Sunday, April 24, 2011

Catch up

Well the blog has been a bit uncooperative recently and I could post a blog!
So how to catch up?

Tuesday was a quick trip out to North Cambs for Blue-winged Teal - most co-operative!
Right there in front of the hide - and turned his head to us and then had a bit of a preen before sleeping again!

We had gone to Welney first in search of the Blue throat- we appeared and someone claimed to have seen it-no sounds at all. Gave up eventually as breakfast called!
Went over to Welches Dam and whilst looking at the BWT - pager says Bluethroat showing well!
Back we race and guess what? It probably had been out for a minute or two! pooh!

Apparently a Crane had been seen - well we looked and couldn't find it- Bob went and the blokes who had told us about it came in set up scopes (we only had our bins with us- left the scopes in the car!) and said - its gone. With that so did to Weeting Heath to see if a Stone Curlew could be found. We walked in paid our money bought and ate an ice cream and reached the we went - and a Stone Curlew walked from the nest and lookedup and preened whilst we watched!
so 2/3 aint bad!

Thursday had me going to Pulborough to track down LRP and migrants. Very good too- Nightengales in full song felt like Cuckoo and Lesser Whitethroats! all new for ther year list! but also warblers, Whitethroats!
I got back in time to visit Staines Res and saw some Black Terns! NIce.
Even nicer was a full summer plumaged Slav Grebe!

Saturday was Staines Moor with Stanwell Moor! First Hobby of the year!

Now where to go on Monday - probably local and do a round up of Bedfont CP, Stanwell and Staines Moors and Staines Res! Keep an eye on the pager for anything unusual at Barnes....

Next Friday Pat and I are going to visit Sussex in order to escape a certain occasion and it will probably be Pulborough first - somewhere on the coast and then WWT at Arundel for Pat to go on the boat and do some photography!
Finish with a nice meal at the Black Rabbit and return in time for the road to be open again after a party top of my road - so my car will stay parked from Thursday afternoon if I can get a place somewhere in my road!

Now I have heard Swifts above my house for the last week or so and again above the car on Tuesday and again the other night but see them....not a chance!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Warblers at the Wetlands

This morning I thought a quick trip to the Wetlands might be a good idea.
I am going birding in Kent tomorrow to finish at my neices on the Isle of Sheppey early evening.
Well migrants are everywhere!

Whitethroat, Sedge and Garden Warblers all gave themselves up to view! All tracked down by their songs and or calls!

It was great to see the Reed Warblers outenjoying the sunshine and singing along with Blackcaps and Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs!

Lots of Butterflies about as well but no new ones!
The Frogs were in seriously loud voices too!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

More sun, migrants and Butterflies!

This afternoon I went to Barnes for a short visit and was very surprised to see a lovely adult male Ring Ouzel in the St Pauls School Playing Fields nearest to the Hammersmith Bridge (A305).

I was happy to hear and see up to 5 Willow Warblers at the Wetlands centre.

The song is spring/summer for me!

No Little Ringed Plovers but if I were a LRP I wouldn't stay around a place that is inaundated with Crows!
Far more than I ever remember at Barnes at this time of the year.
There are more Sand Martins around and Lapwings have nests.
I also saw a Brimstone Butterfly and yet more Orange Tips!

On my return journey I didn't see the Rouzel but it might have been further over by then.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Meant to say today was a good butterfly day as well!
Comma, Green veined White, Orange Tip - male what a stunner!Small white and Holly Blue!
added to my Pecocks of the other week - 6 so far!

Another flashed past me - no chance of an id - it could have been a female - I can only do males unless the female looks the same!

First Swallow(s)

Today I was able to get out in the sunshine !
This afternoon I needed to go to Bedfont Lakes CP to renew my "Friends of" sub.
This accomplished I had a really good chat with two of the staff about the birds and mammals in the park. (there is a special Nature Reserve that we friends of have access to - its open to the public on a Sunday afternoon for a ouple of hours- so its worth being a friend for the access you can have with few or no one around!
On hearing that there had been 2 swallows overhead today - this reminbded me I was on my way to Stanwell Moor to a farm where Swallows and House Martins breed.
When I arrived and walked to the sound of birdsong from hedgerows and trees and shrubs - lo there were 1,2,3 and 4 Swallows in the sky feeding! A little later I spotted one House Martin - there may have been more but I only saw one!Yet more Swallows were in the skies and displaying.

I went for a walk by the river and there were birds a plenty - Greenfinch,Chaffinch and lots of tits - Blue,Great and LTails, HSparrows,Blackbirds, Robins and Wrens.
oh and many the corvids flying over - a Buzzard and Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves(lots of these!)
Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Mallards and Coots on the lake and then I spotted a Stonechat! The first I have seen this year. My 200th bird species!

All this and BA planes taking off from nearby Terminal 5.

I then walked to Staines Moor spying a Little Egret taking off one of the pools and adding Chiffchaffs to the day list! A loud Green Woodpecker announced his presence even if I didn't actually see him!
But on my way back across the bridge a bird flew out of the trees across to another tree and a gorgeous male Redstart perched up! That was a special find!

It was then time to face the traffic home as there is quite an important football match to watch tonight!

Friday, April 01, 2011

A visiting South African goes british birding!

Sal came over to England to visit her sisters and do some genealogy! She also wanted to do some British Birding so Allan and I arranged to meet her at Barnes. Sal was staying in London for this part of her trip.Allan and his wife Catherine were joined by Sal's nephew and neice.
Thursday 31st March.
Despite the windy and rainy conditions - it got better later!
Sal was able to id some of the Birds and we added several more to her list! The funny bit was in the collection where we had to be careful of which birds she could tick and which were "plastic!".
We heard several others - Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Cetti's but no sign! As for the Reed Buntings that are all over the place they were invisible!

Ducks- Mallard, Gadwall,Shovler,Wideon,Tufted,Teal
Waders- Redshank, Lapwing
Oh yes and for the first time ever I watched a Snipe swimming!
Little and Great Crested grebes.
Cormorants and Grey Herons
Mute Swans, Coots and Moorhens.
Herring, Lesser and Greater B Gulls - (where were the BH Gulls?)
Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie and a Jay
Robin, Great ,Blue and LT Tits.
Chaffinch,Starlings and those green things that make a noise!
Canada and Greylag Geese and Mute Swans
A year tick for me - Sand Martins...
no birds of prey seen - altho someone reported a Red Kite! Sal had seen lots of those!
I may have forgotten some.....

Interesting all three of us - Sal, Catherine and I are retired teachers! (all ealy of course!)
The other area of interest is SA and Kruger-
so it was interesting to hear how Allan and Catherine fell in love with Africa( honeymoon in Kenya) and then the buying of a house within driving distance of the Kruger!

A really good day!