Thursday, 28 January 2016

Lackford lakes and beyond

With a week and a nice day headed off to Lackford lakes had a nice wander with the kingfisher showing briefly from the double decker hide. Then headed to the main lake where there were plenty of Wigeon, Shoveler, Pochards and Tufted ducks. On the smaller Lagoons near Bees hide there were a good number of Goldeneye and a Lone Long-tailed Duck. Then headed back back through the woodland were some woodland birds were coming to feed as a log had been baited so had some nice views of a Marsh Tit and Nuthatch along with some nice garden birds.

Swimming Goldeneye in the lake reflection

Distance view of the feeding Long tailed Duck


Marsh Tit


Posing Robin

Blue Tit
Decided to then head to Iken where a cattle Egret had been around for a month or so which was a worthwhile visit as the Cattle Egret was feeding often darting between the legs of the cows which it was sharing the field. Also around the fields were a nice number of lapwing and Curlew feeding in the fields.

Feeding Curlew
Lapwing in the field


Cattle egret feeding with the cows

Then stoped off on the way home at Alton water where had a nice walk around while getting some decent views of a Great Northern Diver and a Pair of Black-necked Grebes even with all the yachts beeing out on the water. While walking around a small flock Siskin flew over and as the boats moved out more Cormorants  and Great-crested Grebes came back to fish.

Yachts out on the water

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Great Northen Diver

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Black-necked Grebe

Monday, 18 January 2016

Winter visit to Stockers Lake

A sunny but cold started off well from the car park with at least 4 Red-crested Pochard on Bury Lake with Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Great-crested Grebe and Little Grebe all seen before the walk had started!!

Feeding Red-crested Pochard


Then walked around the first lake where there where plenty of thrushes mainly Redwings and a few Song Thushes singing along with a lone Mistle Thrush with a few Wrens singing from the reeds beds.
We got to the main waterfowl viewing point where we had more great views of Red-crested Pochards and displaying Goldeneye with up to five together and a Kingfisher flew past before getting chased upstream by another one. Plenty of Waterfowl on the water with lots of Wigeon, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall and Mallard but surprsing only two were found.

Displaying Goldeneye
Then walked around wet woodland which was very productive with a big flock of Siskins found and a very active Treecreeper. We then walked around the edge of the lake where we found a super male Blackcap and Goldcrest in with the flock of Long-tailed Tits before witness the sight of a Cormorant trying to eat a pike which was a sight to be seen but in the end the Cormorant gave up because the fish was just too big.

Male Blackcap
Cormorant trying to eat a pike



Then walked up to Stockers Farm where there was lots of House Sparows and Thrushes around the flooded field with lots of Redwing and a few Fieldfare while overhead a few Red Kite drifted over. Ended the walk along the River Colne where a Water Rail was heard and Great Tits were already calling for a mate.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Magical Norfolk Coast

With sunday the first day been able to gout out with Dan and the weather looking good decided to do a bit of focus birding so headed for the Juvenile Pallid Harrier at Flitcham where we quite lucky with it appearing within 10 minutes doing a few passes of the field before disappearing west. Then where to check the hedges which were just full of birds with huge numbers of finches at the feeding station on the field edge with good numbers of Brambling, Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrows in the flock. just as were leaving the Harrier reappeared and landed in the farm garden giving really good views.

Pallid Harrier hunting



Then headed to Thornham harbour where a nice flock of  20+ Twite was feeding around the carpark but often very trickly to see. Then walked around the beach but with the tide out hard to pick much from the shore but a good numbers around with Curlew, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Grey Plovers and a few Bar-tailed godwits were seen.

Part of the Twite flock



Curlew in flight


Feeding Redshank


After a quick stop at Choseley Drying Barns where had a some decent bird of Prey views with Common Buzzard, Roughed-legged Buzzard and Red Kite in the air over a 15 minutes spell wedecided to have a late lunch at Brancaster Staithe. At the harbour had distant views of a Red-necked Grebe and a few hunting Marsh Harrier and plenty of wader action with Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlews,Redshanks were feeding but for me the highlights were the feeding Turnstones.

Feeding Turnstones

Ended the day at Titchwell where from the main footpath had good views of a hunting Barn Owl while out on the scrape plenty of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits with a few others waders and selection of winters ducks with a few Pintails and Red-crested Pochards in with the Wigeon and Teal. We eneded the day watching the Marsh Harrier come in as the sun was setting behind.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New years day at the tring reservoirs

With rain forecast for most of the weekend decided to head over to tring and see what was about to start off my birding year. Started off a Startop's End Reservoir where were a good number of great Crested Grebes out on the water with a good number of Teal with a few Pochard, Shoveler and Wigeon then came across a nice Fieldfare which posed nice in the tree which i think was sheltering from the wind as usually there quite timid.

Posing Fieldfare

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Walked around a bit further where I had a flyover Pied Wagtail and in a flock of Tufted Duck the long staying Scaup was in the flock though asleep till a coot got too near at which point it started preening.

1st winter Scaup


Then walked around the bank where had some nice views of some Wigeon which were feeding on the bank and 3 Little Grebes feeding out on the water before heading over to Wiltstone.

Few wigeon on the bank


At Wiltstone walked around to the hide where in the woodland had a nice number of small birds with Blue, Great Tits and Long-tailed Tits seen as well as about 4 Goldcrest feeding in the ivy. From the hide a great sight of  over 400 Golden Plovers with 50 or so Lapwings feeding in the mud which looked superb through the scope. While out in the water a few Little Egret were hunting and a Shelduck was feeding while a kingfisher flew past.

Flock of Golden Plovers and Lapwings