Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Been a bit busy!

Goodness its ages since I last blogged!

Been doing some birding but mainly its the London Mayor and Assembly elections, that have meant I havent blogged!

When I have been on-line its been to check e-mails,a few other blogs and do data inputting of one kind or another.

Normal service will be resumed at the w/e.

Plan for Saturday will be to go with Bob and watch the Osprey's nesting at Rutland.
Sunday - not sure yet....
Monday - that will be local unless a mega appears- I really dislike Bank Holiday traffic!

If you are in London VOTE FOR LONDON vote KEN on 1st May.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Duck attacked with dart survives

This act of wanton thuggery makes my blood boil.


At least the duck survived.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gwyneth Dunwoody

I heard this morning that sadly Gweneth has died.

The longest serving Woman Labour MP.

A feisty independently minded MP who really came into her own during the Blair Government.She was a great constituency MP. I wasn't a big fan when I first knew her as she was more right wing in those days and I was very left!
But she grew on one!

She was an excellent Chair of the Transport Select Committee and it was to the back benchers that she managed to keep that post when Blair tried his coup in 2001. The Government needed to have a strong Chair in a Select Committee (they might not have agreed!)

A Parliamentarian with an independent mind and spirited...She will be missed.

Mottisfont Abbey Garden, House and Estate

Yesterday a trip to Hampshire to Mottisfont

We picked the right day weather wise. As well as a look at the garden and house plus a coffee on arrival and lunch before the 6 and a half mile walk we had a really enjoyable day.

The weather actually improved as the day wore on!
The best part of the day was the 2 and a half hours where we didn't see another walker and the only people seen were a couple of drivers of cars as we crossed a lane!

We had some lovely views of woodland birds- Robin, Blackbird and the usual Tits but also Coal Tits (not usual to see then in London) and close up views of a female Kestrel in a tree, Blackcap pair obviously nesting,Chaffinch and Goldcrests, Great spot woody and Yaffles everywhere (their "Yaffle" that is!) Only Mallards seen on the river....odd I thought.Dunnocks and Wrens everywhere.

Fabulous views of soaring Buzzards.

Corvids a plenty with Rooks being the most scarce , Jackdaws and then plentiful Crows and oddly only the occasional Magpie.

There was a wood (next to part of the Estate) which had a floor full of Bluebells- stretching as far as the eye could see.

Lots of different habitats. The NT are working on bringing in hedges and natural breaks in land- some parts left au natural others coppiced and other areas are cultivated but with wildlife as a priority.

Good to see.

When I have download a few pics...they will be posted.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Migrants and Water Voles

Well the Internet has been down for over a week and I have been very busy. Some birding and we are in the midst of an Election here in London- so I have been mega busy!

Here is a Water Vole I spied at Barnes!Actually the one with carrots is from a different day and the other water voles we watched for ages and then realised there were two of them!

I have been out and about birding and finding migrants which is always fun !
No sign yet of Cuckoo altho a birding friend of mine text me the other Sat that he had heard one that day! Thanks Pete!
Barnes has become something of a mecca for migrants with Yellow Wagtails, Reed and Sedge Warblers and now today Groppers (Grasshopper Warblers) reeling and slight sitings - as they are real skulkers and Lesser Whitethroats!

Going to Staines early evening to see if any Terns are about.

Friday, April 04, 2008

water Voles!

Barnes this afternoon showed 2 Water Voles with territorial disputes!

Fortunately i was able to get a couple of good shots which i shall post tomorrow!

Sand Martins a plenty - 4 Redshanks and a Ringed Plover...couldn't see the eye ring but I know 2 LRP were on site.

So the sunny day turned out delightfully!


Feel better for that last posting and thinking Swallows....

Forgot to finish off the birding trip to Scotland. Will do later!

The Crane pic did it. Three Cranes in a field near Elgin, a family group. Mum Dad and Juv- and I remembered our 6 Cranes flying in to roost at Stubb Mill in February and the ones that called over our heads at the centre loos!

There is always something to make one feel good!

Need to cheer myself up!

Sometimes you get up in the morning and the sun is shining and the local birds are singing and then you feel kinda down. Well I do have one reason for this but that will stay with me!What I am surprised at is that I usually rise above all this doom and gloom but i didn't this morning. So I did what any sensible person might. I had a very long bath!

I do feel slightly different but I shall think of what i have in store today and tomorrow.
This afternoon I am having a practice manual camera session, with a friend. We are going to Barnes Wetlands Centre...this ensures that some birds stay still long enough for me to attempt a good shot!As Barnes is a local patch for me I shall be on the look out for migrants to add to my year list and I know I shall see Sand Martins- tho I doubt I'll get any shots of them!Still waiting for a Swallow to fly over!(Talons crossed!)
Tomorrow its out to Kent for more photography.We are going to Ashford and I hope to post a couple of shots on Sunday evening.

I really shouldn't let one letdown make me feel a bit down but I do.
I am going to my local patch now for a walk around and see if any migrants have turned up...nearby Osterley - into the Woods.Or once I am in my car it might be to
Stanwell Moor nearby is a farm where Swallows and House Martins nest I wonder if they have arrived?
And just to make me feel better- forget the photo quality think a Crane in Elgin?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sussex foray

Burton Mill Pond is a lovely site.
Bob and I went down there to spy the Bittern earlier this year.Following Bob's Easter visit he told me about the Firecrests there.
I was greeted by the sound of a male singing as I got out of my car in the Car Park. It took a while top locate it as the feisty chap whizzed about at the top of a tree.
However I really need not have worried as I spotted a confiding pair exactly where Bob had said on my walk around the Pond!

Lots of lovely birds about but sadly no new year ticks of migrants!

So to Pulborough Brooks for the coffee and loo stop!
A bonus LRP spotted there!

A short stay in Sussex as i had work to do!

Having had some pretty aweful weather since this trip I wish I had gone to Pagham first- still to see Wimbrel and Spotted Red!