Wednesday 21 April 2010

Clowes Wood and Grove Ferry

Tuesday 20 th April 2010

My target bird at Clowes wood was Common Crossbill , as local birders had been seeing them there on a regular basis's and to rub it in they have been getting decent photos of them too !

Willow Warbler.

I was late getting there not arriving until 10.30 ish and the car park was full, damn either loads of dog walkers or god knows what , i instantly heard then saw Willow Warbler which was a welcome year tick , so of i set to the area roughly where the Crossbills had been seen , plenty of bird song greeted me in the form of Chiffchaff , Willow Warbler and Blackcap but no sign of any Crossbills .

I saw Goldcrest and approx 7 Goldfinch flew over plus distant Great Spotted Woodpecker calling , i then bumped into another birder who had just seen a Nightingale further along the path but he said there was an army of ramblers heading that way ( hence all the cars in the car park ) , whilst chatting 2 more birders in the hunt for Crossbills turned up , Mike Gould and Steve Ashton, and we teamed up in are pursuit and headed of to where the Nightingale had last been seen , on nearing the location we could hear it calling , we left Steve who was busy photographing Willow Warbler .

We reached the location of the Nightingale but it had stopped singing so Mike played the song on his mobile and within seconds the Nightingale flew from behind us and showed really well for a good 30 mins , i even managed half decent pics myself !


I was really pleased with adding this glorious songster to my year list , normally you only hear or get a brief glimpse but this one showed really well , and more than made up for missing the Crossbills .

Grove Ferry was my next stop to see if i could catch up on some more migrants and as i approached the Ramp i saw my 3rd year tick of the day with a Common Whitethroat which gave it self up after a couple of minutes of singing deep inside a bramble bush , this was very quickly followed by my first Sand Martins (100 + ) of the year , not a bad start.

I spent a little time at the Ramp but only added 2 Ringed Plovers and all the regular ducks you would expect to see there , i then headed of to the water meadows on route there i had a brief view of a Cetti's and heard another 15+ also Sedge and Chiffchaff were very vocal i also saw 3 Common Swifts which were also new for the year and quite early too , on reaching the water meadows i saw 3 Black-tailed Godwits plus 6 Green Sandpipers which were my fourth year tick at this site , 2 more Swifts flew over and a Little Egret put in an appearance , on the way back i had a really pleasant encounter with this Long-Tailed Tit .

A really pleasant day with six year ticks making it all worth while .