Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Tuesday 1st January 2012.

Got up at 9am and the sun was out so I thought I'd better get out and start the year list off. Captain Clam was out already so I sent a text out to Tom & Bart, no reply from Tom but Bart called me saying that he was already out with his Farther in law and he was currently looking at a Long Tailed Duck on Lea Marston Lakes, so I arranged to meet him there in 30mins.

Arrived at the Lakes and located Bart and soon got onto the Long Tailed Duck, great! On the same lake we also had a Female Greater Scaup. There were also good numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard , Coot, Great Creasted Grebe , the usuall Wildfowl.

Next on the agenda was reports of Waxwing about 2 miles away so we packed up and set off. Five minuets later and after a short walk Two Waxwings were on the list!

                                                       Waxwing taken with my Phone.

We watched the birds for ten mins or so at close range, showing dog walkers the birds as they passed by. As time was against us we pressed on to the next bird, a Great Northern Diver at Shustoke Lake.

At Shustoke now we scanned across the lake and soon picked up the Diver over on the far side of the lake, another good bird for the Midlands and the Year List. Now on the way over to Shustoke my pager rang out saying that there had been a Firecrest seen at Coleshill , how lucky can we be as it's only 15 minuets away! So off we went!

Parked up at Coleshill Parkway and walked down to a small group of Birders gathered around. Met up with Dave Hutton ( Who found the bird) said that it hadn't been seen for about an hour so we started scanning through the small trees in the area. At least 5 Chiffchaffs here , Long Tailed Tits, Goldcrests, Redpoll, then after about half an hour searching a small Crest flew into the tree in front of us , Boom ! Fircrest ! What a stunner. The bird showed well for about five mins then flew out of view.

                                               Picture Courtesy of Dave Hutton (Finder).

We said our goodbyes and headed to ladywalk Reserve which is only a couple of miles away. On arrival we met up with Martyn Yapp, who said that he had seen a possible Siberian Chiffchaff , so we started checking the area . Then it called , very similar to a Bull Finch call, a few mins passed and then the bird flew up into view very briefly then flew arcross the river. A very pale bird indeed but that all we could get on it! Martyn had got some photos earlier which showed very pale edge's to the Tertials which formed a pale pannel to the wing, but with the call bang on a very good contender for Siberian. Nice one Martyn.

Now with the light starting to fade we headed off to Chasewater for the Gull roost. On arrival the roost was very impressive, large numbers of Herring , Lesser B Back , Greater B Back, Black Headed Gulls. We scanned through the gull untill dark, We had no joy with seeing any White Wingers, but we had 3 Adult Yellow Legged and a 2nd Winter Caspian. Fantastic Day ! with the Firecrest being the star!

Total number of species for the day - 59 , not bad at all !

Clam On - Olly Clam.


  1. Happy New Year Clams !!!

    What Opticron scopes are you using ?

    Mick ....

    1. Hi Mick , Happy New Year mate. We are using Opticron HR80 GA ED with SDLv2 24x to 72x zoom eye piece.