Friday, May 09, 2008

A day in Sussex that ended on Sheppey!

A planned trip to Sussex had to be changed to Thursday.

I left early morning to travel to Midhurst - parking in their free car park i saw a Kestrel hunting in the field...the first of many Kestrels I saw throughout the day.
After a good breakfast I was off- nearby is a good site for Dartford Warblers and on looking from the car park I immediately spotted one! Then there were two - a pair! Unfortunately no sign of Tree Pipit, my other main target here.

On to Pagham - where I saw lots of Terns including among the Commons - Little and Sandwich.Very little off the coast - in fact it was so choppy that I doubt I would have seen anything anyway...just not high enough - a nice tower would be good!
However the sound of a Whimbrel above my head was welcome indeed as was the sighting - my first this year!
Lots of nesting activity.

Wandered around looking in channels abd seeing lots of waders - but nothing new for the year!Where are the green Sandpipers when you want to see 'em?
Then a pair of Turtle Doves flew over.
In the Churchyard a Spotted Flycatcher was catching .....flies!

In to the Visitors centre and found that the most updated list was for Monday - no help there then!

Over to Pulborough - it was a planned visit but helpful that Temminck's Stints I didn't see on Sheppey on Sunday were still being reported as present.

A walk towards Nettley Hide and at Jupp's View I joined another birder who hadn't been there long we were than almost immediately joined by another birder - Common Sandpiper...and then the secong chap said got one! We all got onto one in front of a Canade Goose...then later we spied another two! Great.

I had heard and seen a couple of Nightingales on my way around but still not sight nor sound of a Cuckoo!

As I was leaving Pulborough I looked at the pager- Collared Pratincole- Swale NNR.
This would be a UK Lifer -having seen lots in Espana as well as a very good Kent tick. So by a slight diversion I was on my way home!

Arriving on Sheppey to see said bird hawking for flies! Great!

Many thanks to Derek Faulkner the finder.

Then it was home to try to beat the rush hour traffic.

A fabulous day weather wise and certainly a great day birding wise!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Birding makes you feel good.

I shall not say a lot about London Elections. I am very sorry to see Ken go. Just glad that Labour GLA members held their seats and we actually gained Brent and Harrow.

I was utterly dismayed to see Johnson win and to see the BNP take an Assembly seat.

I wait and see now.

Altho I have to say what a farce is the count. Electronic counting ought to be quicker than hand counting...well I certainly didn't observe that. I have seen exam marking speeded up with electronic counting but that was a farce on Friday!
Felt sorry for the workers who had to do it!

Birding makes you feel good.

Bob and i went to Rutland Water to see the Ospreys nesting there!
We saw the female on her eggs and the male came in with another stick for the nest (the nest is at least 10 feet high!) He perched on the nearby triangle stick and then they cpoulated and then he flew off ...we hoped to fish...but after flying around for 5 mins he perched up on a stump on a tree and watched!

Still a pair of Ospreys!

There were lots of Common Terns about and we managed to find one Arctic. I finally have seen a Swift!

(lots of other birds in fine plumage particularly The great crested grebes!

We then went to Eyebrook Reservoir where we knew there was a Green-winged teal. A nice male to look for so we spotted some Teal and there was the one with the white on the shoulder! We then got the scope on it to look properly!

Here as we drove slowly around the res were hedges full of Whitethroats...we saw at least 30and there were others! The air was full of their songs!

We had views of Hobby here as well.

We dropped in at a couple of other places around Rutland Water. 6 Black terns were also seen....such a pretty bird...I love Terns..

We saw Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and with Osprey and Hobbies we finished with at least 5 Buzzards and a Red Kite.
6 Birds of prey - makes one feel great!

We were enjoying a cup of coffeee and a scone when we spied on the pager
Dotterels in the as they were not too far away and we were on our way home.....

Interesting as we walked towards the pea field the pair were reported in I saw a couple walking towards us from the field...yes I recognised a male birder...Daz!
It was good to see him and Katie even if briefly!
Forgot to ask if Katie had managed a pic!

Well the pair of Dotterels were visible on a slight ridge but mainly their heads and when the female looked directly at us we could see her breast band. She was a picture! Thet were very wary. So we didn't stay long as we didn't want to cause them any stress and let them feed.

I see no reports from there today.

A lovely bird!

So what appeared in Kent on our travels a pair of Black-winged Stilts. That clinched where I was going on Sunday (today) I will blog about today later.