Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Interruptions to blog appear reset!

Another gap but not of my intentional making! First the pc slowed to a crawl and then stopped and it had to be repaired! Then i could get into my blog to sign in as the repair had wiped all passwords! This morning I have been inspired to sort it and i have! Perhaps it was the blue sky or perhaps it is a new book I got for Christmas....."A patch made in Heaven". Dominic Couzens

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Catch up

Yes its terrible my blogging! Ok so Shetland for two weeks including a visit to Fair Isle where we were stranded for a few extra days due to high winds! What else oh two separate visits to North Norfolk coast!One during half term and the other last w/e. Finally got to see a Lancelated Warbler! A lovely Siberian Stonechat was another lifer. Both in Shetland - Lancy on FI. There was an amazingly confiding Hornemanni Arctic Redpoll on Unst. (to be continued)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Goodness its over a month

since I last posted on my blog...yes i know i get cross as it doesn't post photos quickly or even at all some times - but I usually manage a word here or there- so what occured? Short-billed Dowitcher, Monarch butterfly, Wryneck and Baillions Crake.....of which 3 were lifers! I had a lovely birthday w/e ....including a Red-footed Falcon (year tic) and prolonged views of 2 Kingfishers...2 fantastic meals one with a fantastic view over the sea.... the other brilliant company and entertaining maitre de! My Facebook page will have an album of Corinna's day out -photos by Pat Simmons oh and friends have 2 new Burmese kittens Esme and Edwin and a puppy Belgium Shepherd Enzo....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My adopted Owl

Amber - a Peruvian Striped Owl -she lives at the Chrissie's Owls and Stonesfield Owl Rescue Centre. Chrissie rescues Owls and Birds of Prey as well as keeping some Owls for her educational programme and display. More later!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Trip to Dublin to see the BOSS!

Report later

Greenwich august 6th 2012 Olympics

An amazing day and there will be other pics posted here later!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Excitement of the Olympic Torch

Last Tuesday 24th July The Olympic Torch came to Hounslow! I was a Torch Ambassador and was based in Hounslow at Bell Corner (nearest point to Hounslow Heath my ward! Dohl drums and lots of Dancing and Channi singing - very good natured crowds except at 12 when latecomers tried to push in front of people who had been there for 2 and a half hours! I was there from 9.30 and I knew the first comers! David Hughes another Cllr joined me about 10 he helped look after my backpac when I had to cross the road or go and find the Mayor Cllr Pritam Grewal and his better half Cllr Ajmer Grewal when the police looked like they might tow the Mayor's car away! It was great - I will put i a link to a short film of the event (I am there for a millisec!) some pics from me- a couple of other photos and hopefully some lovely photos that a friend Pat Simmons took in Isleworth on the London Road near to where we both live. If you are on facebook - go to London Borough of Hounslow's site - and see the links. Hounslow are also following three olympians Rajiv Ouseph(badminton) who lives in Hounslow- Mo Farrah who grew up in Hounslow and went to school here and began his Athletic career here and Alan Campbell single sculler who has tidal connections to us!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Finland /N.Norway May/June 2012

Well I now discover why I have real trouble up loading pics and photos onhere- they are too big - so i have to go back and resize lots of pics and a few photo's then I will try again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One of the joys of the trip to SFinland and N.Norway was meeting and befriending Someka Onoda and Emiko Nishikawa plus her husband Mr Nishikawa. I post some photos of Ruff in breeding plumage- a first for me and taken by Someka. I am sure you will enjoy some of the owls that will be posted next!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Back from the far north!

Just recovering on the sofa after a brilliant trip to the far North of Finland and Norway! Will be posting some photo's and trip report - thanks to Glenn Overington of Shetland Wildlife and Pirita and Petri from Finnature for some great times- great driving and finding the sites where we all found some birds! I think mine were generally raptors! lol!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Life is very hectic

I have been very busy birding being very involved in a campaign to save a Nature Reserve from masive overdevelopment and generally. Hands off our Triangle or HOOT is working with local residents, a variety of other groups, London Wildlife Trust to save Gunnersbury Triangle LNR from over development. THe Triangle is on Hounslow land and managed for us by LWT. The massive development is in Ealing. The planning Committee meets this wednesday evening to decide - I am hoping for Deferral which would mean that the developers would see the light and set the flats back further and take off a couple of stories. It still has to go to the Mayor of London for final approval. If it is refused the Developers will appeal and as Ealing Officers are recommending approval it will no doubt be approved by the inspectors- unless we can find some technical hitch! Hounslow Council has sent in a strongly worded objection. I have been helping as much as I can in the fight. Cllr Ruth Cadbury who is presently Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council joined ous on Hoots Silent Vigil or demo on Saturday morning when the Planning Committee were doing a site visit. Over 120 people came for the Vigil including local residents actor Rula Lenska and Theatre director Rebecca Frayne. On Sunday David Lindo (The Urban Birder) posed for photos with me and our Hoot leaflet. On 31st March he visited the Triangle (see his blog report!) and will be leading a walk here in August. There will be an event at the Triangle to celebrate 100 years of The Wildlife Trust on Wednesday morning.
Ruth Cadbury RebeccaFrayne Rula and Jan Hewitt ....Jan has tirelessly campaigned to Save the Triangle from this massive development. She and I are on the Gunnersbury Triangle steering Committee with lots of lovely people all dedicated to the Triangle. There are volunteers who turn up every morning collect a black bag and litter pick so the Reserve is always clean and tidy for visitors except for the people who do litter at night! I liked the childrens posters the little boy is very worried about "his Bats" . All ages were there including a lovely older citizen who could have done with a chair.
I will post about Sunday next!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Elmley - Black-winged Stilt

Here is the female BWS who showed reasonably if at distance - whilst the male showed his head for a brief couple of seconds!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

There have been a number of issues with this blog recently and I was unable to unload any photos - so I posted them om Facebook! I have not gone anywhere other than local birding apart from a run up the m25 to Stockers lake. But at least i am begining to gather in the migrants - altho I am a long way behind my birding mates on our year listing numbers they are on 204 and 205 and I am somewhere in the 160's!Thast due to not driving far and also having to do lots of civic duties! Altho I know that missing geese will be picked up in the Autumn/winter and I am going to Shetland for a fortnight in October so I expect to claw back quite a lot of species later in the year! Still I have managed to squeeze in local trips and Common and Arctic terns were at Staines Res the other day!Terns are a favourite of mine - so delicate! I have been watching the Fulham and Barnes Peregrines on webcast - just awaiting Charlie and Tom's eggs to hatch! My Coal Tits are now regular in the garden - which is great. I also want to spend a long w/e in midweek if that makes sense in Norfolk with a friend during October half term. I have also thought about a trip to West wales to include Skomer in we will see.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ham House

Its Tuesday on a holiday and it was atrip to a National Trust property - this time near home! Ham House. Well a very interesting house with quite a lot of history. some pics to follow! If I were you I'd google it and read all about the interesting items on show!

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

A rare bird and migrants!

I was going to visit Stanwell Moor and Staines Reservoirs today. I missed a phone call from Bob last night as I was at a Dinner Party!
I rang him this morning after collecting my new glasses- he had been thinking about going for the Gull in Lincs---but as it was a bit elusive we wanted to wait a bit for it...and he was free tomorrow and I was free on Monday!
I said I was going to Stanwell Moor and he mentioned a Rouzel! Not looked at pager and there was a rare bird on a local patch- we agreed to go together in the afternoon.

No pics - sorry every bird was either scoped or just too quick for a pic altho I had camera with me!

Now weather was overcast and cloudy with threat of rain -so a bit miserable- well Bob and I ended up not a bit miserable.
So to Stanwell Moor and since nothing on the pager since the morning it was a wonder moment- until we met a birder and the Ring Ouzel had been seen!On our way Bob spotted a bird and we were sure it was a Willow Warbler and finally the legs were seen! Good! a year tick for us both!
We spotted a birder watching something and as we approached - Bob saw the target and scope views in case it flew off! We both got better and closer views.Relief.
We meet some birders Bob knew -and so to try for Hirundines at my Farm!
Last visited the other week. Nothing new at all until on the way out - as we passed the Farm I spotted a Hirundine- "BOB" - up bins and we said House Martin! Yes and then Bob said look a ........"Swallow " both males and great to see back!migrants are us!
4 year ticks!

Off to Staines Reservoirs - I wanted LRP's and Bob was not really bothered but would like a Common Tern!
As I said on Facebook earlier - I have not seen LRP's in the last couple of weeks - dipping them- but rather like buses....(when 3 come along!) we saw 4 - at first....but actually the total was 8 - eight! 4 Ringed Plovers - very tricky trying to count them as they kept whizzing aound.

Also seen The Shag - still resident - adult Little Gull and a couple of 1st winters- 3 Black-necked Grebes resplendant in full breeeding plumage- a scaup...oh yes a lovely male Wheatear and a Water Pipit plus (from the farm- a white headed Wagtail all beautifully marked)....and a male Mandarin - bob not seen one in 35 years birding at Staines Res!
All together a lovely afternoon...also collected Andrew Moon (thats a serious piece of camera and lens!)

Very happy birder!

WWT Barnes

Was it Tuesday? I think so!
Garganey and Wheatear at Barnes!
Thanks to Geoff Trigg for his photos of the Garganey - I was in between meetings so no camera for me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Allsorts of local places and a trip to Sussex

Well its been an interesting week bird wise!
Starting last Thursday with my saunter around Isleworth I have also
been to Hounslow Heath and Bedfont Lakes CP as well as Sussex.

I have seen Water Vole, Fox and Rabbit and Adder. Peacock, Red Admiral and Small White.
Special birds Paddyfield Warbler, Little Gull, Chiffchaff,Treecreeper(I always have trouble with this one!), RL Buzzard plus some waders I would usually have seen by now!
Tomorrow looks like a trip to Barnesafter coffee with a friend (perhaps seeing a Wheatear first light) - Gosh life can be so hard!

At Barnes heard Chiffchaff and Cetti but no Sand Martin which was the target bird!

Still no Wheatear!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Interesting w/e

First for the garden- a Coal tit in fact it was here on Sunday as well!

Even got a record shot!

Today went to see if I could see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Well did better than that saw both the male and the female and heard ther male calling and a brief drum!

Very please as the male was around for 20-25 mins and the female for about 5 mins!
Superb views but too high for my camera!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A day out in Kent

A good day out in Kent today - target birds Lapland Bunting and Glaucous Gull seen!
Possible Snow Geese flock - not seen! Hooded Merganser went yesterday!

Met Bob at 7.30 and as the Hooded M had not been seen yesterday we decided to go straight to Sheppey and await news on the pager! We arrived and drove up the tracjk to Elmley spotting Red-legged Partridges - also a small male Peregrine who was causing constenation among the Lapwings and other birds! Unfortunately no sign of Rough-legged Buzzards.
Got to the CP at Elmley went to see if any sign of Little owl- none and nothing on the list of birds seen this year.

Off to the other end of Sheppey to see if we could discover the Lapland Buntings.
Parked up near MManor and walked about 800 yds towards the RSPB conservation field past ploughed farm fields- then we tried 300 yrds towards the sea - and looked at the obvious field- there was activity and we both saw what we thought were Buntings - one was a Lapland - so we went towards the gates and walked along the ridge between the fields. We saw Corn Buntings- Skylarks and Linnets and then another Lapland and then we kept seeing Lapland Buntings we thought we must have seen 12plus.
A very good bird for Sheppey today!

We also enjoyed a Hare in the same field!

We then walked back to the car and we saw Marsh Harriers and then we saw a Hen Harrier.

Off to Dungeness - first call to see if the Snow Geese were any where to be seen - up and down the Denge Marsh Road and then over to Scotney.
So then to the beach to see if we could track down the long staying 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull. We walked towards the beach by the fishing boats next to the sea and saw Lee (he said he had walked everywhere looking for the gull and for ages!) there was a digger going backwards and forwards and as it came forward both Bob and I saw 2 gulls - one huge and Bob said its here and I could see the bulk of a Glock! Bob called to Lee and told him we had the bird! I took some record shots.
On the beach nearby were Turnstones! (strangely a year tick for me!)
Then the Glaucous flew off a distance and we were able to track him and look at him again through scopes.

Happy we went to Dungeness and spotted some of the Tree sparrows but they were elusive so we drove on and at the same time as Bob braked quite hard and I saw a BITTERN out in the open! Camera out and Bob opened his window and I shot across him! Very happy with these photos! Amazing views!

To the centre for a coffee and I was able to show the 2 women working there both the Glaucous as well as the Bittern. Bob was searching for signs of any of the 3 Caspian Gulls that had been seen yesterday. Eventually he said look at the gull on the left of this group...dark eye, head shape, forehead shape - we were both sure a Caspian!

We stopped by the Farm to watch the Tree Sparrows and I was able to get a few record shots!

Finally we went to the Beach to do some sea watching- 300plus Great Crested Grebes - lots of Cormorants - Kittiwakes and some Herring Gulls - 2 Gullimots ------

A good day and whilst we missed some birds we had hoped to connect with we also saw some great birds.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A dip and some new year ticks

Well that Paddyfield Warbler continues to elude me! (29/02/12)

It was the rain and winds early morning and a so called sighting of a millisecond 30 mins before we got there all pointed to a dip.

Bob found a Yellow-legged Gull and a few birders he knew but that was it!

So we went to Worthing to try for a sussex tick - a Yellow-browed Warbler! Yup get in!

Then it was shall we eat as Bob was hungry- to Pulborough Brooks and nice food!

WE hoped the firecrest that had been about might still be there and lol it was - great alert by his call and then fleeting glimpses and then there he was all perched up and feisty looking!

Paddy needs time - I hope we might be somewhere nearby when it shows well in the sunshine - or something more tantalising for Bob appears nearby- he is not encouraged by the amount of cover and the apparent skulky nature of a bird he dont need!
No pics as all too far or quick for my camera!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A lifer finally!

Well I know the blog has been silent for a while.
Forgot that I hadn't blogged even the birding I had done! We went to see a Spanish Sparrow in Hants and a Dark-eyed Junco in the Forest!

Generally not done a lot of birding - usually I do lots at this time of the year but not this year-
Mainly due to work committments, not very good general health and a Cataract op and recovery!

So my birding mates have seen 170 odd birds this year and I now have reached 120!

Common Yellowthroat has now been seen- get in! We spent a very wet Saturday seeing nowt but common birds plus a stunning male Bullfinch! We went to an equally soggy Forest of Dean. Well dipped I ought to call Saturday - I added 4 birds including Lesser Scaup and Pintail from Slimbridge to the year list.

On Monday found me back in South Wales in the fields as on Saturday but this time..................

A Common Yellowthroat! Get in! First seen in flight then a bounce and hide and finally that crackling yellow (real yellow!) throat! Finally a scope view! After about 10 mins of skulking and a show and more skulking the battery of camera noises finally sent him upwards and to the back of a bush. THat was it! But what a stunner!

So then back to Forest of Dean......and Goshawks! Lovely beautiful Goshawks we had a male....then I spotted a pair ....then the pair moved down the ridge and we had wonderful scopefilled views of a large female and her mate!
Not so many Ravens today but lots of Buzzards - but they were noticeably absent when the Gos were about! Crossbills! I have seen so many Crossbills this year!

Then I dipped the Dipper again- but more to do with not being able to negotiate the muddy water filled track to go down the last part of the I contented myself with a nice showy Grey Wagtail the posed for my camera!

Then to Brieley Wood for 4 kinds of Tit, Siskins, Bramblings, Redpolls and Hawfinch!

Nice visit!
Oh and Redwings and Fieldfares!....

so now on 120 for the year but most birds my mates have are ones I ought to get this year eventually!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trip to Hants!

Briefly had a brilliant days birding on Thursday with Bob and Geoff. Spanish Sparrow, Dark eyed Junco, plus Ferruginous Duck, Bittern, Whooper and Berwick Swans, Hawfinch, Crossbills (more than I have seen probably for ever!) Siskins, Redpolls and lots more!

Thanks to Nick Bond for the Junco photo!
I need to download the Crossbils!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Staines Reservoir

Seen today
Shag, Blacknecked Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Tufted Ducks and Scaup.

No sign of the reported Water Pipits!