Saturday, January 16, 2010
A birding day!
Pics are of Broadwater GPs.
Finally I have been out birding! Bob and I decided on Thursday we would go to Stocker's Lake and then on to look at some Red Kites. I met Bob about 9am and we set off for Stokers Lake.We missed out the motorways - when we did go over the M25 it looked nose to tail!
Well we began to see more snow on the way out of Greater London and into Herts,
Roads were fine.
At Stocker's - the Canal was frozen apart from a bit in the middle - which appeared frozen over but less thick...in fact we watched a boat being move from the side with 2 big guys pushing it - with its engines running and they were having a big fight.
It drizzled almost all the time we were at Stoker's - the hides were welcome cover!
The Lakes were frozen except for some areas of free water in the middle.
But there were the Red-crested Pochards - by the Sailing lake - 7 males and 6 femailes. Lots of Goldeneye - displaying males...Shovellers, Gadwall and obviously Mallards and Mutes. Coots galore and Moorhens aplenty.
We then walked into the Reserve and around the Lake...Song Thrush, Fieldfares, masses of Tits and Robins.Flocks of LT Tits were everywhere - occasional Wren...
again on the lake - Red-crested Pochards - 9 males and 7 females. The males were al glorious in their breeding glory. Females looking pretty too.
Masses of Goldeneye - again lots of displaying -
We spot a Red head - great so where is the male - or male Smews?
Nope we missed em! Seen on Thursday and today! But a couple of birders had seen one male further behind us...
Then the year ticks came quickly - Nuthatch, Jay, but no sign of a Siskin!
Bob who had 20 odd less than me (having only been back from Espana for a few days was ticking merrily!
We decided we would go to Broadwater GPs as 2 Goosanders had been seen on Thursday - there was also a Siberian Chiffchaff there......
we tried parking in the Anglers Car park where they used to let birders park - no longer...all locked up! So it was park on the side of the lane.
Wethen walked all along the track to the Sailing Club- we were after the Goosanders so stopped every clearing to scan with scopes the open water - but no sign- Bob picked up Lesser and Greater Black backed Gulls for the year list - it was gull city out there - he spotted a Greylag - I didn't see it!
Well no Goosander meant we were almost at the Sailing Club so it was decided we would try for the Siberian - a lifer for me - not yet split from Chiffchaff on the BOU list.
We spent ages looking - then I saw a movement - a Chiffchaff - over wintering brightly coloured Chiffchaff - low down in the Willow trees - catching insects stirred up by the fast moving River waters...we eventually saw 6 individuals - one looked duller but all Chiffchaff - so the seige was on! Surprisingly lots of Wrens about...I was startled by an accidently flushed Grey Wagtail -which showed beautifully and there was another whizzing down stream.
Robins popped up - andthen there it was a grey version of Chiffchaff! Veru pale under and greyer tha I had imagined! Great - we were both cold now - so a brisk walk back to the car - keepng ears andeye out for Sisikins- none!
So then off to theA40 and drive up towards High Wycombe - with a stop at the recycling centre- not far from Hedgerley tip....great views of about 30 Red Kites and for Bob Pied Wags! We watched the Kites wheeling and flying beautifully along with thousands of gulls!
On towards Stokenchurch - we were both hoping we might spot a perched Buzzard.
The snow in Bucks was something to behold! Roads fine but the snow on the pavements and in the fields...as we journeyed the weather conditions worsened and it got foggy.As we drove towards Stokenchurch the weather closed in but - yes there was a Buzzard - female perched in a tree at the side of the road...great! Onto the M40 and there was the fog- on with fog lights and careful driving - then it cleared a bit as we passed Hedgerley Tip- a bird flew across the road and we realised it was a Merlin! Brilliant!
The rest ofthe jouney was ok- as it appeared to be low cloud as we went uphill and cleared as we descended! A40 and then to Bob's.... a good if wet and cold days birding
Year List about 70 - I will go through it later - as I am not doing a published year list this year not that crucial!