Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Fantastic Mr Fox !!!

The weather is very cold here in Nantwich today, so I decided on a walk around the local Boating Lake, along the River Weaver and back home.  We, (Al, Scruffy (our dog) and me) were pleasantly surprised with a guest appearance by - The Fantastic Mr Fox -  It is a long time since I have seen one on the bank so close to the waters edge.  Managed some snaps of him, along with the Goosander, who are still present on the same stretch of the Weaver as the other day - todays count 20.  

Monday, 10 December 2012

Surprise on the River Weaver

I had a pleasant surprise whilst walking Scruffy, our dog, this afternoon on the River Weaver which runs through Nantwich - Nine Goosander - 7 Male and 2 Female - this is only the second time in my life I've seen this species on our local River.  I guess with the Cheshire Meres and Reservoirs being frozen over they have moved to the river looking for food.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Cholmondoley Estate Local Patch

 Tawny Owl 



Great Spotted Woodpecker

Had a couple of hours on one of our local patches today. The weather was bitterly cold on the short walk from the car to the Hide on Deer Park Mere.  I spotted a large lump that is not normally there in the top of one of the Pines, a closer inspection confirmed it was a Tawny Owl.

At the hide I could see, as I had expected, 80% of the Mere was frozen over meaning the Goosander and Goldeneye, that I was hoping to photograph were at the other end of the Mere, so no luck there.  A cold but pleasant walk through the woods was more productive than expected, providing me views of a very mobile Flock of 80+ Siskin. Amongst them at least 3 Redpoll which was nice. The only other sighting of note were 5 Brambling in leaf litter under a couple of large Beech trees.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

 Desert Wheatear

 Desert Wheatear

 Desert Wheatear

 ................... and one more for good measure 


 Herring Gull 

Moon Rise the Short-eared Owl sight, Rhuddllan 

With the disappointment of us having to postpone the Norfolk trip hanging in the air, two of the lads who had booked on the trip were keen for us to take them to see the Desert Wheatear in Rhyl.

As North Wales is only just over an hour away from me, and the weather forecast was not too bad, I picked Alex and Richard up at the arranged venue and off we went.  The weather forecast was actually right for a change, it was bright and breezy as we arrived at the coast.  Within 5 minutes we had located the bird and got some good shots of the little beauty a lifer for both Alex and Richard.

Llandullas was the next stop where we had Common Scoter, Redshank, Curlew, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Turnstone all in really good numbers.  Nothing of great interest but good birding all the same.
Leaving Llandullas we headed to nearby Rhuddlan to round the day off with a good view of the Short-eared Owl.  Although it was too difficult to photograph the owl, we did get a good shot of a very low bright Moon rising.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What! No Norfolk


 Pied Wagtail 



 Mistle Thrush

 Mute Swan 

Common Buzzard

Because of the really bad weather forecast for the east coast, we decided to postpone our weekend to Norfolk until the 12th January 2013.  It was definitely the right decision ! The torrential rain and winds would have made birding very difficult and very wet !  Anybody wanting to join us in the New Year to get a good start for their year list, can contact us via the website at

Despite the rain here we tried to get a bit of local birding in rather than stay indoors.  These pictures were all taken on the Cholmondeley Estate over the weekend. We are fortunate enough to have regular access to both meres and the woods here and try to visit at least twice a week.  As I am sure you are all aware we seem to have been invaded by the beautiful Waxwings and Cheshire is no exception.  They have been reported at several different local sights and we were lucky enough to get some good views yesterday.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Waxwings Hit Cheshire

Well, with the amount of Waxwings in the country at the moment it was only a matter of time before some were seen close to home.  Ashley had 12 in Nantwich last friday but by the time he had picked the camera up from home the small flock had gone. Another phone call yesterday off Ashley to inform me of a flock of 30+ at Tesco in Northwich was frustrating as I had other commitments and couldn't get over to see them. So third time lucky today as Ash managed to see 22 again, so a quick dash across with the camera and we managed some photos in poor light.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Well the clocks have gone back and the dark nights are upon us for another year.   We have had a very busy few months surveying and are looking forward to the short trip to Norfolk planned for the end of November. This is an annual trip for me and my Dad that we have decided to open up to anyone wanting to join us.  It is a "rough and ready" hectic couple of days with no frills or relaxing time built in. " !!  Hardcore birding - not for the faint hearted !!".  The idea is to fit in as much birding as possible with as little as possible expense.  If you want more information or would like to join us email me and I will sort things out for you. 

Something to make you smile   

Expectations !!

Reality :-)

Expectations  :-)

Reality  !!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Doddington Lake Cheshire

Yesterday we decided to have a drive out to Doddington Lake in the hope of seeing a few waders.  Lots of GC grebes,  in fact 74 !! (largest number I have seen on this lake), 15 Cormorant and still plenty of Swallows gathering.  Lovely September day and the sun was shining affording us a good opportunity to photograph the butterflies in the Cheshire countryside. 

 Great Crested Grebe

 ..... and some more



 Large Bracket Fungi

 Red Admiral

 Small Tortoiseshell

Speckled Wood

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Rainham Marshes RSPB

Just a quick post about Tuesday 11th September - I had the chance to jump in with Malc and the Doc to try and see the Baillon's Crake in Essex.  Long story short,  six hour wait and had the bird for about 10 seconds.  Thanks to the big lad from Cambridge who was next to me and put my scope onto the Crake. Shame it didn't show as well as the Kestrel and Hobby did.