I ventured out with my newly-fledged birding chum Boyley on Sunday morning. Boyley works at Blythe Valley and was keen to have a poke around to see what we could find there.
Before that, however, we paid visits to a few other sites. Starting with Hopwood, we finally managed to track down the little owl that eluded us a few months ago. Also here were many redwing, with a few fieldfares dotted amongst them. Moving on to Bittell, the best spots included goosander, wigeon, kingfisher and a great black-backed gull, but not the goldcrest or treecreeper that I had hoped for.
Little owl pic courtesy of Boyley's Nokia 5800
On the way to Blythe Valley we stopped off at the Hungry Horse field near Earlswood Lakes, which has held golden plover in recent weeks. Sadly the field was empty on this occasion.
Finally we had an enjoyable stroll around Blythe Valley. The habitat here looks very similar to that at Pearl Group where I work, but on a much bigger scale. In terms of birds we saw green woodpecker, long-tailed tit, kestrel, song thrush and bullfinch amongst others. Definitely some potential here for better birds come the spring, and I would expect an excellent range of butterflies too. I will certainly be back next year.
An enjoyable morning was topped off with a coffee at Sainsbury's. A good bit of birding.
Boyley and I have been out a few times now, and he's already seem some excellent birds. I feel a bit like the ambassador, spoiling his guests with the Ferrero Rocher pyramid at his party.