Monday, April 30, 2012

Mull part Two

30th April

Today I had  booked one of the wildlife day trips that are available on Mull was picked up at 10-30 and what a day it was where to start first we had a look at grass point  no Eagles but we did have Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch as there is some building going on at the end not much chance of Otter so we moved on to a area for Hen Harrier and Short Earded Owl with no luck  we then moved on retracing our steps on route we had a White Tailed Sea Eagle we then headed for a site for White Tailed Sea Eagle but did not see any the call went up Otter but this turned out to be a Mink after a brief look in this area we then headed to knock where we had lunch just has we where preparing to leave the call went up Golden Eagle we Watched It come of the face and disappear out of sight we then continued on having more pipits and Wheatears, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, on route to our next stop we stopped at a area for Peregrine which we had plus Kestrel a little further along the road we found Raven as we were driving along I had a twite fly across in front of us  Then onto a site for White Tailed Eagle where we had one of the birds sitting on the nest  while here we had another Golden Eagle with more Buzzards and Raven, We then continued on where we had Great Northern Diver, Red Throated Diver and a Otter asleep on the far bank (too far for a picture) we now continued on our way back after passing a good spot for Short Eared Owl no luck we spotted a bird of prey ahead of us this turned out to be a nice Male Hen Harrier which gave a good show but distance, Then we retraced out route to see if we could locate any Short Eared Owls where we had 3+ birds some good views we then moved onto a another Golden Eagle area where we had 2 birds in the air, Then back to where I had been picked up and the end to a great days birding` some of the other birds seen included Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Eider, Red Breasted Merganser, Goosander, Mallard, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Shag, Siskin, Wi8llow Warbler, Stonechat, After my evening meal I took a walk along the shore from my B&B looking for Otter with no luck and no new birds for the day lets see what tomorrow brings

Will put together a list of what I have seen this week later not sure of total so far but must be 50+ species

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mull Trip

28th / 29th April

Decided to take the coach to Scotland the reason was to keep the cost of travelling down left London at 22-30 (on the 28th) arrived Glasgow  07-00 (on 29th) had a hour and half wait for connection to Oban arrived 11-25 the trip from London was not that bad had worst on some flights, The trip to Oban is one I have done many times in a car but from a coach you see it from a different angle not a lot bird wise but a very enjoyable trip, On arriving at Oban I had a short walk around waiting for the pubs to start serving food at 12-00 found a nice quite one tucked away in a back street, After a snack and a pint i had a look in the harbour to see if I could see Black Guillemot that breed here but with no luck I then had a walk along the road towards the camping and caravan site looked good for Otter but again no luck so it was back to the Ferry Terminal for a short nap then the ferry to Mull on the crossing I had Guillemot and just over half way across I found a Black Guillemot but not a lot else, So i found my B&B and settled in have a great view of the bay so who knows what might turn up first thing in the mornings, Then off for my evening meal which I have just finished very nice indeed so now looking forward to the rest of the week hopefully I will be posting every evening as I have free Wi Fi at the B&B I have my bins with me so a look at the bay on the way back to the B&B.

Friday, April 27, 2012

27th April West Sussex

Trip to Sussex today with my mate set of from home in the rain our first stop was Ivy lake to see if we could find any Black Terns but with no luck we did have Blackcap and a Garden Warbler we spoke to another birder who told us there was a Wood Warbler at church Norton , Our next stop was a look at the ferry pool but no sign of any Common Sandpipers But a few Reed Warblkers , Then onto Church Norton we took the path down to the harbour where there were some other birders looking for the Wood Warbler after a short time we had views of it but it was keeping deep in the bushes we also had Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, We then had a walk to the sea but no sign of the Short Eared Owls that had been seen this morning on our return to the car park we had 5 Whimbrel, Now onto Selsey first stop for food then onto Bill House where we did a 2 hour sea watch birds seen Common Scoter, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Common Tern, Great Black Backed Gull, 3 Black Throated Divers, 3 Little Terns, and lots of Swallows coming in, From here we headed for Pullbourgh Brooks where the weather had improved here we had  more warblers as before plus Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler but the bird we had hoped to see was the Nightingale where we had 6 singing and 3 good sightings of 3 of them Year Total now stands at 210

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

22nd April Chichester

The male Peregrine at Chichester

21st April Pulborough Brooks

Spent a very pleasant afternoon at the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks target bird was to see if we could see Nightingale, We took a slow walk around the reserve plenty of Blackcaps, Willow Warblers spent most of the time looking for migrants while sitting in the Little Hanger Hide we had a Red Kite  just as we came of the hanger we heard a Nightingale and after some effect we did manage to see it we also heard a Cuckoo, then continued to the hides on the return route while sitting in the winpenny hide we had a Lesser Whitethroat at the side of the hide there were plenty of the common species now on 208 for the year

Friday, April 20, 2012

20th April Sea Watch

Sea watch at Selsey Bill

Decided to do a sea watch at Selsey today I spent 2 and ½ hours there not a lot happing for the first half hour birds see are 3 Bonxie 4 Arctic Skuas 1 Pom Skua 3 Arctic Terns 20 + Gannets plus a Swift flew in off the sea other birds seen included Cormorant, House Sparrow, Starling, Turnstone, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Just as I was leaving I was told that there were 2 Common Sandpipers on the ferry pool so i got off the bus and walked past the pool found the Sandpipers and got on the next bus so ending a good afternoon now on 205 for the year

19th April

19th April


Spent the afternoon at  the wetland centre at Arundel nice quite afternoon (don’t think I have know it so quite people wise) at least 5 Cetti’s calling and a good number of Sedge Warbler nice number of Swallows with some Sand and House Martins as it was a bit of a wet afternoon no birds of prey plenty of the common species on the walk back to the bus stop alongside the castle in the canal that runs along the road I had a brief glimpse of a Water Vole as it disappeared into one of the holes

18th April

Pagham Harbour

Today took the coach to Chichester via Gatwick Airport (trying to keep the cost down) Arrived in Chichester at 11-20 then took the bus to RSPB Pagham nature reserve after a quick coffee I had a look at the ferry pool plenty of Shellducks, Lapwings, Teal, selection of Gulls and Corvids as it had started raining (showers where expected) I decided I would walk to the north wall I started along the old tramway where I had a Whitethroat singing I continued along the path to millpond where I found a Whimbrel then I continued to Halseys Farm then across the fields to the north wall where the sun came out plenty of common species seen after a short time the wind got up so I dropped off the top of the wall onto the path that runs alongside the wall and the reed bed where I stopped for lunch I then continued along the path and after a short time I had a Reed Warbler as I reached the sluice the rain started again I then walked along church lane to get the bus back   

Hre is a short video in slide mode of the walk please let me know whatb you think as i am thinking of more like this

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saturday 14th April

Decided to do a few spots between Chichester and Selsey today we started at Ivey Lake part of the Chichester gravel pits not long after we started our walk we had a good number of Blackcaps and Willow Warblers and plenty of common species as we returned to the car we found a nice Redstart then had a Garden Warbler in the top of the trees showing very well for a brief time then Carol found a Pied Flycatcher but I did not get on it, We then had a look at the Ferry Pool and a short walk along the tram way back to the car park after which We  headed for Selsey where we sat at the bill and had lunch while here I found a Black Throated Diver on the sea and a Arctic Skua flew by, After a short stop for some shopping it was then onto Church Norton where we had  a look in the church yard not a lot going on we then moved on to the shore line and back to the car on route I found another Pied Flycatcher so it would seem there had been a fall overnight while in the church yard we had a Peregrine fly over head so ending another days birding

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Weekend

Friday 6th April

Leaving London at ¼ to 11 we headed for Peterborough for the weekend after getting caught for a short time on the M25 once on the A1 all went well a short stop for coffee at the Baldock services we reached Peterborough just after 14-30 after a short break we headed for Thorney where there had been a Great Grey Shrike but not why we where there, So onto Guyhirn to the Chill Out Cafe where we found 4 Common Cranes (new bird for Carol) we then had a look at Nene Washes where we found another Common Crane so 5 for the day not a lot else as it was getting towards dusk and we had a long day we finished for the day.

Saturday 7th April

Today we headed for Titchwell on the North West coast of Norfolk after a short stop to see if we could see the Shrike again no Luck we then stopped to watch the 4 Common Cranes Again we then continued on to Norfolk stopping for a short time at Snettisham but as the tide was out a long way and the wind and the rain started we then continued on to Titchwell where we had a nice relaxing afternoon birds seen here included Marsh Harrier, Wigeon, Shovler, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Avocet, Black Tailed Godwit, and the nice Spotted Redshank that had wintered here so a good opportunity to get some pictures of it in summer plumage (pictures to follow) we then headed to the beach where we found the Velvet Scoter on the sea on the shore line we had Knot, Sanderling, Bar Tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, We then started to head back to the car park where we had plenty of common species in the bushes plus our first Willow Warbler of the year after a coffee we then headed to Hunstanton cliffs here we found Fulmar not a lot else as the tide was still out so we had a look of the sea front at Hunstanton here we found some Eider, Common Scoter plus the gulls you would expect so now we headed Peterborough so ending a nice relaxing days birding

Sunday 8th April

Bird wise this was going to be a short day but that did not stop us having a very interesting morning one of those mornings that just get better as time goes on first stop was Rutland Water for the Ospreys that we knew had returned we had the pair at the nest too far for any decent pictures but very nice this was all we had intended to do, but then we decided to have a look at Eye Brook Reservoir we drove around the edge till we found a spot to stop and set up the scopes where we could scan the water (if you know this area we stopped on what is called windy corner where you can see over the trees on the other side of the reservoir right this is bird of prey territory what took place happened over the next half hour Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, 8 Common Buzzards, Female Goshawk, Osprey at one point we had Buzzard, kite , Goshawk & Sparowhawk in the air at the same time all be it for about 10 minutes so back to Peterborough for a chill out afternoon at the pictures and a meal then baqck to home after a short break the brother said he knew a spot for Barn Owl so off we set not long after we got there one flew along the river/drain so we continued further along the road where he said we should be able to find another one which we did it sat in a tree for a short time then flew into the barn also along here we had 3 Whooper Swans now as it was getting dark back to Peterborough so ending a great raptor and chilled out day

Monday 9th April

Just a mornings birding today we headed to Ferry Meadows not been here for some time as we started out there was some light rain so we headed for the sailing club area he we had a good number of Sand Martins where I found a couple of House Martins with them we also had Swallow we then decided to have a coffee so we retired to the cafe out of the rain while sitting here I found a Little Gull on the far side of the water we then parked near the main entrance after a quick look at the information centre we headed to the hides and a walk through a wooded area not a lot from the hides but in the bushes/trees and scrub we had good views of Blackcap, Willow Warbler, a selection of tits and finches on the walk back we had a bird singing on the far bank I said that does not sound right for a Blackcap then the bird put in a appearance and tuned out to be a Garden Warbler so a nice end to our weekends bird then back for lunch before we started for home

Year list stands at 193

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

London Wetland Centre

I had a very good afternoon at the Lndon Wetland Centre today Tuesday 3rd April the bird of the day was the male Garganey

Sunday, April 1, 2012

West Sussex and Hampshire

Friday 30th March

Today decided on a trip to the wetland centre at Arundel took the bus via Littlehampton as the road works on the A27 are still going on it turned into just the afternoon still a bit quite on the migrant front only a few birds of note Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler Cwtti’s numbers are good at least 5 birds calling plus plenty of common birds from the reed bed loop over the hanger I had Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and 2 Peregrines gave up even thinking about getting the bus back so took the train to Barnham then the bus.

Saturday 31st March

Trip into Hampshire today starting at Gosport there where very few gull around the lake mostly Black Headed and a few Herring Gulls, We then had a look at the creek and after a short time we found the Ringed Billed Gull some way out just to far for a picture so it was back to the car for a cup of coffee while having this we had a Osprey fly over head so 2 more added for the year

Our next stop was Farlington Marshes LNR we took a walk to the information hut the had a walk around the bushes lots of finches Green, Gold and Chaffinch plus Dunnock and Wren, We the took a look at the lake and after a short time I found the Garganey so ending a pleasant days birding

Year list now stands at 188