Monday, March 29, 2010

Last thursday - Dungeness

Rain and more rain and then torrential rain....what were we doing?
Birding from the car - apart from in the gaps!

Still female Yellowhammer - at the Farm on Welland Marsh -and Corn and Reed Buntings by the score and Chaffies and some Tree sparrows and House......

then Black Redstarts and Wheatears at the power station.....

Swallows and One Sand Martin over the Arc Pit......and then a Kittiwake over the sea...


Penduline Tit, Garganey and LRP!

Torrential rain on Motorway on way back home - so we dived off at Leatherhead! Glad it was Bob driving!

Still when you cant pick your day........

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trip to Bucks

Well it was off to the annual visit to Foxcote Reservoirs....why not Foscote?

A certain adult male Ring-necked Duck spends his winters here and he is a jolly fine duck! So off we set this morning in sunshine! The birds that greeeted us were a pair of Bullfinches...glimpsed by me.
We then spent considerable time seeking the R_N D- being joined in the hide by a couple of workmen from the being very local and friendly and wanting to know about what we were looking for and what we had seen and telling us what he knew- he had seen a couple of Martins fly over earlier - not sure which-he was quite knowledgeable....for a non birder...a countryman who like nature. We eventually located said duck and the chaps were able to look in our scopes and see him.

They stayed for a while before going back to work. Bob thought he had seen a female scaup - so we worked hard to locate her and there she was - 1st winter! Great!

On route back we rediscovered the Bullfinches and got very good views of the pair!

3 ticks!

We spent time watching the GCGrebes almost dancing! Goldeneyes and Shovellers and Widgeon and various other ducks...tufted and otherwise!

off to Tring reservoirs hopeful of hirendines....none - but we had a nice lunch of Shepherds Pie and veg with a splendid cuppa!

Then it was off to the Chilterns.....over 150 + Red Kites seen and 4 Buzzards with some Kestrels.....corvid city again - altho Rooks and crows most numerous.

We ended the day seeking and finding a pair of Willow Tits.

4 Year ticks and some good birding!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A sunny day and a Hoodie!

Hooded Merganser - asleep until the food was produced!

The Glaucous Gull from Norfolk

A couple of record shots! He was big!

A lifer and other birds in Dorset.

A Bufflehead - yes adult male down in Dorset. A lifer on the Fleet. So for our birding trip for the week Bob and I went to Dorset.
We got to the parking place near Moonfleet Manor Hotel (via Morrisons for breakfast - v cheap and very good!) and there was a birder who Bob had seen at a number of other places - they chatted about....yes Lynx again!
Jules was mentioned again....I think it might be because I now have a sticker re Olivaramatours on the back of my car! So twice in two weeks it has been a starting point for conversations!

A walk along the coastal path and round a corner and there were several birders - some on the foreshore bank and some on the top. There was the object of our attention....a male adult Bufflehead along with his pals a male Merganser and three females!

There were number of Swans there - mutes - no doubt from the Swannery down the road!

Little egret in te background. Then it was off to the Bill!

On route back we meet the birders from the car park...and Bob got to exchange emails!

At the Bill- there were Shags, a pair of Razorbills and several hurtling Guillimots - all going at a 100mph!

Apart from Gulls - GBB and Herrings.....not a lot else then Rock Pipits calling and there was one, two three!

On to the other side by the cafe....on the flat rock Purple Sandpipers - two...still better than no Purple Sand!

We then parked the car nearer the obs and went for a walk along the cliffs....Rock pipit....Rock pipit - well there were lots!

They were in breeding plummage and looking very lovely indeed!

To Radipole....for a coffee/hot chocholate and biscuits and a short walk to see the Hooded Marganser - who whatever the provenence....I like very much! So it was some sunflower seeds into the water ....the Mallards picked off the top but the boy he went off diving for the seeds that went t the bottom!

Then it was off on the journey home!

A sunny day and made all the nicer by lovely scenery being down by the sea and seeing new birds for the year! Oh and a lifer!


The Fleet followed by 2 record shots of the Bufflehead - thats the one with the big white patch on its head!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Forest of Dean and a couple of Duck dips!

Wednesday at 7am found me at Bob's on route for our annual winter trip to the Forest of Dean...except of course this was now Spring!
Targets the same as ever - Goshawk, Raven, Crossbill, Mandarin and Dipper.

A40/M40/A40 our route down - usually we go on a Sunday so it was interesting(!)doing it mid week.We must have seen 50 Red Kites on route! Some very close. Such a lovely
We ate Breakfast at our usual Little Chef at Burford - which is a converted old Barn and the food is good!
Buzzards eventually replaced RK as we neared and entered Gloustershire.

Our first stop was New Fancy Raptor Watchpoint - where we arrrived as Lee Evans was leaving-he spotted my sticker for Olivaramatours and then Bob - who he recognised and there followed a conversation about the Espana Lynx .....I changed into my wellies and got organised whilst they chatted.
We located a couple of Gos, a buzzard or 2 - then at least 3 pairs of Ravens flew over around and past us. A close male and female Crossbill perched up.
Whilst Bob watched a Goldcrest - his first for the year(I still havent seen one!) I saw an Owl - well I called it a lady next to me saw it fly into the trees and Bob dipped! Damn because my first though was seo - and then we thought LEO as the habitat is right for LEO - the flight is right for either but I didn't get agood view of its head! so Owl sp it became!

Bob and I walked down into the Forest and saw lots more Crossbills and all the variety of Tits except the Willow!(no Swingers but then they aren't really tits!)

Then it was onto Speke House and in the arboratum there were so many Nuthatches we both decided we had never seen so many in a day before! Thrushes of all varieties - except for Fieldfares altho we soon saw many of those as well!

Past Cannop Ponds were we were able to see Mandarins from the road and on to Park End to see the lovely Dipper behind the pub.

Then it was up to the Church where we did see some large Finches take off but couldn't really id them but we both thought Hawfinches!

Back to New Fancy and very distant views of Gos - a bit disappointing as we didn't see them displaying.Thena Male Siskin displayed in front of us and perched up- we had it in our scopes and what a delightful bird he was in all his finery - that clear green and yellow and black! Beautifully marked head. Yes as the sun came out!
Then he was replaced by a male Crossbill - much closer than the mornings bird! Great.

A small flock of Hawfinch flew over - yes defo!

Now the time was 3.30 where too?

A Green -wing teal was at Slimbridge and a Ring-neck female at Frampton (well the Ring-neck was commuting between Slim and Frampton!
Ok - off to Slimbridge - its further than you think so we got there with 15 mins to the close! Well it would have been ok - but most of the Teal were sillouetes!
Dipo. off to Frampton and search for the RND.....well tens of hundreds of diving ducks and another dip. So we ajourned to the Bell and ate Duck! Well it was Gressingham!

A lovely meal and a good days birding despite the dips - we should have gone for the ducks earlier!

Still the year list struggled over 140.....

Thursday morning saw me in Finchley to catch the solitary Waxwing which I thought I had missed earlier in the week.