Sunday, 14 September 2014


Was mostly cloudy so opted to head for the woods. I wanted a long'ish cycle so it was cool enough for a long enough ride up to Salcey Forest. Given the light  levels I wasn't hoping for much and even less as I went up to what is called the tree top walk. A wooden walkway when or should that be IF it's quiet can be quite good ,  except on Wednesday it wasn't too bad. Bird wise it was a bit of a disappointment. From the top of the walk you get good views across the tree top canopy and distant views of Northampton and with little cloud cover you can see Wellingborough. The best bird was a couple of Buzzards and the odd Pipit probably Meadow.
One thing I do like about the walk is ambushing Goldcrest and Coal Tits they're just not expecting a human so high up.

Things get a bit repetitive here now as I went up to the quarry..of course. The male Sparrowhawk was floating about, didn't see the Kingfisher. Saw some more Yellow Wagtails which I have the suspicion are the same I saw on my previous visit and are lingering. The Sparrowhawk was always around the log pile or the quarry floor making things a bit quiet I saw the Kestrel hovering up one of the footpaths that has been created so went up there. They're quite nice footpaths tree lined, even though some of the saplings look like they're dead/dying, mostly the young oak. Here's a photo from the phone of the footpath.

The bushes here were full of mostly Chiff-Chaff's. A tit flock was disputing with the Chiffs which helped but also hindered me as they were always moving about, squabbling, here's an innocent Long Tailed Tit.
Now I am 90% certain all were Chiff-Chaff their is one or two that stood out from the flock (circa 20 birds) this one was notable by it's slightly smaller size and the very noticeable rusty brown on it's head and down it's rear, so wanted a back shot to demonstrate this but failed, just look at the head and the rear was the same...more likely just a Chiff.

The next bunch all the same, Chiff-Chaff's.... I think.

Told you a bit repetive lol.
Same bird next, I think is a Willow Warbler, any help or corrections on this or the above images would be gratefully received, thanks.

this I can confidently say are Goldfinch, small part of the flock that lingers around the paddocks on the way home, yes there is a Little Owl here but always too distant.

And a couple more..of the same, sorry!


  1. I can't help with the IDs.
    I haven't seen a flock of Goldfinches for a couple of years. In that time I've forgotten what it's called. They are very impressive if the sun catches them right.

  2. Not a problem Adrian.
    I was gutted about the light on the Goldfinch as they do look great in good light, mind you these would've been back-lit which would make for an interesting image, I really only took it so I could count them when I got home as most were juveniles...too lazy to count them in the field lol

  3. Hi Douglas, the collective noun for a flock of goldfinch is a '' charm ''. Anyway, great post, the Goldcrest shots in particular are great.... a bogey bird for me ....... well done !

    1. A charm, as soon as Adrian said about it I was racking my brains, thank you. I get lucky with Goldcrest's to be fair. Salcey can be good and the tree top walk eliminates the moment when they refuse to drop down to eye level

  4. Nice shots. You really got up close and personal.

    1. Thank you. The lens helps. And these particular birds were quite approachable too.

  5. A splendid set of images, Doug, with the Goldcrests being my favourite. Can't really help with the warblers. If I see a warbler at this time of year in my garden which is very yellow underneath (as I did this morning) my first thoughts are Willow Warbler. It's then down to the legs - blackish says Chiffchaff, pale and reddish says Willow. That's about the sum total of my knowledge! See. Told you I wasn't an expert!!

    I like the idea of the Salcey treetop walk!

    Best wishes - - Richard

    1. Thanks Richard, I think the willow and Chiff-Chaff are getting like gulls at times:-)
      The tree top walk is OK but can get busy I always fancy it for a bit of migration watch location.