Tag Archives: Birds

Bluethroat getting more blue..

Tues 28th March 2017

The bluethroat at Willow Tree Fen has to be the most well watched bluethroat in Britain ,I’m surprised it hasn’t got its own tv channel by now. It continues to attract visitors from all over, car park ram full this morning. Some are still making their first visit, others getting a further fix, now that the bird is getting better looking by the day. It seems to adore all the attention, I swear it was posing and puffing it’s throat up, while looking at the crowd.

En-route to WTF I started off at Baston pits. It was very misty and murky, but as the mist lifted there were about 25 sand martins, my first ones this year. The pit just east of the T junction is looking really good for waders and held: 3 redshank, 30+ lapwing, green sand, 2 pairs ringed plover, 2 pairs oystercatcher, pair of little ringed plover and best of all, a grey plover which flew off to the south later. I called in for another look later in the day, it was now clear and bright. The sand martins had moved through, gone high or gone to another pit. Birds were clearly on the move, as they do at this time of year, a single whooper swan seen earlier, calling constantly in the mist, had now been joined by two more! Six red-crested pochards looked very smart.


Barn Owl & Long Eared Owl!

Had an amazing encounter with a Barn Owl this evening, we sat in the car whilst it hunted the overgrown banks of a stream either side of us , it pounced on something in the grass and eventually flew  away from us with what I think was a small rat, as it made its way towards a bank of trees alongside the field a Kestrel swooped in from above us to presumably challenge the Owl for its catch as they are bullies and often rob Barn Owls ! when all of a sudden a Long Eared Owl appeared from no where and checked the Barnies catch too !! the Kestrel retreated immediately, the Barn owl entered its box and the Long Eared Owl continued on its way ! Unbelievable and all before 6.30pm !!



Barn Owl pic from Lincsbirders archive 

Few Hours around Southern Lincs

The day off work (which included a few jobs) on holiday would mean a possible few hours being able to go out and about, so my jobs done then it was the plan to go off to Willow Tree Fen and then Frampton Marsh.

Before I left home early in the morning I observed the garden birds and 1 of the 2 light looking Redpolls appeared on a feeder and so a rush to my camera and snap a few pics before it flew into the copper birch (I think that’s the species) tree at the bottom of my garden.

Now maybe I am convincing myself but I think this bird is not a Lesser Redpoll but then the question grows into is it a Common or Mealy – or are these classed as the same now?

Please let me know what you think, I will continue to try to get better images in better light as long as the Redpolls are still using the garden feeders.

On the way to Willow Tree Fen I decided to go through Bourne for a change of route and at Corby Glen a low flying Red Kite gave a stunning view at tree top level for a couple of seconds. Arriving at Willow Tree Fen to a full to bursting car park I thought ‘bugger, will be loads looking at the bird then?’ I walked down hoping that whoever was around the reed bed area was behaving as like a lot of us I have been hearing some terror stories about birders behaviour around the bird like beating the reeds driving the bird into view, birders standing that close they could have picked the bird up and was told on the day I went of a round of applause breaking out when the bird appeared, surely not!

It was ok when I got to the Bluethroat spot with only 3 birders there, the others had gone off to explore the rest of the reserve. The only species appearing occasionally was Reed Buntings and to be honest this was not a surprise with the wind being very strong and bitingly cold too!

Patience is a virtue and eventually the Bluethroat appeared, albeit briefly, but mainly in a small dip off the track which I am sure it was using as shelter from the afore mentioned winds.

I stayed about 45 minutes and left when a large group of birders came up and increased numbers looking for the bird by 400% at least.

The Bluethroat looks healthy enough and in a week, I reckon it will look great with the pin feathers around the throat just about be fully through the moult.

Arriving at Frampton the wind was just as gusty and cold but off I went for a little wander, I got a few nice views of Yellowhammer on the bank nearest the visitor centre.

The water levels are very high and with the winds the birds in general were hunkered down avoiding them, can’t say I blame them at all. I go to the turning to go up to the 360 hide and saw a handful of resting Canada Geese and a lone Brent Goose, I have never been so close to one before and enjoyed watching it feed happily about 30 feet from me.

In the 360 hide a few birds were about, lots of Black Headed Gull, some Common and Herring Gull, a lone Curlew, Wigeon, Teal, a couple of pairs of Oystercatchers, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallards, Coots, Great Crested Grebe, plus the odd Redshank and Ruff too.

I counted 80 Avocets dotted around the scrapes near the 360 hide, think this is the most I have seen at one time.

I looked hard for the reported Mediterranean Gull that had been seen but no luck, love this species of Gull me! Walking back in the fields to the right (as you walk from the visitor centre) was approximately 30 Whooper Swans.

I watched as 2 fly reasonably close to me calling all the way, flying from the field towards and beyond the 360 hide. If only I had looked up a few seconds earlier a better image could have been taken but never mind eh, that’s just me being too picky!

The pair of Whooper Swan did a long loop and around 5 minutes later headed back to the same field to re-join their feeding and resting brethren.

Well that was me done and off I headed home, not a serious birding effort compared to my more learned friends but a good time had non-the less.

Moulting bluethroat

The Willow Tree Fen bluethroat is now a bit more elusive than it was, but is still attracting visitors. The red, white and blue throat feathers look to be moulting out. Hopefully it will stay a while and will look very dandy when the feathers are replaced.