Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Hunt for a UK lifer!

On Thursday evening Bob and I discussed a trip to Suffolk.
It as in 1991 that Bob saw his Short-toed Treecreeper - and many more in Espana. Me well I have seen a few in Espana and none in the Uk so it was a no brainer where we would be starting on Friday.
I had been tempted on Thursday when news came through but I was committed to going to Rainham (hopefully for Garganey's) and I had to be back in time to go to a meeting for 7.30pm.
We went vis North cicular to M25 and M11 and then A14 - what a good way to get to Felixstow nice and straight forward! We arrived just before 10am - parked near to the Compound and was watching the ST Treecreeper within 5mins! Brilliant!2 people stayed where they were and got us on to the bird whilst some had run round to all the others on the other side- they couldn't have seen the bird then.
We watched it moving about up the trees and then it perched right up and suddenly flew off around the Fort!
Nice! 398 BOU Life List!
So at this after a wander around the Fort it was off to the Suffolk coast.
Sizewell - where we watch Black Redstarts - were amazed at the numbers of Kittiwakes on the towers out at sea- and had a nice cuppa with a Ham and cheese toasty!
Off to Minsmere to see what was about - nothing in particular but we went to a hide to see Avocets for Bob's year list and then to the sea where Bob picked up a Black throated Diver off the beach! Yaarr! we also had some Red-throated divers begining to turn into their lovely summer plumage!
Finally it was Dunwich - a long walk to the water wotsits.....where we watched a beautiful Hen Harrier hunting- lots of skylarks a few Mipits and then Redshanks, Lapwings anf yes Ring Plovers! all displaying and creating a merriment of sounds plus gulls ducks and geese! and then a couple of Snow Bunting tumbling - a male Marsh Harrier was above some trees and then Bob went onwards to try to locate a couple of Penduline Tits (dipped) and I sat down to watch the birds - shingle does have its uses!
A flock of Twite flew past landed and then flew on!

Eventually we met up again and drove over to Dunwich Heath looking unsucessfully for Stonechats!

A good day though as the weather was sunny and warm mainly but best of all lacking wind and not wet!

Rainham - oh yes a pair of Garganey's!
Hen Harrier distant over the Thames and not really much else!
Too many people (with push chairs and walking about) !

On Tuesday in osterley park my first Peacock butterfly of the year and then on Wednesday one in my Garden, another at Rainham. No other Butterfly seen by me yet!
Bob has had a couple of others - help another listing competion! (This is one I have no hope of winning!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Up date

Trip to Dungeness on Friday ensured that I managed to catch a Penduline Tit and Black Redstart but missed most of the migrants that I saw appear on my pager or when I got home!I really wanted a Black throated Diver or a Pom Skua but no new sea birds for me!
I had a little run down to Devon on Saturday afternoon to overnight to collect a sighting of some nice Cirl Buntings and the female Surf Scoter off Dawlish.
My visit to Portland was unusually rewarded with Hoopoe and Wheatear plus more Black Redstarts!
I was tempted to go for the Little Gull at Chichester but directions were not good - if I had realised where it actually was I would have found it!
Still some good birding in better weather!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Another catch up!

Well a saunter(not!) out to Essex today and a Green-winged Teal!

Now I have a chance of catching up with the birds that Bob managed to see when he had some time to go birding when I was working!

Not that he had connected with the Slaty-backed - but then if he had gone on Wednesday 16th - when he was on the Isle of Sheppey -I reckon we would have met up at the car park at Rainham! Instead he had 6 hours on the following Monday not seeing it.

Now Coue's Arctic Redpoll - would be nice for the year list. First Coue's seen by me was in 2005 at Titchwell where I had Lesser, Mealy and Arctic all in my scope at the same time!That was an experience.
Although my first Hornemanni Arctic was stunning - especially as it was on Unst(2009) and the 1st winter would probably never seen a human before!

So I am trying to see if I can get to Richmond Park tomorrow afternoon to seek out a bird that was seen on Friday - although I see it is still on the pager as probable. Better get over to Johnny Allan's blog and see what he has to say about the bird!

Following Bob about.

Well I couldn't go birding on Saturday and Bob couldn't go on Sunday. Independently we managed to decide to go for the rather nice looking Ferruginous Male Duck in Suffolk.
Bob picked up on a Green winged Teal on the way back.
Me well I scored a Green Sandpiper!
I hear there are some doubts about the "pure" GWT. I await further information- I havent spoken to Bob re this and as he is off to Espana for a while we may not get to discuss this bird in detail until he gets back!
(no doubt an email or two may flitter across the Bay of Biscay!)

May be visiting Richmond Park later today to see if an Coue's Arctic Redpoll is still about- it appears very elusive.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Isleworth Waxwings the sequel!

Now for something completely different!

Why different they are my record shots this afternoon on a local birding expedition!

After my further afield exploits it was interesting to see Waxwings back in Isleworth.
There are few berries about but these birds find them!

Oh yes bit behind on my blog....
now what has been occuring a day when Bob and I searched for two bird species that are sadly becoming scarce locally in the south of england!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit both found in sensitive places. We are sworn to secrecy!

Monday saw me return to seek out an Iceland gull despite the weather and Bob and I deciding we were not going anywhere. I had a day off so why not I thought - cant bear dipping! Iceland gull was where Bob had described and I had spent considerable time seeking it- on Monday bird was forgiving! I was looking for a 1st winter when in reality the bird is turning into a second year plumage!Still there it was- phew.....

oh and did I say I saw the White-tailed Eagle? I did? and yes I did!
I love raptors!

Shame about the Waxwings locally was my photographer friend was going pout tonight so not returning home after work but anyway they had flown off at 3.30.