Posts Tagged ‘Pheasant’

Our journey has come to an end for another year and so we begin our journey back to London. But we have one last stop, for lunch, at the RSPB reserve at Lakenheath, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

This once was once agricultural land where carrots were farmed but has been returned to the original fen habitat by the RSPB over a number of years. The highlight of our visit were a number of excellent views of Eurasian Hobby as they hunted over the fens.

Pheasant (left), Great Tit (top right) and Little Egret (bottom right)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

 

 

Sue and I spent two weeks exploring the north of Norfolk and would like to share some of the highlights of our trip.

 

Our first stop on arriving in Norfolk was at the WWT reserve at Welney in Fenland. This reserve is best known for its wintering migratory swans but it is good all year round. The really good thing is that you can birdwatch why you eat your lunch in the restaurant (if you can get a table by the windows!). We were lucky and so were able to look out over Lady Fen and the feeding stations. The former was quiet with just a couple of Little Egrets, but the feeders didn’t disappoint with House Sparrows, Dunnock, Goldfinch and a single Tree Sparrow present.

The view from the cafe in the Welney visitor centre -wildlife watching whilst you eat

Little Egret

Tree Sparrow

 

After finishing our lunch, we made our way over to the main hide where there was a large group of Ruff along with Lapwing and Black-Tailed Godwits.  Sue found a group of Common Snipe feeding in the margins and we counted a maximum of 14 birds at different times. A female Marsh Harrier was seen in the distance,

Common Snipe

We made our way back to the balcony overlooking Lady Fen and were treated to a fly-past by a Eurasian Hobby

Leaving Welney we made our way to East Barsham, north of Fakenham, which would be our base for the next two weeks. Relaxing over a cup of tea in the garden we saw a family of pheasants who with white backs, probably one of the variants originally bred for shooting which now is now breeding in the wild. A Common Whitethroat, amongst other small birds, was seen in a hedge.

Common Pheasants in the garden (normal plumage)

 

As the sun began to set we were excited to see a Barn Owl fly through the meadow beyond the garden and land in a tree where there is a breeding box. After a brief stop, he went away over the fields. Later he settled on a post at end of the garden.

 

Barn Owl in field behind our cottage

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

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During a recent trip to Leicestershire Sue and I got the opportunity to visit the fantastic reserve at Rutland Water on two occasions.

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The first on Sunday afternoon was in heavy rain and so we did not venture further than the visitors centre at Eggleton. Nevertheless, it was good birdwatching with excellent numbers of Pintail, a Goldeneye and two Goosanders with a brief flight view of Great White Egret. Also had excellent views of Reed Bunting and Stonechat.

Pintail (m)

Pintail (m)

Reed Bunting (m)

Reed Bunting (m)

Chaffinch (m)

Chaffinch (m)

Pheasant

Pheasant

 

 

 

 

 

The following day the weather was much better and we made our way along the trails to the north of the centre. Highlights included better views of Great White Egret, a Smew, a party of Red Crested Pochard and a small group of Pink-footed Geese.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Red Creasted Pochard (m)

Red Crested Pochard (m)

Smew (f). Photo by henry McLin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmclin/)

Smew (f). Photo by henry McLin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmclin/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this must be one of my favourite reserves in the country, always something to see and good variety as witnessed by the 50+ spp seen in two short visits in not very good weather.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Pheasant

Posted: October 12, 2016 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

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The Common Pheasant was introduced into the UK as a game species and for hunting. It is now widely distributed and can be found across the country except for northern and western Scotland.

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The breeding population in the UK is estimated at 2-3 million pairs.

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Our lunch break on the second day of our journey north was at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Washington near Sunderland. This is a wonderful site on the banks of the River Wear.

Our first stop was at the woodland hide where we were treated to a group of male Bullfinches on the feeders and the surrounding trees. There was an occasional sight of  young birds in the tree cover being fed.

Bullfinch (m)

Bullfinch (m)

Joining them were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tit, WillowTit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, whilst Robin, Pheasant, Dunnock and Blackbird fed on the ground. Well, all except one young Blackbird who seemed intent on trying to hang on a feeder – without any success.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

 

Pheasant

Pheasant

From here we passed onto the scrape and saw plenty more evidence of successful breeding. Young Avocets and Lapwings were already feeding independently, whilst on one part of the water there was a school of young Shelduck. Close examination of the islands revealed many hidden Common Tern chicks and Sue pointed out a Little Ringed Plover with chicks.

Common Tern

Common Tern

On a fence we found 3 young Barn Swallows, who seemed unworried by our closeness and only intent on the parent flying into feed them.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

All too soon it was time to head back to the car and recommence our journey but one more treat awaited us. As we passed the Asian Otter enclosure the adults were playing (teaching?) their young in the pool and allowed a great photo opportunity

Asian Short-clawed Otters

Asian Short-clawed Otters

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Willow Tit [sp] (Poecile montanus)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

We had a pair of pheasants come to the feeder station in the back garden of our cottage most days. At first they just hoovered up the seeds on the ground but then we noticed the male had found a new way to create a supply of ‘spilt’ seed

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Its been rather a strange month on my patch. Due to the bad weather the Tarn and surrounding area area has been closed for almost the whole month and this coupled with the wet and stormy weather might have led to this being a much poorer start to the year than normal. However 31 bird species were seen on the patch this month which is only 1 short of the total I had in January last year.The winter Thrushes have already begun to thin out. Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush have not been seen since the first week of the month and although Redwing numbers peaked at 18, the numbers quickly subsided and none have been seen for the last week of the month.

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The highlight of the month was undoubtedly the visit of a male Common Pheasant to the garden on the afternoon of the 24th. This was a first for the area as well as for the patch. It has also been good to see the female Blackcap coming to the feeder on a number of days during the month. The male has not been seen since the beginning of December and so has either not survived the bad weather or has moved onto another wintering site.

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Blackcap (Female)

Blackcap (Female)

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Naturelog: Friday 24th January

Posted: January 24, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
Tags: ,

It’s been relatively busy week work wise, so there hasn’t been much time to get out and see what’s been about. Access to the Tarn is still closed and there doesn’t seem to be any news yet as to when it will reopen to the public. So a lot of this week as bid about watching what’s happening in the garden. The number of Redwing visiting the garden has begun to drop and this week for the first time this year there have been days when they have not been seen. It may be they are exhausting the local food supply and moving on. The other regular visitors have all been present and it was a pleasant surprise on Monday to have a brief visit from a Jay. This was the first sighting in the garden since the end of November last year of a bird which in previous years has been fairly numerous in the area. Yesterday, the female Blackcap put in another appearance at the feeders.

I was working in my office this afternoon, when from the corner of my eye I saw a large bird land in the garden and disappear behind the Bush. My first inclination was that it was the sparrowhawk and it had caught another ‘unfortunate’ pigeon on the ground. Imagine my surprise when a male Pheasant emerged from behind the bush. This is a First for the garden and a most unexpected species to add to the garden and patch lists. It disappeared briefly into cover, before running across the grass and into the trees at the bottom of the garden and was not seen again. This brings my patch all-time list to 66 species.

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Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)