What a day we had on Sunday! The extra drive and time proved to be well worth it.
Ten of us set off at 07.30am in three cars for Coombes Valley RSPB Reserve, two from Sapcote and one from north Leicestershire.
I had forgotten how beautiful that part of England is, especially in the sunshine with its rolling hills and dry stone walls.
As previously described, this site is an absolute little gem.
We were met by Murray, who described what we were likely to find and where - pied and spotted flycatchers, redstarts displaying and many warblers including willow and garden. The site is set in a lovely valley, organised into zones to accommodate all users. Nearest to the small centre are accessible areas with families in mind. Lots of activities to encourage children to explore the environment. But for those who would like more peace and quiet to observe the birds you don't have to go very far to the zones beyond.
Down into the wooded valley we walked passing hedgero...
My Lovely wife and I took a few days away in the beautiful countryside of Shropshire staying in the Ceiriog Valley to the West of Chirk from May 2nd until 5th, 2017.
Breaking our Journey mid-morning for a coffee in Shrewsbury’s park and gardens in the “Quarry” and to my surprise a number of fellow birders, "I’ll have to check this out" I said and there on an Island in the middle of a small lake a Night Heron. Unfortunately he was just disappearing into the shrubs for a quiet moment to digest his breakfast, so didn’t get any good Pictures but a yearly tic all the same, so not all bad…
After checking into our Hotel we took a walk around the quiet country lanes of Llwynmawr, just single track access with steep stone and soil banks on either side covered in wild flowers, Bee’s and Butterfly’s, the only sound in the late afternoon sunshine of bird calls, Buzzard, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch, Chiff Chaff, Willow Warbler and numerous Corvids.
The Following Day we drive further up into the Mountains...
As a birthday treat for my friend and her husband we took them for a walk around Thornton Reservoir as they had never been before; we set out walking around half past 12, as we were taking them for lunch (included in the treat).
It was extremely windy and the water was very choppy. There were a lot of families and dogs but the walking is easy.
It didn't appear very promising at first, we had parked in the Reservoir Inn (lunch venue) and taken the path through the church yard. We walked clockwise around the water and soon spotted about 15 tufted ducks, some Coots, a couple of Moorhens and then the little family of Mallards. There was a tree a bit further on with some little birds flying in and out but I'm not very good on bird song and my eyes were watering with the blowing wind so couldn't focus with the binoculars! Next I spotted what I think were two Little Grebes, can't confirm as my friend's husband had gone off with his decent camera. We were accompanied all the way round by a Robi...
Sixteen BBC members gathered on our Sunday outing on a beautiful Spring morning, the sun shining with a blue sky and cotton wool clouds, starting in the picnic area listening to the chorus of a dozen different bird songs. A real treat for this birder was the reeling song of Grasshopper Warbler, what a way to start the day.
We spent time on the boardwalk looking over the pond and feeding station, together with the usual suspects in that area good views of the nesting Heron’s and Little Egrets in a large Oak.
Continuing on (past a number of Cockerel and Hens from the farm scratching around the footpath for titbits looking splendid in an array of colours) listening to singing Goldcrest, Blackcap, Robin & Wren, good numbers of Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler from the woodland path.
At this time of year were looking for our summer migrants returning, and after a early start to the season with the warm March weather the recent cold Northerly winds seem to have slowed the expected numbers, so we...
The speaker at our next meeting 10th April will be Mark Hope-Urwin on Butterflies and Moths. This should prove to be an insight at the start of the season for these insects, which provide a large part of the diet for many birds and thus greatly affect the food chain.
This is a change from the talk previously advertised for this month, but you won't be missing out on Jim Almond as he will be with us in May.
I'm sorry that I can't be there at either meeting. However, you will be in the capable hands of Lee, who will make sure that all runs smoothly.
Please don't forget that this will be one of the last opportunities to bring in tombola for the Burbage Common Open Day on Sunday May 7th. We have already collected 60+ prizes, but if we can get to 100+ we will hit our fundraising target. A big thank you to all those who have contributed so far. Julie Brown will be there to collect any new tombola. We would also welcome any volunteers to help with the stall or bird walks on the da...
The onset of the glorious spring sunshine on the first Sunday of April prompted my Wife, Son and I to go for our first family walk of the year.
This first walk was a later start than last year, but this was necessitated by our young Son who is harder to protect from the elements.
The venue for our walk was local favourite Coombe Abbey and Grounds situated just down the road a stones throw from Brandon Marsh.
Whilst this is a typically busy venue, early risers will find that the crowds do not appear until around midday.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk, plenty of species to be seen including a breeding pair of Egyptian Geese. The hide was good for a few fishing birds including Egrets, Cormorants and the odd Heron. Due to its proximity I would recommend this venue for a stroll and stop of around 2-4 hours.
This site does charge for parking, 1-2 hours is £2.00 and 2-4 hours is £3.80.
Anyone else who would like to write pieces, please contact me and let me know.
We began at Cropston Reservoir with 13 members and Graham Deeping leading. It started as a grey, windy day. Unfortunately there was very little to see there apart from some grey wagtails, a hybrid mallard, great crested grebe and a fleeting view of a sparrowhawk.
Next we moved onto Swithland Woods, where we found two more members. We could hear plenty of birds including goldcrests and chiff chaff, but they were proving elusive, due to poor light and their tendency to be high in the trees or masked by shrubs, apart from the numerous blue tits and chaffinches. However, the sun eventually appeared and so did the birds. We were then treated to good views of bullfinches, nuthatches, chiff chaff, long-tailed tits and, for the lucky ones, a pair of tree creepers. This was also an interesting location as few of us knew that we would be walking through dark green painted caravans and wooden chalets on bijou plots from 'Fantasy Land'. And then when the Green Goddess appeared - and...
Graham will be leading this Sunday's walk to Cropston Reservoir, Swithland Woods and Reservoir, finishing, if you wish, at a Community Centre for coffee or tea just after midday.
The walk starts at 9am. from the lay-by on Reservoir Road (B5330), which is by the weir on the dam just ouside the village of Cropston. Most people will drive through the village of Cropston past the Badgers' Sett pub. I'm reliably informed. The lay-by is actually halfway along the dam at SK551 111.
From the LROS website home page under 'Birding Sites' and then '5. Bradgate Park and Cropston Reservoir'
Postcode is: LE7 7GQ for Reservoir Road.
We can either meet in the lay-by at 9am or at Sapcote at 8.30, but please let me know if you want a lift otherwise I will drive straight to Cropston. Lee will be leaving from Sapcote, but all his seats may be taken by Ellen, Wendy M and Julie. Please can you inform me by 8pm on Saturday evening unless it's an emergency.
There are only 2 opportunities to bring in your tombola
to meetings; one is this Monday. It's a chance to de-clutter by getting rid of any unwanted gifts, bottles of wine, good as new items. The income provides a significant boost to our club helping to keep subscriptions down, pay for speakers, rent of premises etc.
The stall is also a chance to up our profile in the community by showing what we do and that our aim is 'to promote birdwatching for beginners'.
On the day volunteers will be needed to man the stall and lead bird walks. Please let me know if you can help.