Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Northward Hill, Cliffe Pools 21-8-2012

To avoid boredom I have put the reason for recent lack of posts at end of this report.
A Bit of a double report here, despite my break from Blogging the bird spotting continued. Whenever I travel up North I always go via the M40 to see the Red Kites near junction 5. Here are a few photos I took on 3rd August of these lovely majestic birds.

Red Kites 3-8-2012 - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
This brings me to yesterday when Wendy and I went to Northward Hill RSPB reserve, the bird sightings were poor, even the bird feeders despite being full of nuts were devoid of any activity. Wandering around the reserve sightings included Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Wood Pigeon, Linnet, Magpie, Swallow, Starling and Heron.
Female Linnet with "grub" - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Wood Pigeon - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Looking out from the main viewpoint, the reservoir and mainly dried up lake contained a Little Egret, some Lapwings, Mallards, Dabchicks, Black Tailed Godwits, Moorhens, Coots,  a Redshank and 3 Teal. 22 species in all, a poor count, however the butterflies on the walk more than made up for this with a Small Tortoiseshell, a Red Admiral, several Small Coppers, Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Speckled Woods.

Common Blue - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Small Copper - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
There was also an awful lot of Dragonflies about as well (my identifications may be a bit awry here so please correct me if I am wrong), mainly Common Darters, a few Yellow Winged Darters and a couple of what I believe were Brown Hawkers, sadly no photos of these larger Dragonflies which were constantly on the move.
Common Darter - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Mating Common Darters - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Yellow Winged Darter - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Common Darter - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Nature sometimes comes up with something new and interesting and for me it was the clouds of seeds which were being wafted around the reserve some of which caught in spiders webs leaving some interesting shapes - here is one of the hundreds of webs we saw covered in seeds.

We then moved on to Cliffe Pools but due to limited time only got as far as the viewpoint at Radar Pool. However we did get to see a huge flock of Avocets, intermixed with them on the shoreline were Grey Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones, Common Gulls, Black Headed Gulls, and Black Tailed Godwits a single Dunlin and a few Redshank. Around the edges of the pool were Little Egrets, an Oystercatcher and some Common Terns. On the pool itself were Little Grebes, Coots and Great Crested Grebes.

Meadow Brown - Canon 400D + 100-400mm (Northard Hill)
En Route back to the carpark we saw a Goldfinch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a large mixed flock of Long Tailed Tits and Blue Tits, in the car park pool (I think it is called Flamingo) were some Pochard. Nearby some Collared Doves sat on some telephone wires whilst a few Cormorants flew overhead. This gave me an additional 15 species for the day – not great, but not bad for what ended up as a hot muggy day.
Small Tortoiseshell - Canon 400D + 100-400mm (Northard Hill)

Gatekeeper - Canon 400D + 100-400mm (Northard Hill)

Speckled Wood - Canon 400D + 100-400mm (Northard Hill)

It has been a while since my last post, apologies for that but RSI meant that anything beyond 10 minutes sat at a keyboard and mouse left me in agony for hours and sometimes days. Several months rest from a desktop now means I can do about an hour at a time without pain, so it is time for me to try and put a few posts together. Hopefully I will be back with a bit more regularity but it is dependent on me remaining pain free. If the pain comes back I will be left with just posting  a few photos and a day list, let’s hope it does not come to that.


  1. That wood pigeon looks like a decoy

    1. He was actually sat above the Bird Feeders. I think he was waiting for something small to feed and knock some seed onto the floor, he had a long wait because nothing approached the feeders whilst we were watching (about 15 mins in all).