Tag Archives: Lincs

Not a bad week in Lincs.

Mon 24th.

It kicked off on Monday afternoon, when news came through of a black stork at Dunsby fen. Arriving about five, I had just missed it, it had flown off from its favourite spot. There were plenty of birders around and people began to spread out down the fen in search, though access away from the road is very limited. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I connected with the stork. Trev Lee had been working in Northants and detoured this way home. Only a few birders were looking now, (the ones that still needed to see it, I bet the others were celebrating at home and going through their brilliant photos!). We decided to walk alongside a hedgerow to see if we could get any better views of the dyke, when all of a sudden there it was, flying low, right in front of us looking monstrous. It must have been there all along, close to where people were standing. We lost views as it flew behind trees but were well happy. Never did see on the deck. It later roosted in a tree for the night. 

Tues 25th.

Checked a couple of local sites. Denton res was quiet, nothing of note, really. Saw a marsh harrier hunting near Syston. At Marston a juvenile peregrine was over the area for fully ten minutes. 16 curlews, 4 green sands and a grass snake seen.

Weds 26th.

Went over to Freiston shore for the evening. On Tuesday Richard Doan had found a very rare marsh sandpiper here. He only had it for a matter of minutes in the morning, obtaining photos and video. It was seen again later in the day.There was no further sign on weds. I watched the res from about 6:30pm to dusk, enjoying plenty of wader action in the nice light, before a heavy shower. Best birds were 2 curlew sands, (one wearing a yellow flag, but I couldn’t read it), wood sand, spotted redshank, 26 greenshank, ad med gull, ruffs, common sands.

Fri 28th.

I had planned a full dayer at the wash, heading back to Freiston again rather than the more popular Frampton. What a good decision that was. The reservoir was the first place to check again, it was nowhere near high tide and only a few waders were on it compared to the other evening; 2 wood sands and a curlew sand, several common sands etc. Then I noticed it!…. it was the marsh sand! A lovely little wader, with a very quick feeding action. I managed a record shot on the phone, through the scope. I only had it for about ten minutes, after taking the initial photo I observed the delicate wader through bins and scope. My plan was to take more pics but I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been pre-occupied with getting photos of a bird, only to look back and think ‘hold on a minute, I havn’t really watched that bird at all. Anyway it flew off after a while and, as far as I can tell hasn’t been again since. I felt really lucky, but then I was the only one there.

Later, a trek to the Witham mouth, where lots of curlews and whimbrels gathered. Surprisingly few waders really, just after high tide. About 150 sandwich terns fished and rested on the rocks along with a red-breasted merganser. A couple of green sands were on the shooters pool. Taking the sea wall route back, all the remaining puddles and ditches were checked incase the marsh sand was there, no luck but an early whinchat was feeding from along one of the fence lines.

Two new birds for my Lincolshire list, only my second sighting of both of them in the UK.


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.

New year’s day

No, I’m not going all out for another big Lincolnshire yearlist this year. I’ll still keep one, though won’t be breaking my neck. I’m going to do a 10 mile radius of Grantham list so will keep you posted on that one. This patch just squeezes in Kilvington, Notts, and Belvoir/Knipton, Leics. I will also be taking part in patchwork challenge at Marston for the 5th consecutive year.

Went out in the rain this morning, it was ‘orrible, but some nice stuff around. Started off at Marston, where a raven overhead was a good patch bird, plenty of water rails squealing, obligatory green sandpiper amongst the usual suspects. The whooper swan continues in the rape field at Hough, looks settled. Whizzed across to Kilvington, which was quite good, with 2 redhead smew, the 1stw drake scaup still there and a great white egret, first time I’ve connected with it. This was my second visit in as many days, yesterday afternoon I had a bizarre report of 4 little auks! Needless to say there weren’t any. A second report came through later declaring the first report to be erroneous. Weird.

Foggy afternoon

Managed a post Christmas jaunt yesterday, I’d lined up Ben Ward and Dave Roberts to meet up at the Apex pit gull roost early afternoon but Ben text to say he wouldn’t make it after getting stuck at the Blue Rock Thrush site ! never mind , eyes ever peeled for Waxwings for Dave’s Year list we headed North, it soon became apparent the descending fog was going to be a problem, after checking a site in Barkston that hosted Waxwings a week or so ago we decided the Apex was going to be a non starter as visibility was down to about 30m !

We checked the field between Barkston and Hough that Dave had a single Whooper and sure enough it was still there on its lonesome.

We had a drive round some previous Waxwing haunts between Hough and Navenby but to no avail. Frieston lakes weren’t even visible with visibility down to about 5m !

The decision was made to try Ancaster pits which amazingly was fog free, walking  through the woods was pretty quiet, small flocks of Black headed gulls and Tufties weren’t hiding anything amongst them, the resident Egyptian geese were on the island with the usual supporting cast of Greylag, Canada’s and Heinz 57 varieties.

We checked the paddocks for Thrushes and Finches but it was fairly quiet, I then noticed a small flock of Brambling feeding silently in Hawthorn right above our heads, they were incredibly settled and allowed us to attempt to photograph them, not easy in the fading light, descending fog and looking straight up at them.

A great afternoon out , nothing spectacular but just good birding !