MY LOCKDOWN PICTORIAL

As I add this post we are slowly beginning to emerge from 'Lockdown' and the rules are beginning to change. At this time we can now apparently travel anywhere in England and exercise as many times as we like, although we are obliged to return to our homes every night. I'll personally be staying local for the foreseeable, with perhaps the odd day trip further afield if I feel it's safe to do so. From a purely personal and birding perspective, I had no room for complaint. My heart goes out of course to the 1000s of people who have been so badly affected by this difficult and unprecedented time, in particular to those who have lost loved ones.

One of the many glorious sunsets from the marina moorings during 'Lockdown'.
For me, I'm lucky enough to be living on a marina with my brilliant wife Dazza where we are fortunate to be surrounded by nature and wildlife. Here there's a large and varied habitat to explore and plenty of skies to watch. Directly opposite the canal is Napton Reservoir another large body of water with a good-sized reedbed and somewhere I visited almost every morning for my daily exercise until the fishermen were finally allowed to return! When I walked during 'Lockdown' I rarely saw a person and social distancing is something that I certainly don't struggle with.

Napton Reservoir ~ Part of my daily walk directly opposite our moorings.
What follows is a pictorial of the wildlife and surroundings I managed to capture with my camera during this unprecedented time. My daily reports can be found in the main body of this blog.

πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 1
☀️16C ~ Wind ⇐ SE@7mph Tuesday 24th March 2020
Sunset from the moorings ~ I can think of worse places to be 'locked down'.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 2
☀️14C ~ Wind ↑SE@8mph Wednesday 25th March 2020
Great Crested Grebe ~ Several of these charismatic birds nest at the Reservoir & were seen daily.
A Peacock Butterfly warming on a rock in the early morning sunshine.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 3
☀️14C ~ Wind ←E@9mph Thursday 26th March 2020
Red Kite ~ Almost a daily sight drifting over the Marina & Reservoir during the lockdown.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 8
⛅️9C ~ Wind ←NE@10mph Tuesday 31st March 2020
This Cormorant is enjoying the calm of the reservoir now that the fishermen have temporarily departed.
Kestrel
A wonderful close encounter with this local Kestrel who I'm sure I see daily.
Another Buzzard takes to the skies.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 11
☀️☁️12C ~ Wind →W@9mph Friday 3rd April 2020
A beautiful sunset at the mooring on Day 11.
A Chiffchaff collecting nesting materials.
Another Red Kite drifts over the moorings.


Singing Coal Tit ~ A 'Lockdown List' tick at Calcutt locks while on my daily walk.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 14☀️17C ~ Wind ↘SSE@7mph Tuesday 7th April 2020
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper ~ A year first during my walk around the Reservoir on day 14.
An oddly coloured Buzzard certainly got the pulse racing as it drifted in from distance.
A Peregrine high over the Marina while sky-watching.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 16
☀️⛅️21C ~ Wind ↗NE@4mph Wednesday 8th April 2020
A Chiffchaff ~ Now well established around the locality.
Marsh Harrier ~ I was lucky enough to capture this locally rare passage bird on camera.
Marsh Harrier passes at height over the Reservoir towards Napton Hill.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 17
☀️⛅️21C ~ Wind ←E@8mph Thursday 9th April 2020
A recently arrived Willow Warbler perches briefly.
A Yellowhammer poses during my morning walk.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 18
⛅️10C to start then ☀️22C ~ Wind ↖SE@9mph Friday 10th April 2020
A Swallow, still few & far between at this stage but beginning to arrive now in small numbers.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 19
⛅️11C to start then ☀️23C ~ Wind ↖SE@1mph Saturday 11th April 2020
Tree Pipit ~ A regular passage species at the Reservoir.
Tree Pipit ~ Third year in a row I've recorded this species on passage at the Reservoir.
Drake Pochard at the Reservoir, sadly not a common sight here these days.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 21
⛅️6C to start then ☀️9C ~ Wind ↙NE@14mph ~ Gusting 20mph Monday 13th April 2020
A Greenshank at the Reservoir was a lovely surprise this morning & a terrific record for the site.
Unfortunately, the Greenshank didn't stay long before heading on his way.
House Martins began to arrive in small numbers on day 21.
This was an exceptional day for Yellow Wagtails with 7 on-site at the Reservoir
Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
My favourite image of a brilliant Day 21
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 22
⛅️7C to start then ☀️10C ~ Wind ←NE@4mphTuesday 14th April 2020
Today Dazza and I were treated to some amazing views of a day hunting Barn Owl.
Barn Owl quartering the dog exercise field at the Marina.
Barn Owl
Barn Owl
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 23
☀️2C to start then ☀️15C ~ Wind ↑S@Calm Wednesday 15th April 2020
A very stern looking Common Whitethroat greeted me as I stepped foot off the boat today.
The Whitethroat did eventually chill out and offer a song to brighten the day.
Hare ~ A much rarer sight in this part of Warwickshire these days.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 24
☀️10C to start then ☀️17C ~ Wind ←E@3mph Thursday 16th April 2020
A Treecreeper during a small walking detour along to Calcutt Spinney.
Treecreeper catches breakfast.
Two Common Sandpipers at the Reservoir are now a regular feature during my walks.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 25
☁️17C to start then 🌧15C ~ Wind ←E@14mph Friday 17th April 2020
Black Tern ~ This was by far the most productive day of Lockdown thus far!
Black Tern ~ My 1st ever sighting at Napton Reservoir and the 1st for a number of years apparently.
Black Tern ~ Rain & wind made this a well-timed and unprecedented afternoon walk at the Reservoir.
Black Tern
Whimbrel ~ Another surprise and again another 1st for me at the Reservoir. 
Whimbrel ~ Repositioning to the opposite bank.
Whimbrel ~ A second flypast before dropping in once more.
Little Gull ~ One of two passes silently overhead while enjoying the Black Tern.
Summer plumage Little Gull ~ a real surprise over Napton Reservoir
One of two Common Sandpipers on the day.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 27
⛅️5C to start then ⛅️14C ~ Wind From ↙NE@3mph Sunday 19th April 2020
Beautiful start to day 27 of Lockdown.
A Common Whitethroat sings along the hedgerow at the Marina.
Having heard them for several days in the reedbed a Sedge Warbler finally presents himself.
This Ringed Plover was one of the highlights on Day 27 at the Reservoir, Yellow Wagtail in the background.
Three distant Little Egrets passing to the east of the Marina was a fantastic record.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 28
⛅️5C to start then ⛅️14C ~ Wind From ↙NE@3mph Sunday 19th April 2020
This Oystercatcher at the marina was my 91st 'Lockdown Tick'
Oystercatcher ~ A couple of circuits of the marina before heading off.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 29
☀️8C to start then ☀️13C ~ Wind From ↙NE@8mph Tuesday 21st April 2020
A Nuthatch at Napton Church during an alternative daily walk was a welcome addition to my 'Lockdown List'. 
Many an hour on deck at the mooring sky-watching and a Red Kite passes directly overhead.
Another addition to the daily sky-watching list was this Common Buzzard.
A Little-ringed Plover passes over the mooring ~ Originally recognised by the call.
Close up of the Little-ringed Plover.
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 30
☀️5C to start then ☀️18C ~ Wind ↙NE@7mph Wednesday 22nd April 2020
The welcome sight of my 1st Swift of the year at the Reservoir on Day 30.
This Swift stayed feeding during my whole visit & offered a chance for some flight shots. 
Another Swift flight shot in the harsh morning sun.
As we end the first 30 days of Lockdown this Garden Warbler becomes species number 95.

πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 31
☀️22C ~ Wind ↙NE@3mph Thursday 23rd April 2020
A Linnet perches briefly opposite the mooring before moving on.
One of many Blackcaps seen this year ~ This one singing from the Marina grounds.
A lingering Fieldfare in the adjacent fields.
πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 32
☀️6C to start then ☀️21C ~ Wind ↙NE@5mph Friday 24th April 2020
A Common Tern at the Marina as I took my early morning walk on Day 32.
Common Tern in the early morning light. 
Playing hide & seek with this Weasel was just one of those wildlife moments.
Another view of this wily Weasel.
The unusual sight of a Common Sandpiper at the marina found feeding in the grass.
Little-ringed Plover passes to the south over the marina. 
My daily exercise today was an afternoon bike ride passing through Stockton Cutting & recording my 1st Dingy Skippers of the year.

πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 34
A break in the weather produced another glorious sunset.
πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 35
☁️9C to start then ⛅️15C ~ Wind ↘NW@7mph Monday 27th April 2020
Up close & personal with this stunning Yellow Wagtail
Amazing how nature comes to you if you just sit quietly for a while!
An excellent spring for the Lesser Whitethroat ~ This one at Napton Reservoir .
Lesser Whitethroat ~  Elusive & difficult to capture on camera.
How low can you go? ~ Birds are not the only things flying around the marina!
πŸ”’ MY LOCKDOWN DAY 38
A Common Tern resting at the Reservoir ~ Likely one of the two currently residing at the marina.

πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 39
🌦11C to start then ⛈13C ~ Wind →W@10mph Friday 1st May 2020
Stormy weather & angry skies on Day 39

After hitting a wall on 95 species ten days ago the stalemate was thankfully broken today when this Hobby suddenly appeared over the Marina.
This pristine-looking Hobby was my 96th species for my 'Lockdown List'.
Great views of Hobby over the marina on Day 39!

πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 44
☀️5C to start then ☀️20C ~ Wind ↗SE@7mph Wednesday 6th May 2020
A Tufted Duck flies in during the many sky-watching sessions on the pontoon
Spindle Ermine Moth Caterpillars during an evening walk around the marina grounds with Dazza.

πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 45
☀️6C to start then ☀️24C ~ Wind ↗SE@5mph Thursday 7th May 2020
It was a glorious day and so for my daily exercise, I decided to cycle the four miles to Taskers Meadow/Stockton Cutting in search of Butterflies and early Odonata.
(32) Dingy Skippers during my 45-minute stay.
Broad-bodied Chaser ~A year-first Dragonfly


Grizzled Skipper ~ One of four seen today.
Green Tiger Beetle ~ Always one of my favourite things to see at Stockton.
Small Blue ~ Stockton Cutting is a great place to find our smallest resident Butterfly.
This Beautiful Demoiselle was a surprise find on Taskers Meadow.
A lovely end to DAY 45 with great views of the final 'Supermoon' of the year rising over the marina.

πŸ”’MY LOCKDOWN DAY 46
☀️5C to start then ☀️20C ~ Wind ↗SE@7mph Friday 8th May 2020
A local cycle ride with Dazza on VE Day produced my 'Lockdown List' species No. 99 ~ This lovely Whinchat!
Great view of the Whinchat as he posed for a photo opportunity! 
WHEATEAR!!! ~ MY 100TH 'LOCKDOWN LIST' SPECIES ~ found by my brilliant wife Dazza.
Over the period of Lockdown, I think I've scoured every field and checked every post I've come across in the hope of finding a Wheatear or Whinchat, two species high up on my agenda. It was therefore quite remarkable that I'd see both birds within a very short distance of each other and just a few miles from the marina while actually out on a cycle ride. Thank goodness I have the good sense to carry my binoculars and my ever faithful Canon SX50 bridge camera when I'm out cycling.

It's ironic really that as Lockdown eases and I now begin to concentrate on boat maintenance and other priorities I should be lucky enough to achieve my goal of 100 'Lockdown' bird species. I can't lie to my reader Lockdown for me thankfully has been a wonderful & enjoyable experience and I repeat from a purely personal perspective!


See My FULL LIST ~ HERE