Birding before Xmas

Just before the christmas break I had a couple of visits out after work finished in both Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.

First was a visit to Hawthorpe was on the agenda before the light disappeared totally. Had a drive up and down the road from Hawthorpe to Keisby and back a couple of times and saw a Kestrel only hunting around the ‘S’ bend.

More driving up and down followed and then 2 Red Kite came into view and flying low and in my direction too, so a quick pull over and using my car roof as a steady for my camera I got these images of the 2 different birds.

More driving around looking for SEO’s and a quick chat with a fellow birder looking for the same took place, he departed for Dunsby and I remained once again heading towards Keisby, then all of a sudden a Red Kite then a SEO were taking flight from low in a field on the left and starting to circle after one another (well it was hard to say who was chasing who really!) with the SEO calling occasionally at the Kite.

Again a sudden halt and positioning to get some photos was the aim with these the best achieved as the birds carried on circling higher and higher until they both disappeared together.

I am pretty sure that I saw a total of 6 Red Kites from Kirkby Underwood to Corby Glen during my time in the area, the 3 Red Kite images clearly show 3 differently marked birds.

A few days later  I managed finally to get over to Beeley, Derbyshire to see the Dusky Thrush that had been entertaining up to 600 birders over the previous couple of weeks, I am no twitcher and don’t really consider myself a proper birder but it was a good day to go to see a lifer as the bird had moved and the interest in the bird had seriously wained with less people wanting to see it.

I arrived, parked up and was told by a birder that only 1 person was with the bird and to go up Pig Lane and you will see the birder in a sloping hillside field. Instructions followed and eventually I made the ‘twitch’ numbers a massive 2! – my kind of twitch this!

The bird was distant but it was pleasing to get onto it immediately and also get a few records shots – please see below. Another couple of birders arrived to see the bird as I left after about an hour watching the lovely looking Thrush.

The cover photo is of Dunsby Fen taken week or so earlier.