Saturday, 31 March 2012

Kent day 2

Started off a Deal Castle which was one of the artillery fortress build by Henry VIII to deal with Spain and france around 1540 and has housed many different Governors between then and 1951.

Deal Castle from the Outside

and from the inside
and the traditional weapons of the day
The next visit was to Dover Castle which is a very intresting castle which was first a Medival Castle build by Henry II and then swapped through many different kings including Henry VII and William the Conqueror before being used in modern times during World War II which was used as amilitary command centre and underground hospital with some intresting exhibitions about this period which i would recommend to anyone intresting in modern warfare.

Dover castle from the outside

The keep
Church from the Keep

Medival Helmet
World War II Guns

Then to finish off the weekend had a nice walk at the White Cliffs of Dover where we had good views of lots off gull, Fulmars but the highlight was seeing the pair of Pergerine Falcons even mating at one point

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spring break

Had a nice weekend away in the kent, East Sussex area. First stop was a visit to the Harewood Estate in Surrey to see the springs flowers in the glorious weather  first stoped off in the alps garden with some great looking flowers before walking in the oak woodland with the Daffodils in full flow with the primroses and the sounds of the Great Spotted Woodpecks and Chiff-chaffs a great supporting act.

Scilla Siberica in the alp garden

Mystery flower

Daffodils grouped together

Primroses in the sun

One of many group of Daffodils
Next visit was to Bodium Castle in East Sussex a traditional medival castle with a moat and all and a lovely environment to just walk around and get the fell for it must have been like.

Castle reflecting over the moat

From the front

View from the top

Castle lawn
 Last stop of the day was a visit to Rye Harbour lovely looking site and still quite a few waders around with Avocet, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Shelduck out on the harbout and mudflats. Surprised to see quite a few winter waterfowl still around with Brent Geese and Teal still around. Though looked liked the Black-headed gulls were ready to breed with over a thousand on the two inland lagoons. A very lovely place to walk with all the miltary history around.

Brent Goose out on the lagoons

Friday, 23 March 2012

Out and about

Well spring is finally here with the lovely warm weather and some sun so decided to spend some time with my local Grebes there made there nest and seem to be on eggs so hopefully in a week or so should get some youngster :). Also while watching the grebes was intresting to see a moohen trying to feed on the flowers of a nearby tree. At nearby Tyttenhanger only birds of note were a Redshank and 2 Oystercatcher though the Skylarks were lovely in spring mode.

Grebes tending to the nest

Male keeping watch

Grebe sitting on nest

Grabbing a bit of lunch

Moorhen sitting in the tree

Tufted duck having a stretch
In the afternoon headed to Waterend where had 1 view of the water pipit along with a lovely pair of grey wagtails with Buzzards, Red Kite, first singing Chiff-chaff and Reed bunting and Yellowhammer.

The charming Grey Wagtail

Monday, 19 March 2012

Cassiobury Park

Had a nice walk on sunday with my local RSPB group in Cassiobury Park, watford on a nice sunny morning. From the car park saw Ring-necked parakeet, Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Robin.Then started the main walk through the woody selections first were we had good sighting of Nuthatch, Jay and Great Spotted Woodpeckers banging away along with lots of Wren singing there heart out. Further on by the river had a few Stock Doves up in the trees and a Grey Heron on the river along with Mallards, Coots and Moorhen before had a Sparrowhawk overhead then ended the walk on a high along the Grand Union Canal with wonderful views of a nesting pair of Long-tailed Tits nest building.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Broad Colney Lakes and Tyttenhanger

Spent a few hours yesterday at Broad Colney Lakes with my local pair of Great Crested Grebes if iam honest hoping to see the weed dance as it something i seem to keep missing found the pair quite content and nest building with a bit of fishing in between always a wonderfully bird to watch but no weed dance yeserday always next time :). Also Present of note were Grey Heron, Jay and a Male Bullfinch.

Grebe having a clean

Gathering Nesting Materials

Caught a fish!

Sizing it up

Next headed to Tyttenhanger and had a bit of a walk round not much on the pits i susect due to the noise the motorbikers were making but in the hedge by the farm had lots of Finches mainly gold , Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers and after a search 1 Tree Sparrow.

Goldfinch feeding on thistle

The Goldfinch Pose

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Day out in wales

Headed to Rhiwderyn in the hope of seeing the Common Yellowthroat. Seemed quite a leage number despite the bird been a round for a while, the bird showed almost straight away sulking in the bottom of the edge but moving up and down quite regulary though vanishing for periods. Also around while waiting for flocks of Goldfinches, Buzzard, Flocks of Blue, Great Tit and 1 Coal Tit.

Singing Reed Bunting
Next headed to Cosmeston Lakes where had a nice walk round and had great views of Singing Reed Bunting before walking around the lake where a stunning Lesser Scaup out in the middle thanks to some local birder for pointing it out along with the Tufted Duck flock and singles of Pochard, Wigeon and Great Crested Grebe. Then heading back had close view of a Whooper Swan right by the vistor centre before it decided to fly off and join the rest of the Mute Swans good end to a great day.

Frontal View of Whooper Swan

Honking Whooper Swan

Flight of the swan