Waxwing

Waxwing
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 9 January 2016

A "Lifer" Gets the Birding Year off to a Good Start!


A Great Northern Diver has been seen locally over the last few weeks - first at Whitacre Pool, near Ladywalk NR and now what is presumably the same bird at Shustoke Reservoir. Finally, I got chance today to go in search of what for me would be a "life tick". In the past I've "dipped" on a lot of species reported at Shustoke but today we struck lucky although the bird was a long way away although not as distant as the Black-throated Diver seen there in 2011!

Anyway a few poor record shots taken with the Canon Bridge - the first two were taken on full zoom and uncropped so you can see just how far away it is!





And 2 cropped pictures - you might just be able to make out that it is a Great Northern Diver!!



The sailing boats came out on the reservoir and the Diver drifted closer to the bank but unfortunately the person with me didn't have any wellies with them and it is very muddy round the reservoir so I couldn't really get any closer to try and get better shots.




Its the first time I've been out birding this year so I added quite a few other far more common species to the year list - Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Canada Goose.


On the way home I dropped off a few paperbacks at my favourite secondhand book shop in Coleshill.


I was going to buy Timpson's Villages which I spotted last time I was in there but sadly I couldn't find it. So I consoled myself with The Observer's Book on Old English Churches and resisted the temptation of a book on Celtic mythology. D bought "mint" condition history books by Simon Schama so he was well pleased.

20 comments:

David said...

Wonderful stuff Caroline, a great way to start the year as you say. Hopefully 2016 will see plenty of interesting birds come your way :-)

Kindest regards to all :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David - Thanks very much David. Determined to get out birding more this year and hopefully start re-visiting Marsh Lane more regularly.

Best wishes to you all :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Like me spotting my lifer goldeneye on my first birding trip of the year! Only a GND is a rather better bird.

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon - I don't usually "twitch" but GND was special enough for me to do so :) Goldeneye are special birds though - I've only ever seen a few.

amanda peters said...

Well done and what a great bird to start your list of for the new year... Rain stopped play again here to day.
I just looooove book shops, my find the other day was ' A Dales Naturalist' by Roger Nelson. He lived local, it's a month by month guide what to look out for.
Hope the 'cold weather' we are supposed to get next week brings dry days.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda :) By the time we got home it was chucking it down again here too :( Even had hail!

Must admit book shops one of my favourite places to be :) Always have to make a purchase! The book you bought sounds super - its great when you can buy something about the local area especially when its about nature!

Agree about hoping for some dry days along with the cold weather!

Countryside Tales said...

Sounds like a perfect day- rare bird followed by bookshop! X

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks - yes it was a good way to spend a few hours :)

SeagullSuzie said...

A very nice start to your year. I follow some of the local birders on twitter and they abbreviate a lot of bird names to get the tweet out...GND was one of those I didn't know at first, but we've had quite a few in the bay sheltering from the weather.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks Suzie. Twitter can be very very useful for finding out the whereabouts of various birds locally! Didn't realise you were on Twitter too. I seem to spend more time there these days than on blogger!

Dartford Warbler said...

How exciting. Not sure I have knowingly seen a GND!

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - thanks :) They are pretty rare - mainly winter visitors found around the coast although occasionally inland :)

Deb said...

What a great start to your year Caroline. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much Deb :)

Pete Duxon said...

very nice bird to see

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Thanks Pete :) Shame it was so far away but you can't have everything! :)

Millymollymandy said...

Oooh I'm impressed and a litle bit envious! Never seen one of them. The SX50 is great for IDing distant birds even if you don't get the best pics, after all what are we supposed to do when they are so far away!! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks Mandy. I usually "dip" on unusual species at Shustoke so was well pleased. lol re: the camera. I had "words" with D when we got back to the car as I thought he was also taking lots of photos of birds far closer but he hadn't :( Then discovered the ISO was on 1600 so if that had been lower may have been slightly better photo! :)

Chris Rohrer said...

Congrats!!! I would love to go birding with you over there. I always have to remember that your diver is our loon in the US. They can be tricky at far distances since they like deeper water with a lot of airspace to fly in and out of the watering holes. Life ticks are like winning the lottery or card game. It's fun stuff.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris. Would love to go birding with you too. If you ever come over here you must get in touch. It was lucky that a guy standing next to us had a very expensive dslr and very huge zoom lens with superb photos so was able to confirm id even though I knew Great Northern was the only Diver reported there. Yes, I love life ticks - still get that feeling as though I have just drunk a large glass of champagne :) You can't beat natural history :)