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CactusD's List 2010 (1 Viewer)


ἀρχός οἰ&#969
Hello again!
Not sure what this year will hold bird-wise, since my wife and I have an imminent arrival (see Maenad's list here). However, I'll still manage a few forays in the UK as last year, and perhaps one or two trips further afield: we'll have to see. I'll try to provide pics as I go along too, as per last year. Unless stated otherwise, pics taken with Nikon D300/600VR with or without 1.4TC/Gitzo+Wimberley tripod combo.

January so far hasn't started too badly; last year (2008-9) we were in Derbyshire for Christmas so had a slightly different start to the list.

Jan 1st started brightly with a clear, but freezing cold day, with a few garden birds followed by a trip to Boddington Reservoir, where the star birds were 32 Goosanders. Hence:

1. Blackbird
2 Starling
3. Wood Pigeon
4. House Sparrow
5. Carrion Crow
6. Chaffinch
7. Magpie
8. Black-Headed Gull
9. Blue Tit
10. Collared Dove
11. Cormorant
12. Common Buzzard
13. Common Kestrel
14. Goosander
15. Herring Gull
16. Common Gull
17. Mute Swan
18. Mallard
19. Great Crested Grebe
20. Little Grebe
21. Fieldfare
22. Bullfinch
23. Robin
24. Dunnock


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On 2nd Jan had a walk to the local supermarket through the park, followed by a walk around the local patch by the canal. This produced one or two good patch birds for me:

25. Redwing
26. Goldcrest
27. Sparrowhawk
28. Great Tit
29. Coal Tit
30. Long-Tailed Tit
31. Wren
32. Song Thrush
33. Goldfinch
34. Feral Pigeon
35. Linnet
36. Pied Wagtail
37. Mistle Thrush
38. Yellowhammer
39. Lapwing
40. Greenfinch
41. Great Spotted Woodpecker
(Skylark H)
And a Blackcap from the window this morning.

42. Blackcap
A lunchtime wander around Grimsbury Reservoir and the small wood came up trumps with the following additions to the list:

43. Moorhen
44. Green Woodpecker
45. Meadow Pipit
46. Grey Wagtail
47. Marsh Tit
48. Rook
49. Lesser Redpoll

Some pics from today:


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Made a quick trip to Oxford today: added the following two, seen from the train.

50. Jackdaw
51. Grey Heron
Braved the snow this morning for a trip to the local farmshop and reservoir (predominantly frozen), on the lookout for Partridges. None seen, but I did flush a Snipe from a hedgerow stream, and find a nice Green Woodpecker digging in the snow. There were some Coots with Moorhen, Little Grebe, and Mute Swan in the water of reservoir, and I also found some Reed Buntings. Loads of winter thrushes about, but fewer finches than I would have expected. Hence:

52. Coot
53. Common Snipe
54. Reed Bunting

One or two pics from today below (with D300/Tamron 200-500 handheld):


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Had a wander around the grounds at work today in the fog and found flock of Canada Geese. Also had two large flocks of agitated finches flying between treetops - from the calls I reckon they were either Siskin or Lesser Redpoll, but no bins with me, so I couldn't tell unfortunately. So just one more tick today.

55. Canada Goose
Just another to add from the motorway today:

56. Pheasant
Took my bins to work this morning, to identify finches. Found good numbers of goldfinch, siskin, and lesser redpoll in the trees. Still need a few more obvious woodland birds, so I'll keep looking.

57. Siskin
The arrival of baby LP has been keeping me very busy of late! :king::king:
But I managed a quick outing to Otmoor RSPB this afternoon, taking the camera gear with me. Conditions were bright but cold, and the floods were frozen, so not too many waders or water birds around. I ended up spending quite a while taking shots of the smaller passerines available, esp. at the feeding station. Not too many new birds to add to the list, then, but I did get some shots which I'm very pleased with! One or two below; will also add to Gallery.

Additions to list:

58. Red Kite
59. Greylag Goose
60. Teal
61. Shoveler
62. Tufted Duck
63. Wigeon
64. Gadwall
65. Red-Legged Partridge
66. Pochard


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Here are a couple more shots from today:


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Made a quick visit to Boddington Reservoir this afternoon, where I picked up Treecreeper. Quite a few Goosanders still about there too.

67. Treecreeper

One or two more photos below from last week's visit to Otmoor:


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Working from home this morning, I discovered there was a Sparrowhawk sitting on the garden fence. Fortunately had camera at hand, though I did have to shoot through a closed window.
Also had a successful afternoon at Brandon Marsh WWT today, picking up Kingfisher and Shelduck for the list, and bagging some nice new pics.

68. Shelduck
69. Kingfisher

A selection below:


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Some more pics representative of my afternoon yesterday. Would love to show you some Shoveler shots, but I find these (along with coots) just about the most difficult birds to expose properly (the bright whites...!), so I'll just have to keep practising. Typical isn't it: you're praying for some nice light, and when you get it you just have too much to deal with...:-C:-C :-O


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OK, so I set myself a challenge with the Shovelers. Here's one I've worked over quite a bit. I still fear that some of the whites are blown, but this beautiful drake sailed serenely past just in front of the hide, so no excuse not to have a nice crisp and sharp shot! And before anyone wonders, those beautiful colours on the head needed very little saturation or manipulation to bring out - such a nice bird when you see them in good light.
Also, a nice drake Tuftie to go with him.


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As you can read from Maenad's list here, we went to Brandon Marsh today en famille with baby. Since I was driving, I didn't get to see the Barn Owl that was quartering the fields opposite the turn-in to the reserve (Lifer dipped). :C :-C :-C :C :-O :-O :-O
For our first trip all together we took the pram, so the serious camera gear had to stay at home this time. Did take the scope, and found the usual species, with the addition of one Great Black-Backed Gull, which I got a ridiculously poor record shot of via very rough-and-ready 3 mega-pixel phone-scoping. Coming from a D300, the auto-focus (does it even have auto-focus?) leaves a lot to be desired!! I'm ashamed even to be posting this pic! "Can you see what it is yet?" :-O

70. Great Black-Backed Gull


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Still nothing too exciting (and nothing to add to the list), but we made another outing today, to Otmoor (first time Maenad has visited since last May). Though we had the pram in tow, I was able to take the camera gear today. We didn't get far, since distressed babies and birding don't go together at all well, but I did get some shots at the feeders, including of a single Marsh Tit. One or two pics below:


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Cryptic Plumage Day!

I was able to get out for what turned out to be a fantastic morning today. I made for Draycote Reservoir after an early start to see what was about, en route to Brandon Marsh, still hoping to see Bittern there.

Conditions first thing at Draycote were abysmal, with a strong cold wind blowing snow in my bins. The camera stayed in the boot of the car! I saw 18 species here, including a year-tick in the form of Goldeneye.

I then moved on to Brandon Marsh, where my luck was definitely in. Bittern showed for me and a couple of other guys for some minutes in the gap in the reeds at the East Marsh Hide, and I was able to get some good shots of a bird which I'd only seen once before for a fraction of a second. Also had some good prolonged views of a feeding Snipe; by way of other birds, there were two Oystercatchers, and calling Cetti's Warbler (though I didn't see it, surprise surprise!).

Additions to list:

71. Goldeneye
72. Oystercatcher
[Cetti's Warbler H]
73. Bittern

Here are some pics from my excellent morning:


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Other representative shots from today:


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