Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Station Walk

Todays walk was from Hackbridge to Mitcham Common
The bird I was after today Little Ringed Plover which I did find but a very pleasant afternoon plenty of Warblers singing but not much chance of pics Cetti's, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Black Cap, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, and just as I was coming to the end of the walk a Nightingale singing, plus many of the resident birds you would expect, Butterflies seen Small White, Peacock, Comma, Orange Tip

Orange Tip


Monday, February 29, 2016

North West Norfolk (part two)

Sunday 28th February 

Me and Bob had planned a second trip to North West Norfolk to see if we could find the birds we did not have time for on the first trip, We had it all planned by going straight up to Wells.
I got to Bobs for half past eight on arriving Bob said the White Stork was showing at Welney so we re arranged our plans and headed towards Welney, As we got near to Ely for our breakfast stop we checked and found the Stork had flown north, So after breakfast we carried on up the A10 and checked again it had been seen in the distance very briefly so we decided to carry on towards to coast we had a quick look at the Wolverton scissors for the Golden Pheasant but no luck.

We stopped here to see if we could locate the flock of Twite (as we only had one bird the last time) but no luck we did have Curlew a few Gulls .

Titchwell RSPB
we had a look at the information board to see what was about then set of for the beach passing the feeders we had Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue / Great / Coal / Long Tailed Tits, Then took the path to the beach, after short distance we saw some people photographing a Water Rail so I took some pics myself
Water Rail

 Then then continued on some one said there is a Water Pipit showing just ahead so we stopped to have a look (not doing bad for them this year) other Birds seen included Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Avocet, Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Grey Plover and a selection of Gulls

We kept scanning as there had been a Spotted Redshank and Greenshank seen but we had no luck with them, So we arrived at the beach where the tide was out no sign of the Red Necked Grebe but plenty of birds including Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Red Breasted Merganser, Knot, Sanderling, Bar Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, and Gulls, then walked back to the car park was going to have a coffee but it was busy and time was getting on, 

Brancaster Staithe
We headed here because the Red Necked Grebe had been seen here but no luck we kept checking for the Stork but no news birds here more of what we already had,

Burnhan Overy Staithe
We pulled up at the side of the road and started scanning I said what is that large white bird Bob got the scope on it juv Spoonbill, Here we had a selection of geese Greylag, Canada, Egyptian, Brent, We also had a Common Buzzard sitting on the top of a small tree then it settled on the ground.

Holkham Fresh Marsh
Here we parked by the B1155 they are making it difficult to park here now but this was a quick stop where we found White Fronted Goose.

Wells Next the Sea
We pulled up on the car park our target bird here was the see if the Shag was still about as we had not heard anything on it for a couple of days a quick scan  and we moved along to the end of the car park where we found it

Blackney Fresh Marsh
we parked and walked out along the sea wall our Target Bird here was Lapland Bunting spoke to a chap coming back who said they where showing despite the birders trying to get pics of them we arrived at the spot with a few other birders and after a short time we had them flying over our heads and one came down along the path but before we had a chance to get a better look a dog put it up we then had 6 again fly over and got good in flight views but as is was getting late sadly they looked like there where going to roost so no pics.

On the way back to the car we checked and found that the Stock was back at Welney so after another look at Brancaster Staithe for the Grebe still no luck, So of we set done some checking on phone for the time it would take to get back to Welney then on the A10 we got stuck behind a slow moving bus so held us up a bit, When we did get to the Information Centre at Welney it was dark but thanks to the light pollution coming from the centre we found the Stork roosting on the flood behind the centre on a island in the middle so we where quite chuffed we got it (would have been nice to see it in a bit more light but still a nice bird and we know it is from Poland as there is a Polish ring on it).

So we then set of for home stopping for something to eat back to Bob's for 1/4 past 10 then I had another hour Trains and buses a nightmare so ended a very long but pleasant days birding 

Sadly the Stork turned out to be a Escape 

Year list now stands at 160

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Beddington Farmlands

Started out today heading for Croydon on route I checked to see if there was any thing about noticed there was a Iceland gull seen at Beddington Farmlands so got of the tram at Mitcham Junction and walked across Mitcham Common to the Farmlands on my walk to the fenced of area I had Redwing, Fieldfare, Tree Sparrow, Blackbird a selection of Tits, As I was not planning on coming here I did not have my scope so it took some time to locate the Iceland Gull plus I had a Adult Mediterranean Gull It was a bit frustrating as a Peregrine was putting the gulls up but did get a good in flight view of both the Gulls so in the end turned out to be a very pleasant afternoons birding, Year list now stands at 155

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Richmond Park National Nature Reserve

After a nice relaxing day at 15-00 hours I decided to get some fresh air where to go finally decided a trip into Richmond Park National Nature Reserve (still seems funny calling it that) so set of on my bike entered the park by Ladderstile gate and headed for Penn Ponds,After a coffee I set of past white lodge towards Richmond gate and along past Pembroke Lodge then at the junction at Ham gate I headed back into the centre of the park stopping at the back of the Isabellla plantation, Then retuning to the Penn Ponds I then walked around the upper pond and as I got back to the car park I heard a Tawny owl call so set of to find it as I got near the wood it was in I saw it fly of to my right so continued on round back to the car park from here I went back past White Lodge and headed for Roehampton Gate then took the cycle/footpath towards Robin Hood Gate along here I had a second Tawny Owl fly across in front of me, I then continued on to Kingston gate and so of to home so ending a very interesting couple of hours in the park will be doing a lot more of this seeing areas that I do not normally do,Getting used to the bike now so the New Forest will be good when I get down there

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Barns And Thursley Commons

Today me and my mate Bob decided to try for the Firecrest on Barns common I met him there and we spent 3 hours we had good views of 3 birds 1 north of the station and 2 south of the station.

We then decide to have a look at Thursley Common we walked out to Shrike hill where we had Woodlark (20+ birds) we then walked back to the car talking to another birder as we got near the car the birder found the Great Grey Shrike on the top of a tree in the distance, From here we drove back towards the A3 and parked in a layby and walked on to the common from here we spent some time here looking for Dartford Warbler we had brief views of 2 birds, What was surprising we did not see any Stonechats. So back to the car and homeward bound, A very pleasant days birding

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Forest of Dean and a Dip

Tuesday 16 Feb

Set of at 7 this morning for a Trip to the Forest of Dean our first stop the other side of Oxford was for breakfast what a saga that turned out to be we where the only ones in the place but still took over half hour to get breakfast as it was do cold the first time we have been along the M40 and no Kites, So after breakfast yes we did get it in the end we then set of for our next stop at Gloucester to see if we could see the Penduline Tits on route we had a Buzzard sitting in a field , After more hold ups at Cheltenham we arrived about a hour later than planned  at 10 - 30 (as we found out later the birds had flown back behind the hotel over the road) we met a few people who said they had not seen them so we decided to continuer on in to the forest and if we had time come back later here we had our first bird of prey in the air a Sparrowhawk,

The Forest
On arriving at 11-30 we set of for the raptor watch point we set of for the top of the hill as we got there some one said there is a Goshawk sitting (our target bird) we got on it just as it flew, over the next half hour it put on a good show this bird was of to the right while scanning we had Siskin and Crossbill fly over of to the left we had a Buzzard and 2 Ravens, so we kept scanning and then straight out in front we had a pair of Goshawk displaying, Also while here we heard Wild Boar down in the valley in front of us but no sign, so on to our next stop Cannock ponds we park by the works at the end of the ponds here we had Grey Wagtail and on the feeders Blue Tit, Dunnock, Long Tailed Tit and a very brief view of a Marsh Tit plus a small section of ducks on the ponds, Our next stop was at Parkend near the pub to see if we could find Dipper but here the stream was quite high plus to many people with dogs so no Dipper but we did here a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but could not locate it,So then a stop for some thing to eat and drink, Then onto our next stop we decided to have a look at Cannock stream further up Bob took the path by the stream and I took the upper path as we where hopping for Bullfinch sadly no Bullfinch, Then Bob called out Dipper so I made my way down to the Stream and finally got on it I did try to follow it for a picture but it was to flighty so no luck,But while on the top path I did hear another Lesser Spotted Woodpecker again no sign, Then we decided to have a look at the feeding station the other side of the ponds near the car park we where hopping the marsh Tit would show as we had been told it was showing well earlier, We spent some time here we had 5 species of tit Great, Blue, Coal, Long Tailed and only got a brief view of the Marsh, There where plenty of other birds to see Chaffinch, Greenfinch,Reed Bunting, Robin, Nuthatch, Blackbird, and on the pond Bob found 2 Yellow Legged Gulls,

As time was getting on we decide to have another look for the Penduline Tits at Gloucester so of we set doing well until I told Bob to take the wrong exit at the roundabout on arriving we where told they are there but as we got to the couple who where still there they said they had just flown further down along the reeds and as the light was fading it appeared they had gone to roost so taking the wrong exit at the roundabout cost us the birds so that was the Dip of the day (that is 2 lots of Penduline Tits we have tried for and not seen this year) so then homeward bound we stopped at Oxford on the M40 for something to eat then set of until we reached the M25 all going well then we sat in a traffic jam for 40 minutes going nowhere so finally getting back to Bobs at just gone 9 then I had a easy trip home so ending a good but frustrating day in the Forest of Dean
My year list is now 152 plus 1 Heard

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Home Park

Trip out this afternoon to Home Park (or some times called Hampton Court Park) I entered via the gate at Kingston bridge after walking past the Leg of Mutton pond I heard a couple of Magpies making a lot of noise and flying back and forward to a tree as I got closer I could see they where mobbing something took a little while but I finally found what it was a Little Owl after a while it had enough and flew off, so I continued on to the long water set myself up by the fence and at 20 past 3 the first Short Eared Owl appeared the a about 10 minutes later I had 2 Short Eared owls in the air did manage a few shots not the best so will have to go back plenty of Ringed Neck Parakeets, And I nice flock of 30+ Fieldfare with about 20m Redwing, Other birds seen included Great Tit, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gulls, Green Woodpecker so ending a good afternoon in the park

Lee Valley Country Park

Saturday 30th January

We decided on a trip to the Lee Valley today after a drive around the M25 we arrived at Fishers Green car park then took the short walk to the Bittern Information Hide we spent some time here but no Bittern, We did have a Water Rail and CettiI am now on 134 for the year

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bit of London Birding

Monday 25th January

Me and my mate decided to have a look for the Great Grey Shrike at Edgeware on arriving the bird was putting on a good show, After this we then headed for Stockers Lake and after a very pleasant long walk we finally found what we had come for we had 2 pairs of Red Crested Pochard that was hard work, Birds seen included Goldeneye, Wigeon, Gadwall, selection of Gulls, and a few of the more common birds, we then headed for Beaconsfield services on the M40 on route we had 5+ Red Kites bring my total for the year to 129

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Pair of Red Crested Pochard

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trip to Hampshire

Wednesday 20th January 2016
Me and my mate Bob and Corrinna decided on a trip into Hampshire today we had a sort of plan so on meeting them at Bobs for a * O'clock start after a very cold trip on the bus (no heating) we set of our first stop was

Rooksbury Local Nature Reserve at Andover our target bird here was the 2 Ringed Necked Ducks we arrived and checked the map a short walk and after a short time we found them, so it was back in the car then of for a breakfast stop, our next stop was

Kingfisher lake near Blashford Lakes Target bird Ferruginous Duck spent some time looking but with no luck this looks like the last time here as they are putting up a fence that will block the lake of they are having a lot of problems here, we did have a flock of 20+ Goosanders here with some Wigeon, Tufted Duck,Coots, Gadwall, and a selection of Gulls So on to

Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve
on arriving we had a few common birds on the feeders by the info hut we then set of for the woodland hide on entering we found it a bit noisy so we sat down and had a look at what was about (when I say noisey there was one local gentleman  that was a bit on the loud side and he got quite shirty when Bob asked him to be quiet) but we did have some good birds her Redpoll, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, on the feeders and an ice Brambling on the ground after a short time we could not take any more of the noise, So we set of to have a look at some of the other hides plenty of Wigeon, Pochards, Gadwall, Tuffted Ducks, Coot, Cormorants and a selection of common birds, on the way round to the Ivy Lake North hide we some more Siskins on the feeders we then entered the hide to be  told there was a couple of Bitterns and after a short time one put up a good show the best pics I have got of a Bittern then the second one appeared for a short time , also we had Water Rail, and more of the ducks so then of to the Tern Hide where Bob found the 2 Black Necked Grebes, a Yellow Legged Gull I also had a Egyption Goose and another flock of 30= Goosander. our next stop was

Blackwater Arboretum
On arriving we had a few Crossbills fly over which we heard then we spent some time looking for Hawfinch  we did manage time find a Crossbill sitting in the top of a tree, Then another couple called us and they had a Hawfinch on the top of a tree very quite here not a lot of birds so we then decided on what to do to finnish the day with as it would only take 15 minute to get to Beaulieu Road we decided to try for the Great Grey Shrike we had a wander out but the light was going and we did not find it

So ended a good days Birding in Hampshire

Ringed Necked Duck

Ringed Neck Duck









Great Spotted Woodpecker




Monday, January 18, 2016

Staines Reservoir

Return trip to Staines Reservoir sorted out a better way to get there then spent 2 and a half hours up on the reservoirs that was hard work finally found the Great Northern Diver after 2 hours plus 1 of the Scaups plenty of Tufted Duck , Goldeneye, Wigeon, Pochard, Teal, Gadwall 2 of the Black Necked Grebes, plus the Little Gull by the causeway then a new route home avoiding the school buses bit windy but a nice pleasant couple of hours putting me on 119 for the year.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

South East kent

Planned a day out with my mate today met him at 07-00 hrs when then decided where to go we chose The Dungeness area of Kent we set of and after a breakfast at the Oasis Cafe we where all set for the day, Our first stop was a look at wellard marsh area here we had Fieldfare, Bewick,s Swan, a large number of Tree Sparrows Chaffinch , Yellowhammer, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush,  Common Buzzard and a good number of Stock Dove the most I have seen in this area. As this was the first full days birding Bob has had since retuning from Spain most birds would be new for the year for him, we did a circuit of the area picking up Golden Plover , Lapwing ,Redwing, Blue Tit, Great Tit , Kestrel then Bob found a raptor sitting on the edge of a field which was a Marsh Harrier.
Our next stop was the RSPB Reserve after quick stop at the info centre we headed for the Long Eared Owl as we got there most people left those that where left did not know where the owl was so we decide to come back and set of for the hides where we had a Great White Egret, Female Smew, Goldeneye, Shoveler, Gadwall,  a selection of Gulls Black Headed, Common, Herring , Lesser Black Backed , Greater Black Backed, We then continued the walk to Denge Mash Hide on Route we Found  a Raven from the hide Great Crested Grebe, Greylag,. On our way round good numbers of Tufted Duck, Shoverler, Pochard,  We then went to the ramp area looking for the Penduline Tits after talking to a few people we realized this was  going to take some time as they had not been seen for some time so we decided to have a look for the Slavonian Grebe witch some one said was on the back of Hookers pit we set of with him and found it. We then returned to see if the Leo was showing as we approached people where watching some thing and we finally got a view of the Long Eared Owl. so back to the Information Centere for a coffee, From here we had a look at the new diggings for Black Necked Grebe which we did not find. From here we headed to do a sea watch where we had Kittiwake, 2 Red Throated Divers, Gannet, Guillemot,  We then had a look at Greatstone where we had Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar Tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Knot , Oystercatcher,Dunlin. From here we headed to Hythe where we found 3 Purple Sand Pipers, So ending a very good days birding, Other birds seen included Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Robin, Dunnock, Green Woodpecker, Wren.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Last 3 Days Nonsuch |Park / Wetland Centre / |Home Park

Bit of a update of the past 3 days

Tuesday Nonsuch Park
Had a wander around Nonsuch Park hoping for woodpeckers only managed to find Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a Bullfinch plenty to see Goldcrest, Blue Great and Coal Tits, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Nuthatch, Black Headed Gull, Mistle Thrush, Ringed Necked Parakeet, (can not get away from them) then the rain came so retreated to the station and the train back home..

Wednesday Wetland Centre
Trip to the Wetland Centre London was hoping for some some pics but not a lot showing so ended up spending the afternoon Bittern watching had a good view of one from the peacock tower as I was leaving a second one flew of to our right (there was also a report of one on the main lake) so it looks like there are 3 there at the moment, then I walked round to the wildside hide to see if I could get a pic of the one sitting in the open but just as I got there it flew along the reed bed and landed behind the large Island after a short time I located it and got a few people on it then a group came in and we finally got them on it some where well pleased there first Bittern not the best of views but you could see what it was, on the walk round to the wildside hide I had a wintering Blackcap..

Thursday Home Park / River Thames
Had a very pleasant afternoon walk in Home Park and then back along the river Thames to Kingston Bridge came in via Hampton Court and walked along side the Long Water did find a Green Woodpecker in the park more Ring necked Parakeets, Carrion Crow, Plenty of Coots a small flock of Tuffted Duck and on one of the ponds some Gadwall a good number of Black Headed Gulls, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, plus some common species..

That now puts me on 103 for the year

Monday, January 11, 2016

Widewater and Shoreham Fort

Quick trip to Widewater and Shoreham Fort Goosander showed well but was a sleep most of the time also had the Red Breasted Mergansers, at the fort had a Kittiwake fly by and 3 Purple Sandpipers in the harbour entrance putting me on 99 for the year

Friday, January 8, 2016

Staines Reservoir

Was planning on going to Widewater today but heard this morning that no sign of the Goosander so change of plan went to Staines Reservoir instead met Corinna on the causeway between the reservoirs our target birds where Scaup and Black Necked Grebe Corinna had already seen a Black Necked Grebe by the time I arrived so we set of across the reservoirs scanning the large flocks of ducks plenty of Tufted Duck and Pochard with good numbers of Wigeon took some time but I found a Scaup  we then continued across where we had a flock of 20+ Meadow Pipits with a Water Pipit with them I found a Black Necked Grebe then Corinna found 2 more we also had a Med Gull fly over and a few Dunlin on our return back along the path on the south basin we had Goldeneye as we got back to the other side I found another Scaup other birds seen Mallard, Carrion Crow, Black Headed Gull, Coot, Pied Wagtail, Teal so ended a good afternoons birding I added 4 for the year putting me on 93

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wetland Centre London

after the rain this morning decided a trip to the Wetland Centre London was a place to go on arriving set of for the Headley hide spoke to one of the volunteers he said best place to look for the Bittern was the wildside hide so setting of then going back because I forgot my brolly  i then caught up with him in the hide we started looking but no sign he then left and a lady volunteer arrived plus one other in the hide after a short while I found the Bittern sitting in the reed preening we all had good views for about 10 minutes from here I also found the Female Goldeneye on the the main lake I had Mandarin Duck I then set of for the other side of the reserve and headed for the Peacock Tower on route I had a Peregrine   my 3rd of the week also had Sparrowhawk from the tower I had Great Crested Grebe and after a bit of finding the Jack Snipe and  on my back to the bus I had Mistle Thrush on the playing fields so ending a good afternoons birding  that puts me on 89 for the year