Monday, 30 January 2012

Sunny day in yorkshire

Headed up to yorkshire on saturday mainly to see the long staying Desert Wheater at Bempton Cliffs well worth the last drive as the bird was showing really well often down too feet away happy just feeding on the insects around the cliff edge and showing well to the gathering party.

Desert Wheater posing

Wheater cleaning

Also around were hundreds of fulmars and gannets off the cliffs along with the gulls but no other other seabirds but good views of hunting kestrels and Goldfinch and treesparrow showing well from the visitor centre.

Tree sparrows together

In the afternoon headed down to Tophill Low Nature reserve no sign of the reported Cattle Egret but had lovely views of a Kingfisher speeding down the river and had a wonderful singing Bullfinch and out on the main reservor had lots of Wigeon , Pochard, Teal and a few Goldeneye. At then end of the day light  was playing quite well so from one the smaller hides spent a few minutes with the local Gadwalls and Coots before spending the last light of dusk just watching a pair of Barn Owls just magically.

Cooting drifting by

Feeding male Gadwall

Posing Barn Owl

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Norfolk day 2

Spent early morning at Ranworth Broad no sign of the Ring-necked duck but lots of Tufted and Greylag Geese. In the woodland plenty of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls feeding on the alders in the trees.

Then headed to Buckenham Marshes where it was sunny but very windy where i think i saw the most Wigeons at one place with thousands of them then walking around saw a few Shelduck, Sparrowhawk hunting over the hedges and quite a few Greylag Geese. Then walked round to the railway track where feeding were a flock of around 60 Taiga Bean Geese and the Lesser White-fronted Goose showing his blazing white forhead though distance could see the difference campred to the normal White-front.

Then headed to Ness Point for the Purple Sandpipers which did't dissapoint with 6 feeding on the shore in the sunlight along with lots of Turnstones and Oystercatchers. Very intresting just watching the waders go about their business with the turnstones very active and bathing away a lovely end to the weekend.

Turnstone on the rock

Turnstone bathing

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Norfolk Day 1

Had decided to head to norfolk first stop was to cley were from the main hide first sight of the day was lots of Teal and Wigeon Feeding and feeding on the scrape was quite a few Ruff and Dunlin on the edge with the Long syating Western Sandpipier a first for me before getting spooked but it did reapear on its own. Also around the main scrape were Little Egret, Curlew, Pochard, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Then walked Around to the beach area where to my surprise out at sea was a Grey seal next to a Great-backed Gull. Then after watching the flock of linnets had a surprise with a Lapland Bunting a first for me.

Western Sandpiper

Wigein feeding
Next visit was to holkham were in the field were hundred of pink-footed geese feeding a great sight then just past the carpark had a group of Goldcrest and Firecrest in the the confer trees along with a Treecreeper and Coal Tits. Out on the beach no sight of the hoped for Shorelarks but some singing Skylarks to make up for it.

Last stop of the day was to Titchwell were spents quite a bit of time watching the Redpolls only Lesser and Mealy were showing sadly no Artic but redpolls always a great bird to watch. Walked round the rest of the reserve with the highlight the flock of over 500 Golden Plovers feedin in the saltmarsh. Then ended the day watching the Marsh Harriers coming into roost in the reedbeds around 150 in total while have geese flying overhead mainly Greylag and Brent but did have 1 group of White-fronts and to end a good day had a flyover Bittern walking back.

Golden Plover flock on the saltmarsh

Golden Plover flock in flight

Monday, 23 January 2012

Day out in hampshire

Had a nice day in hampshire looking for the intresting Sparrows that were in the same area so though it too good a chance to miss so drove down to the village of Calshot for sunrise for the Spanish Saprrow, at first just the House Sparrows was showing but had a flyover Fieldfare and banging Great-spotted Woodpeck to wake me up then it briefly appeared in the hedge before vanishing for a bit so we were allowed in the house of the garden were it had been seen often no sight at first but lot of other nice garden birds With Song Thrush, Reed Buntings, Starling, Greenfinches, Goodfinches and lots of Tits. Then it reappeared feeding on the nuts before heading into the hedge.

Spanish Sparrow in his favourite bush

Then headed down to the Hawkhill Inclosure for the Dark-eyed Junco where I had a lovely Buzzard on route on the side of the road shame it was such a busy road!! At the inclosure at first saw a lovely Treecreeper and then a few few Crossbills overhead before one landed low down giving quite good views. Then the Dark-eyed Junco came out giving some nice views feeding along the logs of this stunning bird.

Buzzard on the side of the road

Dark-eyed Junco on the log

Then to finish the day headed to Gosport where on the harbour had Little Egret and Redshank before Finding the wintering Ring-billed Gull in with the Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and Common Gulls and showing very well.

Common Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull with friends

Monday, 16 January 2012

Trip to rainham marshes

Had a nice trip out to Rainham Marshes in essex with my local RSPB group started off pretty well with 2 Stonechats showing them well well by the first hide before we had a flyover Marsh Harrier then walked around to the woodland section where we had 4 Redwings plus Robins, Greenfinches and Starling.

At the Hide over looking the main scrape we had over 500 wigeon showing very well along with Greylag and Canada Geese, Gadwall, Mallards and a few Pintail, Grey heron and Pied Wagtail. Then walking around to the boardwalk had view of the Peregrine on the pylon and a flyover snipe.

Walking around the main reedbeds no sign of the Beared Tits in they favoured area and Meadow Pipits and Linnets were seen in the last hide before a hunting Sparrowhawk fly over. Then walked along the seawall had a few wader with a Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew a few Dunlin and quite a few Redshanks and lots of Teal out feeding on the River Thames. Along the side of the Thames lots of Starling and Meadow Pipits and 2 Rock Pipits a great find and a good end to the day with over 50 species seen.

Stonechat perched in the reedbed

Stonechat perched in the tree

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Stewartby Lake

This morning had a lovely walk around Stewartby Lake near bedford it was quite a frosty morning and the water was very reflective but this did't stop the wildlife from appearing. Around the lake in the middle the Great Northern Diver was out fishing along with a supporting cast of Gadwall, Coromants, Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans, Mallards and Gulls on the lake. Around the Edge had a few Fieldfares a flock of Bullfinches and 1 Kingfisher.

Frosty berries

Frosty thistle

Gliding reflecting mute swan

Mallard and Reflection

Reflecting mute swan
Then in the afternoon poped down to Heartwood frest for the short eared owl sadly there were mainly fair away but a beautiful sunset made up for that.

Tress in the light

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Walk around tring

Last weekend decided to have a wander around the Tring Reservoirs before work and did the circular of Marsworth and Startop's End Reservoir to start with which got me a host of Waterfowl for my yearlist with lots of Wigeon and Shoveler along the reservior and quite a few Mute Swans and Great Crested Grebes and the Snow Bunting was still showing well along with a pair of Pied Wagtail.

Munching on the grass

The snow bunting up close again :)
At wiltstone the along with the same ducks as the other Reservoirs spotted a lovely Male Goldeneye and had a big flock of Linnets numbers aroun 80. In the fields had Canada and Greylag geese but no sign of the brent goose a good morning out overall.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Evenings with the owls

Had 2 very pleasent evening watching the hunting Short-eared owls at Heartwood Forest just wonderful watching them seeing very happy hunting with all the dog walkers around and very nice explaing to the walkers about the birds as the ones i spoke to seeemed geninue intrested in seeming them so close.

The owls I saw were hunting throughout four different fields and often fighting with each other over hunting rights and i only saw them with prey but i think that was due to fact that there feeding straight after they caught prey on the ground.

Hunting the fields at dusk

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Stevenage Shrike

After missing the Kelshall shrike due to broken limbs had the added bonus today of catching with a good bird showing well at Norton Green giving good views despite the gale force winds maybe just perching but was seen hunting at one points before the stormy weather came in. Also on site had my first 2012 along with Dunnock and at least 20 Skylarks.

Later on in the day popped down to East Hyde few flock of geese there this winter with around 20 Canada geese and 2 Egyptian geese along with Grey Wagtail.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Nice Evening at east hyde

Had a nice evening down at East Hyde walked first down the river with 3 Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Teal and 8 Gadwall showing. The back at the bridge was happily watching the fruit tree on the bedfordshire side with over 150 fieldfares feeding at dusk along with a good 50 goldfinches and a few starling when in the watercress a beautiful Grey wagtail was feeding in the verges giving my ever views of this species.