally, but this was my first view in the UK away from the more obvious local reserves/Port Meadow. I'll probably go back for another look since the small isolated patch looks quite promising.
 

CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Snipe Photos (after a fashion...)!

Just back in from another whizz around the patch; last night's hoar-frost on top of the remaining snow is now compounded by fog! Not top photography weather at all; I took out my Tamron zoom to get some handheld record shots, and did manage to refind (through the gloom...) the Snipe and Lapwings. One or two shots below...
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
And here are some more ridiculously bad photos from today!
Merry Christmas to All! :king:
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, AND THANKS FOR READING THIS LIST!
I'm pleased to have finished 2009 with 209, with 61 lifers.
I'd like to share images of my favourite birds this year:

Rüppell's Warbler
Dipper
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Pallid Harrier
Glossy Ibis
Squacco Heron
Masked Shrike
Black Guillemot
 

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CactusD

ἀρχός οἰ&#969
The Pallid Harrier pic always makes me laugh. This was taken from a moving van in Cyprus handheld with my long Tamron lens. Probably knocked someone out with that at the time!
 

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