Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Afternoon visit to Amwell

With a dull weekend and drier on sunday decided to visit Amwell on the sunday afternoon. Walked up to the viewpoint where it quiet duckwise for this time of year though a few Goldeneye were still around but amazing no Teal or Wigeon were around this end but quite alot of Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls and Shovelers and a nice flock of Lapwing with a couple of Oystercatchers in which got disturbed by a passing raptor but thats our this winter been with the lack of frosty winter days.

Then when to the White hide where the birds were coming to the feeders with big numbers of Reed Buntings and Long-tailed Tits around the feeder. After a little wait had a brief view of a Bittern pass the cut before it seemed to fly and move on to the next lake so chanced it by moving to the Bittern viewpoint which was a good move as it was showing by the reeds on and off and even caught a fish.

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Hunting Bittern
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Long Tailed Tit
Female Reed Bunting
Ended the day at the main viewpoint where the gull roost was quite quiet but did manage to see the Smew in the scrub of the Island as it seem to often hide.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

February walk to the Ouse washes

Last weekend had a nice walk with my local RSPB Group to the Ouse Washes. Started off well with lots of birds around the trees in the carpark with a nice flock of Goldfinch and a Treecreepr showed it self briefly. Headed to the vistor centre where lots of birds where around the feeders with good number of Tree and House Sparrows and mixed finches around with a single Redpoll seen.

One of the many Tree Sparrows
Then walked up to the sluice where we headed left where there where a few hides where we had views of Whooper Swans out on the water along with Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard and a nice Little Grebe. Across the water on the far side we were lucky enough to find a pair of cranes feeding before the flew and circled to the right as well as a nice Shelduck was seen with a group of Mute Swans. Along the path by the River Ouse we had good views across to the where a lot of the Whooper Swans where feeding with a few Starlings and Reed Bunting with them and we also found a pair of Stonechats which unusually where both female and a brief view of a Green Woodpecker.

Green Woodpecker by the path
We then headed back to the sluice and walked along the right side where we had some closeer views of the Whooper Swans which were feeding in a field with Lapwings, Fieldfares and flock of over 200 Linnets. While watching this suddenly the Cranes reappeared and fly over giving some great views. Furthered along in one of the hides had a pair of Snipe along one of the Washes bank which seemed to appear from noway before vanished back into the grass.
Feeding Whooper Swans

Flyover cranes


Then ended the walk with some nice views of a pair of Great-spotted Woodpecker druming around a telegraph pole in the car park.

Great-spotted Woodpecker
Pair of Great-spotted Woodpecker together

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shorelark and waders on the Isle of Sheppy

With the weather nice decided to go down to the Isle of Sheppy in kent for the wader action. First stop was down to Minster as a wintering Shore Lark had been there for over a month. The first bird I saw was a brief view of a Rock Pipit before heading out on to the beach where the Lark was feeding along the shore feeding in the shells and sometimes within the rock sand was giving some nice views. Also along the beach was a mixed flock of Waders with Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Dunlins in big numbers with a odd Redshank.

Shore Lark


Not the usual pose




Mixed flock of waders


Then headed to Swale NNR parked at the distant laybe as the road was full of pot holes which was a wise choice as while walking along the beach had the amazing sight of thousands of brent geese flying over my head

Brent geese overhead


Then walked along the path from the main car park where there quite a few Skylarks out in song and manged to find the wintering Richard Pipit though hard to pin down with the wind blowing at cause a force but a stroke of lucky meant it popped up briefly.

Richard Pipit
Then ended the day walking along the coast where had nice but brief views of a Pair of Stonechats and a nice wader flocks of Turnstones, Sandering, Ringed Plover, Redshank and Grey Plovers feeding along the beach as the tide was going out

Feeding Sanderings


Lone Grey Plover


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Morning visit to Lemsford spring

Earlier in the week had a nice morning visit to Lemsford Springs. Spent a few hours in the hide where the Little Egrets were feeding and preening and chasing each other off.

Little Egret grabbing a bite

Egret in flight

Egret Preening

In front of the hide I had nice views of a lone Green Sandpiper and a Pair of Grey Wagtails while a Water Rail Popped out a couple of times. Also of note big number of Moorhens with at least 11 seen.

Feeding Green Sandpiper


Feeding Grey Wagtail
Brief view of the Water Rail
Young Moorhen