Monday 28 March 2011

Finally some Migrants

Wigeon and Black Headed Gull .

An early start saw me heading off to Landguard to try and catch up with the Short-Toed Treecreeper that had been there for the last couple of days , i arrived at 8 am with the news being positive on the bird , and after almost minutes of me being there it flew from one area of scrub to another and out of sight , it had quite a laboured flight but on those views i was less than happy to include it on my year list .

 Thankfully I did not have to wait to long for it to re appear in a some what smaller tree giving some brief but excellent views , its overall appearance was so much different to that of Eurasian Treecreeper , the wing pattern was quite striking and the supercillium was not as long or as broad , the rufous flanks were not that obvious from the range we were viewing from , it also called on occasion.

I also added Black Redstart from this site and after i was satisfied with the views i headed off to Minsmere , i have not been to this reserve for a number of years and it has changed quite abit , however back to the birds !

Male Tufted Duck.

I spent quite a bit of time checking the scrape and it was not long before i saw a smart Spotted Redshank , which was followed by  a Yellow-Legged Gull , i also added Avocet , Black Tailed Godwit and Ruff plus several Pintail scattered here , there and everywhere , i also managed a couple of photos of a very close Tufted Duck and a smart male Wigeon .

I headed off to the Island mere hide and was soon surprised to see two female Goosanders , whilst i was scanning the area i saw some hirundine over the reed bed  and  was very pleased to be watching 10+ Sand Martins .

 On the Sunday i headed of to Farlington marshes to hopefully connect with the Spoonbill and after walking around to roughly the area it had been seen from i picked it out doing what Spoonbills do  ....  

Sleeping Spoonbill .

Its awake !!!!!

I had prolonged views of the Spoonbill and it every now and again did a little bit of preening , this was a superb adult bird and you can make out the yellow tip to its bill in the second photo.

 From here I called into Chichester to hopefully see the Little Gull which has been lingering there for quite some time and after a short walk i soon located it .

Little Gull.

I just love Little Gulls and was very pleased to see this one and even managed some pics , i added several Chiffchaffs but not alot else so with news of an Osprey near West Witterring i headed off there and despite a lengthy attempt of seeing this bird i failed but did get a very smart Swallow fly through  and a couple of Red Breasted Mergansers for my efforts was reward enough.

Saturday 19 March 2011



I spent a few pleasant hours at Dungeness today and although my main target bird the Penduline Tit never showed up i still had some decent birds , i arrived at the Hanson hide at approx 8.30 am and after spending approx 2 hours scanning the reed beds and willow trees i had no luck with the Penduline , there were plenty of Reed Buntings keeping me company plus a very showy Goldcrest , there were several Cetti's Warbler in full explosive song but were keeping out of sight as usual .


I then decided to have a walk around the rspb reserve not adding much to my days total , i eventually caught up with the Firecrest that has been residing in the scrub at the back of the Christmas dell hide and although i got some superb views through my bins i never managed a photo , i walked further along the track and just before i reached the Denge marsh hide i saw this fine male Stonechat .

Male Stonechat.

I always find these birds so photogenic and love seeing them in all there glory , i had my lunch on the viewing ramp over looking Hookers and added Bearded Tit and another Cetti's Warbler which actually allowed me a very brief view as it flew low down between bushes . I was hoping to connect with some early migrants but other than several vocal Chiffchaffs around the reserve i never got any . other birds of note today were :

2 Redhead Smew and 1 male and 5 female Goldeneye on the Arc pit plus a pair of Marsh Harriers displaying over the reserve , oh almost forgot i did see a White Wagtail on my way around the reserve just past the Makepeice hide , so all in all a enjoyable day out .

Wednesday 9 March 2011

M40 ..... Record breakers

I drive for a living and every so often i end up driving along the M40 motorway which has a very healthy population of Red Kites , and to turn a very dull day into something quite special i often do a raptor count along my journey , as i can only go as fast as 56 miles an hour top speed and am quite high up in my truck i get quite a good view .

I have counts normally between 15 to 20 birds and my record total was 25 Red Kites in August 2010 , however that all changed on Tuesday 8th March 2011 when i counted no less than  36 Red Kites mainly between junction 3 to 6 , i also saw 9 Common Buzzards and 5 Kestrels , i have encounted Merlin , Peregrine and Sparrowhawk on previous journeys along this motorway , i know i should keep my eyes mainly on the road but hey who could resist looking at these majestic birds ????

Sunday 6 March 2011

Hampshire Birding ......

Great Grey Shrike.

A trip to the New Forest in Hampshire proved to be very successful, here are a selection of photos of the birds i saw.



Dartford Warbler  female

Dartford Warbler male

Second male

Dartford Warbler.

One of two Woodlarks.


Red Kite.