Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saturday 18th February

I had arranged with my mate to go to north east Norfolk today but this was changed when we heard about the Common Yellowthroat near Newport, Having checked the weather we set of at 4 30 and we were joined by Corrina after a breakfast stop we arrived at the site at about 7 15 we parked and joined the other birders that were already there about 150, There was no sign of the bird by 10 30 (there were brief sightings of the bird in the afternoon) as the promised rain started and rain had been forecast for the rest of the day we decided to head for the Forest of Dean to see if we could get ahead of the rain, On arriving at the raptor watch point the rain started again my mate picked up a Goahawk but me and Corrina did not get on it we had Raven, Crossbill, Common Buzzard here but the wind and rain moved us on we had a look at canock ponds where we had 27 Mandarin Ducks, Then it was on to the site for Dipper with no luck as we now where getting wet we decided we might as well have a look at Slimbridge to see if we could see the female Lesser Scaup, We set up in the Pen hide over looking Rushy pen my mate found the bird but then it disappeared out of sight but we did have some fun with a female Tufted Duck that had a lot of white at the base of the bill, We then had a look from 2 of the other hides overlooking rushy pen as we entered the last hide I found the Lesser Scaup again over the back and we had the female Tufted in the scope at the same time, we had a nice Water Rail out in the open, by now the weather had picked up at it turned into a nice sunny and please late afternoon after a coffee we set of for home.
As I have to work during the week no chance to go back for the Yellowthroat so a dip it was for me not the first and will not be the last

Monday, February 20, 2012

11th & 12th February

Saturday the 11th February

West Sussex

As the weather was not that good this weekend we decided to do another trip to West Sussex, As the Paddyfield Warbler had been seen the last couple of days this would be our first stop we arrived at ¼ past 11 but there had been no sign of the bird so far today we stayed till 1 o’clock no sign of the bird (on checking the pager all day there was no sign of the bird today) so we now decided to see if we could find any of the other birds we were looking for today

We now set of for Shoreham Harbour as the tide was coming in we thought we had a good chance of the Purple Sandpiper, We parked at the fort car park and walked towards the west arm after a short time we found 4 Purple Sandpipers sitting on the end of the breakwater as we were walking back to the car we had 2 Rock Pipits sitting on the west arm,

 We then checked the pager and found that the Great White Egret was still on Thorny Island so we set of there to see if we could finally see it on arriving we parked by the farm to have a look at the great deep from the road on checking along the road I could see some birders watching something from the checkpoint so we walked along and joined them just as we arrived the Egret was flying across the marsh to the north of the deep we had it flying about on and off for about 15 minutes but every time it dropped down it went out of sight but we had at last seen it.

We now decided to start heading in a homeward direction and decided to come back up the A29 we stopped at Waltham Brooks nature reserve and had a look at the sewage farm where we had 4 Chiffchaff which included the Siberian Chiffchaff, we then had a look at the brooks from the railway where there is a footpath over it, from here we had 3 Short Eared Owls and a Barn Owl,(It is a pity some people cannot put the birds first you can see most of the marsh from the river bank or from the railway I know I take pictures but there were birders with cameras trying to get pictures of the Owls but all the Owls wee trying to do was feed instead they were being chased up and down the marsh) on our walk back we looked at the sewage farm from the gate and here I had a Grey Wagtail

We see a good selection of common birds today I have only mentioned the new birds for this year in the main report.

Sunday the 12th February

London Wetland Centre at Barns

A short trip out today mainly to see if we could get any good sightings of Bittern on arriving we set of for the Dulverton hide were I had been told to look from on our way to the hide someone was watching something at the side of the path this turned out to be a close Water Rail which promptly disappeared so on to the hide we had not been in it very long when a warden said I have a Bittern which was on the other side of the area we were watching and we had good views of the bird, We no decided to have a look at Headly hide on the way round to it we stopped of for a nice bowl of soup in the cafe on arriving at the hide I was just setting my scope up to get on a Bittern I had seen on the far bank at the same time Carole also had spotted it and we had very good views of our second Bittern just a bit to far away for a picture but very good all the same, as it was getting cold again we headed of to do some shopping then home

Monday, February 6, 2012

West Sussex 4th February

We planned a trip to West Sussex today with a few target birds in mind
When we set of it was -4 degs our first stop was to see if we could see the Parrot Crossbill near Halsemere on arriving we walked out to the spot where there where already about 25 birders the bird had been seen at 9 o’clock no idea what the temperature was here but it was very cold we stayed a hour no sign of the Parrot Crossbill plenty of Common Crossbills, Siskins, Redwings and Fieldfare this was a stop we added to our planned day.
So back to the planed route we headed for West Dean looking for the Little Owl again no luck (wonder if the rest of the day was going to be like this) we did have Peregrine and 4 Common Buzzards other birds Stonechat, Blackbird, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow

From here we headed to Thorny Island looking for the Great White Egret we had been told it was at the far side of the great deep so we walked along the sea wall to the security gate and scanned from here on route to the gate we had a Marsh Harrier, We spoke to a birder near the gate and he said he had a Greenshank back along the path which we located on our way back but no sound of Cetti’s Warbler or Bearded Tit other birds seen included Little Egret, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Red Breasted Merganser, Wigeon, Curlew, Black Tailed Godwit. We then drove along the road towards the Gaurd House and parked to have a look at the great deep the other side of the road no sign of the GWE so we walked down to the gaurd house and scanned from there still no luck
Next stop was Fishbourne Creek we were looking for Little Stint which we found also had a Kingfisher sitting on one of the boats in the harbour other birds Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, selection of Gulls Wigeon and lots of Pintail

We  now started to head for home and our last stop was at Burton Mill Pond we walked along the side of the pond to see if we could locate the Tawny Owl but a lot of the trees had been blown down in the recent storm so no luck, as it was getting colder again we decided to call it a day
If the weather had been a bit better would have seen more birds but I think the cold kept them well hidden out of the wind and cold, We did managed to see 2 of our target birds Greenshank and Little Stint still no Great White Egret will have to see what the weather is doing this weekend maybe back to Dungeness where there are 3 GWE