Sunday, 30 January 2011

Big Garden BirdWatch

Just time to do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch before work todays sightings of 2 Bullfinches, 2 robins, 3 Blue Tits, 1 Great Tit, 2 starlings, 1 Magpie and 2 Woodpigeons not the best but the weather was a bit rubbish but hopefully overall the picture will be better.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Watercress LNR

After visiting Butterfly world we decided to pay a visit to the Watercress LNR in St. Albans which is well hidden but lovely local nature reserve hidden near the centre of St. Albans.

Had a walk round the site quite a few intresting species around there were 6 Bullfinches together,Kingfisher, Siskin, GS Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Mistle Thrush, Redwing(over) and Ring-necked Parakeet along with lots of beautiful goldfinches feeding in the tree.

Butterfly World

As it was Residents weekend in St. Albans headed  with Brian E to Butterfly to check out the what it was like two years into the project. Even though the main dome is not due till 2012 we could still see the size of going to be over 100ft.

Had a wander round where the wild meadows are, it looks a good size and with the number of wildflowers been planted should get quite a few different spieces of butterflies and other wildlife.

 A very smaller version of the dome we should get

 The Tyme time garden

From the giant garden the giant of seeds

Some of the garden look very intresting and abstract some with recyled part from cards to records and then other gardens with size all in all should be great when completed. You get the feeling with this project that its trying to encourage children to get involved with nature which can only be a good thing.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

January 22th - East hyde

Just a quick walk around east hyde today quite a few geese around though all canada geese bar the odd greyley hiding with them plus the usual wigeons and teal. Again no sign of the little owl from his tree i do worry if he going to appear have't yet seem him this winter so sign are't looking up. Also had a wander up the other end of the cycling path just under the railway bridge and a load of various tits where around including a stunning Marsh tit nearest one i seen to my house so chuffed with that.

January 20th - Virginia Water

Today it was my mother birthday so has planned we headed to Virginia Water in surrey despite the weather been overcast a lovely walk round the lake. The intresting features at Virginia Water were the ruins of a temple, the totem pole a gift from the canadians to the queen in 1958 though quite faded still impressive and the stunning Thomas Sandby's cascade.

 Walking round the lake wildlife of note included a pair of Mandarin Duck, Teal, Tufted duck, quite a few Rose-ringed Parakeet flying over and my first Goosander of the year a stunning male.

Even on a damp and overcast day the main lake is quite impressive though not fully shown picture below should give you an idea.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

January 19th - Lodmoor and Arne

After staying the night in weymouth another crisp but perfectly blue winter morning headed to Lodmoor which is lovely mainly reed nature reserve based near the centre of weymouth.  Walked round it just as the day was getting warm so the Snipe were just creeping out but by the time i walked round it there least 7 around the reserve.

The weather conditions mean the water was showing in perfect conditions and the Lapwing were looking stunning.

Also of note around were flock of Dunlin on the main scape,plenty of Teal and Shelduck around plus the odd song thrush and 1 male Bullfinch and just to round off a good morning a Bittern fly over the reeds as i was leaving.

Reached the one of my favourite nature reserves Arne just before lunch lots of birds around the feeder with five different spieces of tit,the blue, great, coal, long tailed and the lovely marsh tit along with nutchatches and othe odd peacock!

Headed off into the reserve with plenty of Sika deer and squirrel around making use of the good daylight to forage. While out in the harbour there where plenty of waders with large flocks of Black-tailed godwits and Oystercatcher travelling around along poole harbour while scattered around the front were Avocets, Dunlins, redshanks and the odd Great grested grebe.

Headed then to the heathland section and was overjoyed while sitting in the hide to see my first Dartford warbler a stunning little bird though he did't stay around for long as a buzzard was circling the area, but all in all a very enjoyable day out.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

January 18th - Slimbridge

With a few days off work decided to visit slimbridge and i tried to last year but was beaten by the last years snow. With the weather glorious and blue headed off west through the stunning
cotswolds landscape.

After arriving at slimbridge working through some of the captive section to the kingfisher hide where plenty of the blue and great tits where happy feeding from the large array of feeders before heading along the rest of the south fingers hides where out on the estuary there were plenty of feeding birds including Redshanks, Lapwings, Golden Plover, Dunlin , Bewick swans with the predator Peregrine scaring away the flocks of waders very often.

Then headed to the Rushy area and the Robbie Garnett Hide where in front of the hide with the tufted duck and pochards was a female Lesser Scaup and male Greater Scaup both lifers for me and stunning beautiful bird in the sunlight . While behind towards the estuary where a big section of bewick swans and wigeons in very big number great sight and sound to see.

 Then to end ended off to the heated observatory to end the day with the wild birds feeds which was lovely seeing so many pintails, Bewick Swans, Pochard, Wigeon and geese including a lovely Pink-footed Goose which should have been at Martin Mere up close and feet away. Agreat end to a wonderful day.

Shelduck up close and personal

Argentine Red Shoveler playing rough in the captive section

The Female Lesser Scaup
The Male Greater Scaup

The Scaups usual postions

Cramped full of geese and swans at the late feed

Monday, 24 January 2011

First Post - January 16th 2011

Spent the morning volunteering for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust at Hertford Heath, hard work removing the gorse which has over grown the heather so hopefully in the summer should see the result of our labour.

Spent the afternoon at Armwell Nature Reserve nice to see what was around on a cloudy and  winters day what was around. The highlights included a family of 5 smew (2 drakes) chasing each other around and a first winter pintail very close to the viewpoint.