Tuesday, 15 November 2011

More White-fronts!

Tuesday morning, Nick texts to say he's just had eight Whitefronts over his house. I wandered down the lakes at lunchtime, not really expecting to be lucky, but a flock of 10 flew east over the reserve. Nunnery tick scored back! Now where's that Bean....?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Still clinging on

A walk round Derek Whites Eggs pit on Saturday morning found me looking at three Goldeneye.  And as the mist was clearing I knew I just had to try for them from The Lodge.  Ten minutes later I was squinting at the area of water I'd last seem them in from the plateau at The Lodge.  No sign - they must have moved I thought - then bingo!  A drake popped up right in my field of view.  139.

I wonder if we can find the White-fronts and Egyptian Geese that are currently hanging round the valley too...

Sunday, 13 November 2011


The following text came pinging in from Dawn late this afternoon:

"3 White-fronts, 2 ads and 1 juv flew south 1535 over lakes, dropping down over Shadwell or Barnham. Flew right over Pete's head and I ran out of (the) wood just in time to get them!"

Result! Another unexpected bonus; lots of White-fronts and Bean Geese coming in on the coast at the moment but to get any 'proper' geese here is a real rarity. I belted down on the bike and was able to find where they'd landed... but unfortunately for me the only place from which I could view the birds was about 75m from the reserve boundary. Never mind: that's 142, which extends the lead up to 4 again with just 6 weeks to play!

...and still there this morning! Next time someone shows you a frame-filler and mutters something about it being 'just a record shot', refer them to the following:

Friday, 11 November 2011

Miners strike!

My first trip down the lakes for a couple of weeks today. Rather dull weather, and it felt like a rare waterbird should have dropped in, but the avian highlight was my record count of four Little Egrets.

However, I grabbed a few oak leaves and, as hoped, found a few new leaf-mining micro-moths - Ectoedemia quinquella, E. subbimaculella and E. heringi. The total now reaches 1,785 (1,720 named to species level).

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Pochard at last

Gull and waterfowl numbers are creeping up and with them came a long-awaited personal Lakes year tick today (courtesy of Neil): a female Pochard. That takes me to 127 for the year but how are Neil and Darren getting on (and anyone else who is keeping their own score)?

My Nunnery Lakes species accumulation in 2011
(BirdTrack Explore My Records facility)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Rock on...

I was standing on the plateau having a cigarette at 10:30 this morning (ok, so I've started smoking again, but it has it's plus points) when I heard a familiar autumnal call overhead, ''viiiss!....viiss!'' Two birds flying over north, but only one  - so far as I could tell - was calling. In rubbish light, they appeared dark, but there was no mistaking the call.

After a week's constant dawn vis-migging without adding anything new, I decided against it today and scored a tick when least expected. About time I contributed something - and it wasn't the Stonechat, SEO or Hawfinch (outside bet that one) that I was hoping for. 138 (STA).

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Warden's wizardry

Eight months ago The Lodge warden Andy Schofield conjured up a gripping record of a certain magical falcon. Yesterday afternoon Nunnery Lakes site manager Chris Gregory struck back with our very own Merlin (shortly after Dawn Balmer had seen a small falcon chasing passerines over the Nuns Bridges whilst she was driving home from work)!

That takes us to a stratospheric 141... but will it be enough? Back in January Darren and I reckoned >135 would clinch it; perhaps we need to revise that to >145!