Sunday, 18 December 2016

Winters birds around West Hyde

Last weekend had our local RSPB walk around the lakes of West Hyde near Rickmansworth. A productive start with 23 species seen from the cars with the highlight a nice flock of Redwings and Fieldfares. We walked to the lakes where there were a nice section of winter waterfowl with a good number of Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes and a few Shovelers showing well in the winter sunshine before a pair of Egyptian Geese landed.

West hyde view
Lake reflecting

One of many pochards in the water
We then walked up to the canal where we had views of a Jay in the woodland. We then walked along the canal where Grey and Pied Wagtails were showing well while a Cetti's Warbler was briefly seen and a nice Sparrowhawk flew over.

We then walked backalong the River Colne where a Chiff-chaff was found and a few Great Spotted Woodpecker called while overhead a few Red Kites and Buzzard where seen hunting while a Song Thrush was found singing away as a few Meadow Pipits flew through.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Egret heaven at Tyttenhanger

A icy start was had at Willow Farm lakes at the weekend but a good start as starting down the football had a mixed flock of  100+ Goldfinch and Linnets which were feeding on the thistles as the sun was raising.

Linnets in the trees
Then walked around the first lake where there were quite a number of Great Crested Grebes and Tufted Ducks and a few odd Teals. Along the shore there were quite a number of Little Egrets and one of the great White Egrets flew through.

Little Egret in flight
Then walked around the second late where I had a singing Goldcrest and a flyby Kingfisher and a calling Bullfinch and a few Redwing over and a Green Sandpiper showed well on the shore.

Green Sandpiper (taken earlier in the week but most likely same bird)
Then walked around to end where had a nice views of the egrets with 9 together plus the Two Great White Egrets. After watching them for a while there decided to head off down the lake towards the main gravel pit.

Egrets Together

Great White Egret in flight


Then walked back where a Red Kite, Buzzard and Peregrine where seen up in the air together which was quite unusually and then to end the walk a few Goldfinch where seen feeding on the thistles.

Hunting Peregrine
Feeding Goldfinch

Thursday, 24 November 2016


While visiting family last weekend after storm angus had a nice walk around Walton-on-the Naze first walked around the scrub where there plenty of miltary pillboxs around and a few thrushes mainly Blackbirds around.

Then walked down to the seawall where there where plenty of Redshanks and Curlews feeding and calling and a few Brent Geese which developed into bigger flocks as we moved around. Further around there were big numbers of Teals with a few Shoveler and Wigeon within the flock on the more inland water.

At the most east end out on the marsh there were a few more waders with a nice Spotted Redshank and flocks of Dunlin and Sanderling and singles of Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit feeding. As we walked along the river a nice Water Rail swam across and showed well feeding along the bank while on the same stretch a Rock Pipit perched in the fading light. As we completed the loop a Redwing was heard over while a single Yellowhammer was heard singing before we reentered the main town.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Wiltstone Reservoir

After a washout the day before the RSPB walk with the St. Albans had a lovely sunny morning walk with a nice section of birds on the walk around to the hide with a nice section of Teal, Wigeon Pochard and Tufted Ducks seen on the water while on the edge Pied Wagtails were seen in numbers and Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were heard. In the scrub to the hide at least one Chiff-chaff was seen.

From the hide at least 4 Dunlin were feeding on the mud with the Golden Plovers showing well with the Lapwings in the mud with 2 Snipe hiding with them. Out with the Waterfowl a lovely pair of Pintail were found and a Red-crested Pochard was showing on and off and a Distance Goldeneye.

Pair of Pintails
Then we ended the walk walking around the back of the reservoir where we had a few views of Fieldfares and Redwings and the Golden Plover flew over our heads.

Golden Plovers flying over

Saturday, 12 November 2016

More on the yorkshire coast

Following on from norfolk spent the next day in the yorkshire area first stop was to Thornwick Bay around Flamborough Head for daybreak as a Hume's Warbler had been around for a few days the first birds of the morning were a few Redwings and Fieldfares passing through soon joined by a kestrel. In the willow area a few species of House and Tree Sparrows were calling as the Hume warblers showed well in the early morning fog before it disappeared for a bit so then decided to check out the hide which held some Teal, Snipe and a odd Dunlin.

Humme's warbler in the willow

Feeding Snipe
Back in the field the skylarks were waking up with good numbers were in song while a Redpoll flew through. By this time the Hume's Warbler had moved to the willows of the fishing pond where it was keeping with a group of Goldcrest giving some nice views but were flightly.
Skylark in flight


Humme's Warbler closeup



After spenting time with the warbler decided to head to spurn  and walk to the point which might have been a moment of madness as the walk is now a lot longer than it used to be though nice to see so many goldcrests some seem very exhausted. Also around at the point a nice Black Redstart and a Wheatear with a few Redwings and Fieldfields floating around while off shore a nice Long-tailed Duck drifted past and lots of Brent Geese, Curlew, Knot, Redshank and Dunlin were feeding on the shore.

One of many Goldcrests
The Black Redstart
Long-tailed Duck

Monday, 31 October 2016

Triple Wheatears

With some leave off during october during a good spell of east winds decided to head to norfolk around Burnham Overy Dunes had a nice walk along the sea wall towards the dunes with plenty of birds with a few Ringed Flovers, Dunlin and Redshanks feeding in the mud as the tide was out and lots of Curlews calling from around while a big flock of geese was feeding in the field mainly Brent Geese but a few Pink Footed as well while nearby a few Cettis Warblers were calling even a brief view of one and a nice Northern Wheatear was feeding up before heading south.
Pair of young Ringed plovers

Redshank in flight
Posing Northern Wheatear
Decided to explore the dunes where came across a late Wall Butterfly before coming to the female Desert  Wheater which was showing reasonable well feeding down in the grass.
Desert Wheatear Down on the Grass
and showing its tail features
Then decided to go a for a walk in the dunes to look for the Isabelline Wheatear which had been seen after a while it was found in the dunes but due to flightly nature certain photographers decided to try and chase the bird at which point I decided to head back to the Desert Wheatear.

Isabelline Wheatear

Spent sometime with the Desert Wheatear which was flycatching alot with the added bonus of a flyover Waxwing which was heard first but it then flew over our heads. 

Desert Wheatear on the Shed

Desert Wheatear flycatching

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Day out at the head

With a certain bird (Siberian Accentor) at Essington headed up there at the weekend as had a free day. Once at the wardened car park had a nice walk to the viewing area with good numbers of Goldcrests around with a few odd firecrest which I had one good view of and the first of a few failed attempts to see a Yellow-browed Warbler and good numbers of Redwings and Fieldfare over all the time.

One of many Goldcrests


Then got to the garden where the Siberian Accentor was showing well with its distinctively marking but at a little distance to start off with feeding with a few Robins and two nice looking Bramblings. It then came a bit close allowing some nice views before heading back into the hedge.

Siberian Accentor
After a little while decided to came back later when the light would be better so headed off to Kilnsea for a bit where there were a few warblers where in the church area had a couple of Pallas Warblers, some beautiful Siskins, Yellowhammers, 23 flyover White Fronted Geese and a flyover Woodcock a real star bird for me.

Female Siskin

Fly over White Fronted Gooses
Then after lunch headed back to Essington where a nice male Redstart was putting on a nice show in the village

Redstart in the field



Then headed the day with the Siberian Accentor (and another Redstart) as the Accentor was making its way down a scubby track so was not giving views as good as in the moring but it did pop up on to the metal fencing to show well briefly.

Accentor on the Fence post

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Small Coopers at Nomans Land Common

Had a pleasant walk on Sunday with Butterfly Conservation with the main target been Small Cooper as stangly the end of sptember seems the best time for them and despite the weather been quite windy and a few rain showers a total of 37 were seen along with a couple of Red Admirals and singles of Small White and Large White.

Small Cooper in the heather




Two Small coopers together
Then after the walked headed to the Gorhambury Estate for half an hour where had a nice view of a Little Egret fishing with a few Teal and lots of Moorhen. Then heard a Snipe as it flew over and a nice end with a pair of ravens honking over.

Little Egret and Teal
Egret in flight

Raven calling