Monday, January 31, 2011

Yesterday in Norfolk

I will return to post more - got a very busy day at the Council so may finish this tomorrow.

Briefly - 25 year ticks including a lifer! (Reached 400 UK life Birdwatch listing ya!)

over 90 species spotted - may have missed one or two that we did see!

So the Lifer?

Norther Harrier - this bird behaves more like a Marsh than a Hen seemingly not frightened of people - that does not mean an escape - until he came here I bet he had never seen any humans.
This photo showsTitchwell hide in the background and its the nearest I have found (so far) like our view on Sunday -I will be seeking permission from the photographer as I did not have camera in my pocket when the bird was seen down to25-30 feet! Unbelievable!

It wasstunning and all its features were clear! That mask is something else!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Some photos!

For Tommy!

The waxwings are the local flock at Isleworth - thanks to Gavin -Nature boy wanders - Bird Ringing (awaiting permission)
The Red head (Smew) is from Dungeness and thanks to Mike Gould also awaitig permission.
The bittern is from Barnes WWT thanks Pat!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Even briefer - lots of wind and too much sun (ie made bird watching really tricky! Who stole all the Redshanks?

Hit the 100 mark (year list)on our way home today with Bewick's Swans - nice 2 adults and 3 juvs!

I hate walking on shingle - especially after yesterday!

Did my Birdwatch list = 399 - with the Ross's of yesterday! wonder what will be 400?

will update later in the week
tomorrow its Hants and Dorset! well New Forest!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

East Norfolk

I will update this later - but what a great days birding I added 27 to the year list including a lifer (and I dont care if BOU accept it or not!) Ross's Goose yah! great!
Raptors - Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, pair of Peregrines! Marsh Harriers (lots!) a ringtail - Hen harrier and a very cheeeky Merlin who actually buzzed us at the raptor watchpoint at Stubbs Mill(twice!) in the gathering gloom!
Geese yup! lots and lots
White fronted and a Lesser WF Geese, Taiga Bean Geese, Barnacle and Pinkfeet.
plus Greylags and canada's!

I drove and we walked miles at Buckenham Marshes to Cantley Marshes - most of it on very muddy and slippy river bank so called paths!
I am knackered!

I will watch Match of the day now and go to bed.

Leaving Bobs tomorrow at 8.30 to go to Dungeness.
We have some target birds and we expect some bonus birds!
Happy Eagle!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waxwing flock

Our "resident" Waxwing flock are happily staying around the Homebase car park area. Yesterday I had meetings in City Hall(GLA) so was on a train - as we stopped at Syon Lane Station I looked at a large tree next to the station (opposite Homebase)and there they were, perched up near the top of the tree. What a great way to start your day!
That was the third day i had seen them.

Well the birding really will get underway for the next threee days as Bob and I will be going to Norfolk,Dungeness (and another Kent site dependant on time available ) and then the third day to the New Forest.

The order is weather dependant!

Whilst I was at City Hall Bob went to Barnes and scored the Scaup(that I have seen) a Bittern and the Peregrine pair plus a Sparrowhawk. Well thats three I dont have!
He also meet up with Johnny Allan (doing another Surrey Year listing attempt) and Kojac.
(for photos of Female Scaup and the Peregrine plus others have a look at Johnny Allans blog - click on the link on my blog and go to 2011 posts)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Waxwings locally

At last !
This year I have been trying to see Waxwings locally, this afternoon I finally saw some 50-60 in a flock.
Perched up in a tree and looking delightful! Yes! Finally!

Now hopefully I might see them in first light and dare I take a camera?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Will need to start my Year List on Bubo

No I am not doing a year list this year - well I am going to keep one on Bubo just cos it will be interesting to see if I can actually see more than last year when I knew it would be tricky to even get to 250. But a couple of trips to Shetland helped boost the list to over that!
This year its mainly about birding and enjoying birding and not really keeping a year list - least ways its not to be competitive.

yes I would like to see if I can grow my UK life list to over the magic 400 - thats 5 to 400 if Lesser Whitethroat 6/7 would be good!

I do want to improve my Kent and Sussex lists.

I will have a new Life List as I shall be going to Tanzania this year and so it will improve my Africa List as well.
See I am not year listing at all!

I have been trying to just go local this year so far - Bob returns from Espana on Monday so we ought to start birding proper towards the end of the week.
Think I am on about 50 birds so far - will have to write up the list!

Missed already Bittern, Waxwing and Little Owl (not where I know one is!)

Friday, January 07, 2011

New bins and a new bird for the year!

Drizzle and lashing rain - when it wasn't drizzling it was lashing!
Great day to buy my new bins!
They are terrific in bad light! Zeiss 7x42 T*FL.

Arrived at the Centre to see dozens of Canada Geese on the playing fields opposite plus some Egyptian Geese and Thrushes - most Blackbirds but some Redwings as well.
Ducks and ducks ....just the weather for them....
Best bird a female Scaup!
2nd dip on Bitterns!

This w/e the weather is meant to be better - but where to go?

Also second day chasing shadows instead of Waxwings - the weather is not helping but I found a site with lots of berries so will go there tomorrow at first light and hope!
They have been seen in the vicinity if not that exact spot!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shetland for autumn migration!

Well Shetland is now booked for end of Sept/begining of October!

Think the new bins will be ordered tomorrow!

My birding mate Bob will be back from Espana next week - so birding adventures will re commence - I love this time of year - a trip or two to Norfolk - several local around the home counties and Kent/Sussex as little trips! What mega might appear?

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year 2011

Finally been out birding even if only for a few hours!

Trip to Barnes resulted in some nice birds for the year list (not that I am doing a competitive year list this year - just will keep a list of birds that I see) I will be looking to go for UK lifers and try to do something about my Kent and Sussex Life lists!

Trying to decide on two things - 1) new bins - went to Barnes really to go to In focus to look at 8x 42 or 10x42 bins - and came out thinking i might buy 7 x42 !!
the 7x have great light and greater field of vision plus they focus down for butterflies/dragons....and that might be a good idea as I want to improve my Butterfly sightings!The bins I am looking at are Zeiss Victory FL 7 x 42.
Very helpful bloke in focus!

2)a fortnights trip to Shetland last week of September and first of October....just like this year except this time I will not go to Fair Isle....I love Fair Isle(and the residents) but I need to be really fit to do all that running up and down all that countryside and for ages(hours) my knees were not really up to it 2010 so until I am fit enough it might be a waste to go.I need to be fit for 2012 I think.Thats an aim.
not deciding this(3) just a statement
3) losing weight and getting fitter has to be done in order that when I go to Tanzania in July this year I really enjoy it! my knees will be better with less to carry about and then if/when I go to Shetland this year I will be cross that I am not going to Fair Isle! (Reverse psychology!)

Sounds like I have decided on Shetland............(there are a number of UK lifers that appear regularly on Shetland - even tho I have dipped em plus I am on 394 UK lifers and I'd love to go over the 400 this year!)
Paddyfield Warbler (dipped 2 on Shetland and one in Kent!)
Booted Warbler
Pallas Grasshopper Warbler
and the real prize
Lanceolated Warbler
and White's Thrush (dipped this year)

I am hopeful the Lesser Whitefronted goose I saw just after Christmas in Norfolk will be accepted as a "real" wild bird and is not an escape! (that would be 395!)

Anyway back to this years birds....pleased with female Linnet...which I spotted in the Wildside at Barnes and Fieldfare on the playing fields outside the Wetlands.
- oh and for my garden both female and male Blackcap visited female on 1st and male on second ...a rare visitor in my garden!

Back to thoughts on Fair Isle - I will miss Tommy, Liz and Henry especially this year but if I am aiming for 2012 and really doing FI birdwise properly that would be a bonus.