Thursday, 29 January 2015

Dungeness and West Hythe

My other day on my week off decided to head down to Dungeness first stop was the farm where apair of Cattle Egret though only 1 was about feeding in the hay bales before flying off to feed around the back of the farmyard. Then headed to the main reserve where all the waterfowl was out on the water especially good numbers of Smews with the most I seen together at one place quite happy fishing in the water sometimes close to the hide. Further out big numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon, Gadwall with a few Goldeneyes and Pintails hiding in the flock.

Hunting Cattle Egret


Pair of Redhead Smews

Then headed to West Hythe on the Canal where there was a nice Goosander showing well in the afternoon sunshine which did't dissapoint showing well and with at least 5 Little Egrets on the Canal and a few thrushes seemed a nice urban nature spot.

Swimming Gosander


Song thrush taking a break

Monday, 26 January 2015

Winter day out in suffolk

With a week off work had a few days out the first was a day out in suffolk where the first stop was a visit to Beccles Quay as the day before a few Scaup had been reported so had a morning visit after a little walk around the Scaups were found fishing with a few Tufted ducks between a few boats in the Quay.

Male Scaup



Tufted Duck in the reflection of the boats

Then head along the coast to Covehith Broad where there a nice selection of Waterfowl on the water with at least 4 Goldeneye, Female Smew and plenty of Wigeon and Teal and massive flock of Common Gulls feeding on the broad.  Then walked along the beach where caught up with wintering Shorelarks and watching them feeding on the edge of the broad when was luck enough for a couple of Snow Bunting to come down and have a little bath on the waters edge. Then walking back had a few Barnacle Goose fly over my head and down the coast.

Shore Lark

Then ended the day with a visit to my favorite Tawny Owl, Mable in Christchurch Park on the way home on this occasional she was napping but always nice to catch up on.

Mable Napping

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Winter birds down at the Watercress Beds

In the last few weeks been down at the Watercress beds in st. Albans where the wintering flocks of Siskins and Redpolls along with the resient Goldfinch and Bullfinches have been showing pretty well along with a Water Rails and Kingisher which shows on some days.

Feeding Siskin




Redpolls in the alders




Feeding Goldfinch
The stunning male bullfinch


The Water Rail hiding as usual


Song thrush about to feed on the berries

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Day out in oxfordshire

Last weekend had a nice day to Farmoor and Otmoor on the edge of Oxfordshire with the RSPB Group. Started on a sunny but windy morning at Farmoor this resulted in the bird staying out of the wind which showed as a fair number of the birds were sheltering in with the the sailing boats so we had the sight of 7 Little Grebes all sheltering together with Tufted Ducks and mallards and a nice Little Egret feeding in the mooring area with a few flocks of Starlings overhead.

Further round when the wind had dropped a bit we spotted a few Great Crested Grebes out feeding out on the water where were found a lovely female Goldeneye with them. We then stopped to check the woodland where we came across a nice flock of Fieldfares and Redwings with a a few Blackbirds and a Mistle Thrush feeding in a hedge before a Sparrowhawk flew across before we walked on the causeway where we had a few Pied Wagtails in the boating area.

At Otmoor in the afternoon out on the wetland a nice slection of ducks were out on the water with Teal, Shoveler, Pochard and Wigeons were showing well with the Lapwings and from the hide Linnets, Reed Bunting and Goldfinches were coming down to the seed.

At the reedbeds we had a super view of a Hare before it took one look at us and sprinted away down the path while we waited for the main event of the Startling murmuration at first they came in small groups of ten birds coming from different directions slowly building up into a bigger flock, joining up and seperating. This carried on still the flock appeared to reach somewhere between 20 and 30,000 birds forming different shapes before they roosted in one of the big trees in front of the reedbeds a wonderful end to a super day.