Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Spotted Crake

Finally spotted!

Got to the hide with coffee by 10am sat in desired spot - scope sorted and watched...bloke thought he saw it...on the island (but it had been reported in the usual spot..looked I saw Snipe(s) and a wisp of Water Rail!

Back to watch spot and there it was briefly - told people and one woman with scope managed to see the spot and a bit of bird - few mins later and it was there again and several were able to look in my scope and see it!

All now knew where...I vacated spot and finished my coffee on the way back to the car!

3rd time lucky.

This evening pager goes off mega on Shetland (will disappear in a day or so) - it begins!

Willet (?) anyone - altho I am not fussy really I am not - there are lots of birds that would be good - year list - Life list or - Shetland list (which is on none - so I must get some!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A holiday and a dip plus a few birds for the year list!

Well its been a bird hunting week....dipping Spotted crake - twice - going to go again on Monday (3rd time lucky - now I know where it hides and where to sit in the hide...)LOL!

But I have seen White-rumped Sandpiper in Essex and Glossy Ibis in Kent and a Yellow browed Warbler at Barnes so not all bad!

Another trip out to Kent tomorrow. Will report back later.

I am getting very excited as I go to Shetland or is it I go to the Shetlands(?)next Saturday - for 2 whole weeks! I will be visiting a few of the different islands as well as a few days on Fair Isle! Hoping the winds change direction by then and there are lots of rare or scarce birds to be found as well as the usual local wildlife. Talons crossed for some cetaceans to be seen from the shore.

This is my first real holiday this year and I think it will be brill - its my first visit there and I am looking forward to all aspects of the culture as well as the wildlife.

Excited I am!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Forest

Saturday was a day spent with friends - including one from Derbyshire down for a w/e.

Meeting at 8am - 8.10 I finally ring I am in the Car am I. Now we discover there are two car parks!

My friend has been watching a Treecreeper and I a variety of woodland birds including a noisy Jay!

We go for a walk where there are dozens of Stonechats and a few Dartford Wrblers. My friend has only ever glimpsed a DW before on a twitch (they are very rare in Derbyshire!) Now she is happy having seen one in my scope - so much so she now finds another one of her own!

We also have good views of Wrens and one Woodlark - which I get in my scope but as it doen't ave its crest up and its its back view with stuff in the front I am not convinced that friend will count it!

All 5 friends meet for coffee then go to Keyhaven to look at the sea - watch out for any birds - and see the Needles and a large lump that goes for the IOW.

Not a lot about - it was by now hot....august type hot andlots of locals and others...less birds - altho some Little Egrets were nice.

So it was off to the Smugglers Inn where we had a good lunch.Dragons by the stream....

A drive through the New Forest - ponies to the right , ponies to the left, ponies in the middle of the road!

I returned home by 5.30 having had a loely day in the sun...seen some birds but more importantly seen friends again.

(now where is that camera cable....?)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beddington Farmlands and Beddington Bird Group

Thought I'd do something useful whilst waiting for cat to stop being sick.
So I surfed the net and discovered the Dip or glory had another site (see above)
click on the word here! it was't working should be now!

so I thought well I dont get there often but these guys deserve all the support they can get - real urban birders...alth on a good day it can feel like the countryside!

So a bit more advertising for a great bunch of birders - read about their work - cheers.

Oh and yes they get lots of gulls!

Tufted Puffin in Kent

where was I going this am?
Shellness/oare ....didn't get up as was awake most of the night! so decided Barnes -i am there dipping a spotted crake when the pager goes off.....Tufted Puffin --where (?)

I go home to sort out cats and go....when I look and see - seen for 15mins and then flew west....ok have time to sort myself out...and then a cat is sick!

so - I dont go.
Twitch all day at home hoping cat will be ok...(probably will but have to see!)

still no sign of bird....thats why they call it twitching.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Local Birding

Having been down to Kent to catch a Dotterel - and over to Dunge to see GWE and Red-backed Shrike. I wondered where I would go on my birthday!

I decided against Stodmarsh and a Glossy Ibis for local patch birding in the hope I might just find something special!

So Stanwell Moor and Staines Res were the two local patches picked today.

Well no rare finds however I was pleased with spotting a juv Whinchat perched high in a tree on my way out of the Moor. This was followed by finding a juv Whinchat at Staines as I arrived!

The trees and bushes on the Moor were full of birds.
A delightful Tit flock kept me amused for ages as I spotted Great, Coal and Long-tailed before finally finding a couple of Blues! Amidst this flock were half a dozen Linnets who flew off together into an ajoining bush.There were Willow Warblers a plenty as well.

In another part of the Moor a Green Woodpecker was calling and a Kestrel was hunting.

Then on the way back a Kingfisher flew low above the river flashing brilliant blue!

On the path just over the first bridge on the route back were Wrens, Robins and Blackbirds calling and appearing in bits! It took a while before I saw a whole bird. Then it was the turn of the Reed Warblers and yet more Willow Warblers flitting in the trees.

On arrival screeching RNParakeets had greeted me - not seen any for a week now.
There were dozens of House Martins stocking up on insects over and near to King George Res....the odd flyover Mute Swan and then the noisy Canada Geese.

On the way out I spotted a bird high in a tree and once the scope was on the bird a juv. Whinchat.

Off to Staines I was struck by the number of Great Crested Grebes with some juvs.
Wigeon a plenty as well....I searched for a nice wader or two and had to settle for Lapwings!

The weather was cloudy and overcast - with intermittant showers. I think I counted up to 35 species seen this morning.

Only person I saw on the moor was actually arriving as I was looking at the Whinchat.
The Staffie decided my trousers smelt exciting (cats and dogs I expect!) and the Rottweiler arriving later looked interested in my tripod! The bloke with them turned out to be a nice young man who was quite interested in birds - "dont know all the names but there are nice birds of prey here" he then went on to ask what are these?
"House Martins - look at the white on them" ....then it was all about the swallows gathering in August and September...

Off to Staines were there were Pied Wagtails entertaining as ever lots of Canada Geese and assorted Ducks....oh and the juv. Whinchat.

I did think about Barnes but decided against it today.

Kent birders are getting excited at seawatching this week - so Thursday looks like the day to go - Shellness? Reculver? or will I make Foreness early enough...looks like an early rise! Next w/e I plan on a couple of trips into Kent - I need to call in on friends in Maidstone on the way home Saturday and hopefully see a neice on the Sunday after a little light birding!

Looking forward to a fine dinner tonight at a local watering hole in Chiswick!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Really cant do this on a regular basis

Keep saying - must do better!

Lovely juv Dotterel in Kent yesterday. Sandwich - havent been there for a long time. I think this is my first for Kent - certainly since 2004 - cant remember seeing one anywhere in Kent in my early birding years - stil to find those school diaries!

I think that next year -as the first 4 months will be busy for me - that I will concentrate on Kent/Sussex and Greater London birds - with only lifers/UK lifers outside of the area with a foray or two with my mates to Norfolk/Forest of Dean.

I have to do my tetreds (4) for breeding birds early and late season BTO.

I know that there will be the KF project to help my friend get good photo's of posing fishing Kingfishers!

Well I have to do some seawatching soon- perhaps Thursday and the w/e will bring the right weather - I shall be studying the magic seaweed to see when the conditions are likely to be favourable!I want to spend some more time in Kent anyway.

Sabine's Gull here we come!
(Yes I know there is one inland- but I do want to see one at sea!)

I am miffed that I didn't see the Sabine's that was spotted on a pelagic in Canada in 2004 - mind you it would have been a terrible sight - seconds!So on reflection probably better I didnt!

Sun is out finally today so I think it is time to go out and about and see whats about- Staines perhaps?