Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday 29th Wraysbury & Sunnymeads Pits

Spent yesterday (29th) at one of my old haunts Wraysbury & Sunnymeads Pits it has been quite a while since I have been to these pits and there where quite a few changes. This was one of the first sites that you could see Ringed necked Parrakeets Leaving the station I started by walking to the Sunnymeads pits first and spent quite a bit of time here it was very quite people wise not a soul just me and nature. As I walked the mile or so scanning the pits I had a lone fox on the path ahead of me, This used to be a good spot for Smew but sadly no smew today plenty of ducks to watch and small birds in the bushes. I then walked back and had a look at the main Wraysbury pit again plenty of ducks but still no Smew. Then I walked back to the station and took the path along side the railway I crossed the railway and had a look at the pit to my right where I found 1 male & 2 female Goosander but not a lot else. Then I took the path that leads to the heron pits again plenty of ducks to watch and more RNP. I did find 4 male & 3 female Goleneye, then I returned to the station by now it was getting colder, so the thought of getting on a nice warm train was just what I needed but when I got to the station I find the train is delayed due to a fatality at the station I was heading for (New Malden) this would be the 6th fatality that has held me up this year But still a very quite and pleasant walk

The full list of birds seen is as follows
Mute Swan.....................................Woodpigeon
Canada Goose................................Collared Dove
Mandarin.......................................Grey Wagtail
Wigeon ..........................................Wren
Teal ................................................Robin
Mallard ..........................................Blackbird
Shoveler .........................................Fieldfare
Pochard .........................................Goldcrest
Tufted Duck ..................................Long-tailed Tit
Goldeneye ......................................Blue Tit
Goosander .....................................Great Tit
Great Crested Grebe .....................Nuthatch
Cormorant .....................................Magpie
Grey Heron ....................................Jackdaw
Sparrowhawk ................................Carrion Crow
Kestrel ............................................Starling
Moorhen ........................................Chaffinch
Coot ................................................Greenfinch
Black-headed Gull .........................Linnet
Common Gull .................................Lesser Redpoll
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday 27th

Spent the morning at the Wetland Centre London, Very quite and very cold.
Only birds of note where the Jack Snipe, Water pipit and 2 Perigrines

Monday, December 22, 2008

Great Bookham Common

As I am off till the 5th and at home in London I have decided to go birding at some of my old haunts. Today I spent the afternoon on Great Bookham Common, this site is owned by The National Trust,This is a site that I know very well I used to work on the edge of the common for six years, so I did a lot of my lunch time birding there. This is a easy site to do by using the train as the station is right on the edge of the common, from the north platform you can go straight on to the common. I left the station and walked east taking the first turning on the right after crossing over the railway this brings you to a car park where there is a lot of clearing going on, scanning to the right this is a good spot to see Hawfinch with a bit of effort I did manage to find one bird, the rest of my walk is just a zig zag across the common, There where two large parties of Long Tailed Tits, a flock of mixed tits including Blue, Great & Coal, there where quite a few Nuthatches that where very vocal a few Tree Creepers, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, lots of Robins, and quite a number of Gold Crests I also found 2 Brambling, as for woodpeckers I did quite well 2 Green, 4 Great Spotted calling and just to make my day I found A Lesser Spotted have only seen them here on a couple of times over the years. In the paddocks on the edge of the common I found a few Mistle Thrushes, Redwing & some Fieldfare. Other birds seen included Carrion Crow, Jay,Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Magpie, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush.

This was a very pleasant afternoon mild and clear and very quite I only passed a couple of dog walkers & one jogger.

In the summer this was a good site to see and hear Nightingale not sure what it will be like next year with all the clearing that is going on it is also a good place for butterflies you get White Admiral, & there is a spot for Purple Emperor witch I have seen here, As well as other butterflies

So all in all a very enjoyable afternoon at a site I have not been to for a couple of years, Off to The Wetland Centre tomorrow not really a old haunt but I do remember it when it was Barn Elms Reservoirs

Other sites I am hoping to visit in the next 2 weeks include Stokers Lake, Lee Valley Country Park (Fishers Green) Wraysbury & Sunnymead Pits, Sevenoaks Wild Fowl, .Rainham Marshes, & slightly further a field Slimbridge

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thorpe Park Pits

Spent some time today at the pits near Thorpe park the object of the trip was to see if I could find any Smew. I had 1 male on the pits opposite Thorpe Park and 2 females on the pit next to the parkwhere there was also a female Scaup. I was just about to leave when a Bittern flew across and landed on the back of the pit

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birds From Public Transport Part 2

1 that I forgot from the main list Long Tailed Duck.....................B

And from the train coming home from Chichester today
Ring Tailed Hen Harrier near Pullbough and bullfinch
This now brings the list to 120

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Birds Seen From Public Transport

As I have said that I do not drive I would be putting together a list of birds I have seen from Public Transport
The list of 117 species seen from 1980 to 2008 (UK Only)
Please click on the image below to see the full list

Sunday, December 7, 2008


If you had seen the post on London Wetland Centre the Common Tern was a typing eror have now removed it

Saturday, December 6, 2008

London Wetland Centre

Spent the morning at the Wetland Centre in London

This is a site I have been watching since the early eighties when it was called Barn Elms Reservoir when it was 4 concrete basins, I do like what the WWT have done here

The reason for today's visit was that a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has been seen in the last week, we did manage to find one with a bit of effort

The only down side was we had to tell some chilldren that you do not throw plastic pots in the lake do wish parents would teach there children what is right after all this a nature reserve not a rubbish dump

A list of 44 Species seen follows

Mute Swan
Tufted Duck
Little Grebe
Grey Heron
Great Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon
Ring-necked Parakeet
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Water Pipit
Mistle Thrush
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow

Monday, December 1, 2008

Selsey Sea Watch

Sunday 30th November Took the bus from Chichester to Selsey I walked to the bill via the main car park lots of gulls on the sea including Herring, Black Headed, Common, and then one gull caught my eye which turned out to be a Mediterranean Gull which was quite close down to 15 feet away. Also on the shore there where Turnstone other birds seen walking to the bill Greenfinch, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock
Set my self up on the bench at bill house for a 2 hour sea watch after settling in. Some birds started to move I saw Cormorant, 20+ Gannets 3 Red Throated Divers, Great Blacked Backed Gull, more Turnstone, Brent Geese, But eventually the cold and the rain got to me on the walk back a Great Skua flew past so it was off for coffee and wait for the bus back

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Short Video Clip of The Iberian Wolf
as I have said not the best video but will give you a idea of how far away it was I am still working on my video so there will be more to follow

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pictures of Brent Geese at Pagham

Sunday At Pagham

On Sunday 2nd I took the bus from Chichester to the Information Centre at Pagham Harbour LNR. I checked to see what had been seen in the last few days, not a lot on the board I then started my walk of (5 miles) this is a walk that I do on a regular basis. I start by having a look around the centre where I had Goldfinch, GoldCrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit then it is on to the hide over looking the ferry pool birds on and around the pool Shelduck, Teal, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Redshank, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull. And more Goldcrests in the bushes. Then I go along the side of the long pool where I had Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, and Water Rail. the path then turns into the west side Birds seen on the fields to my right where Pheasant, Lapwing, Magpie,Linnet, and a Cetti’s Warbler calling birds on the harbour included Little Egret, Wigeon, Cormorant, Grey Plover, Curlew, Brent Geese, Great Black Backed Gull along the path I had Stonechat, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff the path then continues to Church Norton church yard only birds of note here where Red Legged Partridge, Greenfinch, after the Church yard I take the path back down to the harbour where I had a large flock of Brent Geese, Ringed Plover, Sanderling,. more Wigeon Oystercatcher, more Cormorant, a large flock of Dunlin, Herring Gull, Grey Plover, Little Egrets, I then turn right and continue to have a look at the paddocks on your right and the sea on your left just before the paddocks in the bushes I found a Firecrest, there was not a lot to see in the paddocks so I then continue along the shore path watching the sea where there where Great Crested Grebe, Oystercatcher , Sanderling, Herring Gull, linnet, I then take the path between the severals that takes you to greenlease farm where I had Blackbird, another Chiffchaff I then take this path back to the road that takes you to Church Norton where I had Jay, Blackbird, Dunnock, Blue Tit,, and Great Tit and then back to the church yard where there was a Kestrel, Chaffinch, in the car park I then take the path back along the west side past the long pool back to the information centre and the bus back to Chichester quite a nice pleasant walk for a Sunday. The weather was dry and sunny for part of the walk with a light breeze

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lunch Time Birding

Where I work we have two long hedge rows around the car parks there is also a couple of fields and a nice country lane to do my birding at lunch time

Yesterday I had Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Goldcrest, and by the main car park a Firecrest

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wolf Watching in N W Spain

I spent a short break in NW Spain in the search of Iberian Wolf the company that I used was Oliva Rama Holidays (see my links ) run by Jules Sykes I had been on a short break with Jules before and found him friendly and very enthusiastic about showing you the birds and Mammals I would like to thank the rest of the group Caroline, Andy, and Ken for making it a enjoyable trip

The flight from Heathrow was an hour late leaving then it took nearly half an hour to clear customs at Madrid so I was a hour and a half late meeting the rest of the group> we then had a 3 hour drive to our hotel in San Pedro on route we stopped for a snack where we had 2 Crossbills on top of a tree at the side of the car park other birds seen on route included Southern Grey Shrike Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Hose Sparrow, Crested Lark. Spotless Starling As we were late arriving at San Pedro we decided to go straight to a Wolf watching site where we had Red Deer, Dartford Warbler but sadly no Wolf so it was on to the hotel
-------- where we would be staying for the next 4 night we booked in freshened up and had a very nice meal and a few drinks and then planned our next days program

Day 2
We got up early to make our first visit of the day in search of the Iberian Wolf we returned to the site we had visited the night before while waiting for the rest of the group to come down we had 2 Tawny Owls calling. but again no Wolf so back to the hotel then after breakfast it was of to the plains
on route we had Southern Grey Shrike, Sparrow hawk, Red Kite , Buzzard. Peregrine, Kestrel, Crested lark, Corn Bunting, Jackdaw, Red Legged Partridge Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Spotless Starling we then drove around the fields looking for Great Bustard we stopped when Jules said he had something in a field at first we thought it might be a Bustard but it turned out to be our first Griffon Vulture sitting also while we where here we had Calandra Lark Crested Lark with lots of Corn Buntings we then continued to drive around some more then the call went up from Ken Black Bellied Sand Grouse so we stop and found them on the ground there where 7 of them as we drove on we saw a Black Shouldered Kite so we stopped and watched the Kite for a short time we then carried on driving around and made another stop and took a short walk down a track we had more Calandra Larks Crested Larks and quite a few Great Bustards we also had a Merlin and Lang’s Short Tailed Butterfly, Clouded Yellow more Corn Buntings then it was back on the bus as we were driving off we had 3 Rock Sparrows in with the Corn Buntings so it was off for lunch after we where now going to look for waders but first we needed to find some water as every where was dry this proved quite difficult we did find some water where we had 1 Grey Lay Goose 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Shell duck, Teal, Black Headed Gull, Marsh Harrier, Swallowtail, and we found a Kestrel on a post after a short deliberation this turned out to be our first Lesser Kestrel we also had a Little Owl sitting in a stone feature on the way back to our base we had more Birds of Prey including 2 more Griffon Vultures flying, Red Kites, Buzzards, Common Kestrel, 2nd Marsh Harrier and a 2nd Little Owl so it was back for a hour rest and a well deserved beer. We then met at the bus at 6 o’clock where we had Black Redstart, we were now told that there was a change of plan we where going to the same Wolf site as before but would only be there a short time as we where going to be taken to another site . There was a young girl stopping at the hotel who had seen Wolf at this other site where there had been a carcass put out but when we got there. There was nothing left of it so it did not look promising while we where looking a car drove down the track that we where watching so that basically put a end to that we did not see Wolf so it was back to the hotel for another fine meal and wine followed by G&Ts / Brandy or what ever any one wanted we did the log then planned the next days program

Day 3
Early start again and it was off to the site that the girl had taken us to last night to look for Wolf but again no luck so back for breakfast after which I had a short stroll around the village and found Siskin, Great Tit, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Nuthatch, So now it was off to a Raptor watching site we stopped on route at a gouge

where we had Cormorant, Crag Martin, Red Rumped Swallow, Rock Bunting, and Woodlark calling. On the short walk out to the raptor site

we had Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Woodlark, the group was split up on the walk out I had a Immature Golden Eagle also Raven. At the Raptor site we had 3 Red Billed Chough, 3 Golden Eagles in front of us and our second Lesser Kestrel as well as a flock of 55 Griffon Vultures plus more we also had Hen Harrier, Sparrow Hawk, Peregrine, Buzzard., Iberian Green Woodpecker. Then we drove on heading to Portugal we stopped on the way to scan the fields and had a Tree Pipit on a bush at the side of the road we then continued to Portugal where we had lunch we stopped on the way back looking for Bonelli’s Eagle but no luck but did have another Golden Eagle and Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Hawfinch, Common Swift We then returned to our base and some of us went to have a look at another site Jules had been told about he had been told that there had been a carcass put out so we had a quick look only to get a look at the lay of the land we then found another Black Shoulder Kite (Got to say this was my bird of the trip ) then it was back to the Wolf site we had been to this morning and again no luck so by now every one was getting a little uneasy are we going to see Wolf. So it was back for another excellent meal and to decide what to do tomorrow. So over drinks and the log we decided tomorrow would be all out to try and find the elusive Iberian Wolf

So today we were going to try all the Iberian Wolf sites that we had we started early with the one that we had done on the first night but again no luck so after breakfast we headed to the site where we had been told that there was a carcass

on arrival we walked along the track and could hear voices then we came upon a group of Spanish walkers Jules spoke to them and they showed us where the carcass was we where standing watching the carcass when Ken said there is a Wolf walking in from the right it went pass the carcass and was out of sight for a while but it returned to feed on the carcass and did so for about 20 minutes a big sigh of relieve from every one we managed to show the Spanish group of walkers the Wolf through our scopes they where well pleased the Wolf was on edge all the time as we watched it at one point a Wild Bore walked in front of it after the Wolf had gone we watched 6 Red Kites feeding on the carcass we had 2 Crested Tits in the wood behind us and 6 Crossbill flying over Next it was off to see if we could locate the Black Shouldered Kite and we found 2 so we were well pleased we then returned to the hotel for lunch the biggest sandwich I have ever seen washed down with some wine after lunch we went for a short stroll around the village and found Rock Bunting. After a short break we then returned to the area that we had seen the Wolf after watching the area for a while where we had Hen Harrier, Red Kite, Buzzard, the 2 Black Shouldered Kites, Dartford Warbler. I saw a fox moving through the edge of the wood Then the same Wolf appeared which we had earlier we watched if for over half a hour before he disappeared we then went back to the very first site that we had been to after a short while Caroline said are those dogs over there but when we got on then there were 3 Wolfs moving through the edge of the bracken I managed to see 2 off them Another 1 was spotted but I did not see it we also had more Red deer and a Wild Bore so all in all a superb end to the day and what a way to end our trip

Day 5
Bit of a lay in today we decided that we would just have breakfast then get under way as we had a 3 hour trip back to Madrid airport from the motorway into Madrid we had a Black Vulture fly over I had No Problem with the flight coming back every thing was on time

Friday, October 24, 2008


Here are a few pictures they are stills taken from my video there will be more to follow when I do my write up

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

N W Spain Wolf watching

Im now back from my trip to Spain in the seach of Wolf I will be writing up my trip report soon and I hope to have a few pictures of the trip I did video the wolf but it was about 1km away so not the best video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Start Of My Blog


This is the start of my blog
I will be posting my nature trips and my birding days and holidays