Tuesday 28 October 2014

Titchfield Haven ...Hampshire Birding

Male Stonechat.

I had to go to Southampton yesterday the 27th October and took the chance to pop into Titchfield Haven NNR on the way back to try and see the Siberian Stonechat and after a quick walk to the Meadow Hide it was not long before i saw this delightful chat , sadly it was a bit distant and i was more or less looking into the sun so didn't manage any photos .

There were up to 3 "normal " Stonechats in the area which of course posed for the camera .


There were several Water Rail & Cetti's Warblers calling in the area but remaining unseen plus 2 Little Egrets flew over the fields and there were several Goldcrests around the bushes .

Juv. Mute Swan.

I didn't have alot of time today so i only made a quick stop in Gosport for the returning Ring Billed Gull but other than a couple of Common Gull's i could not locate him the time i was there , although this juv Mute Swan ( in above photo ) was friendly lol , plus a flyover Sparrowhawk was good to see .

Black Headed Gull.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Yanks Come to Town ..... Plus A Fantastic Flycatcher !!!!

Sign outside of Porthgwarra cafe.

The magical news of a Yellow Billed Cuckoo being found at Porthgwarra on Thursday 23rd October got plenty of us birders in a right old panic , i headed down to Cornwall  in the early hours of Friday morning the 24th and i made great time getting to Porthgwarra in Cornwall and duly arrived in darkness at approx 7am.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo , note tail pattern.

At around 7.30 am i joined fellow birders and headed to the area the YBC was last seen going to roost and waited with baited breath hoping beyond hope that this awesome bird had survived through the night , sadly these American vagrants often die shortly after making landfall through exhaustion and most are only 1 day birds , well after almost one and half hours waiting and hoping in awful weather the YBC made a brief appearance more or less right in front of us , the chestnut wing patches , white throat and underparts contrasting with overall brown upper-parts were easily seen .

Yellow Billed Cuckoo , just about make out the yellow bill.

It soon went back into cover but the relief and joy on everyone present was immense , the weather brightened up and the YBC become more active and showed very well at times , i must admit i spent more times watching it and only managed a couple of record shots , there are tons of great photos out there though.

I watched this bird for over an hour and then went for a warm up and get something to eat very happy indeed , on my return journey i called into Davidstow airfield and had some great views of the juv. American Golden Plover which had a single Dunlin for company , here are a small selection of photos of the AGP :

Long legged compared to Golden Plover.

Broad supercillium .

Primaries extend beyond the tail.

American Golden Plover.

The journey home took longer than expected due to a serious accident on the A30 but nothing could really dampen my spirits after such a successful day .

Saturday  25th October

Red Breasted Flycatcher.

  On Saturday the 25th i tried to  see the adult Red Breasted Flycatcher which had taken up residence near Beachy head , well i didn't have to wait long to see this fantastic flycatcher , i have only seen one in this plumage and that was back in the stone-age , here are some of the photo's i took .

Love the tail pattern.

This bird showed very well at times and was a delight to watch , i would recommend anyone to go and enjoy this bird whilst it is still around , and that concludes a couple of great days birding 

Saturday 18 October 2014

Looking for Owl's at Elmley NNR


I decided to try my luck and search for the roosting Long Eared Owls at Elmley nnr today and on route to the reserve i saw this delightful Wheatear on the access track , it was also in the same area when i made my return journey.

There were no other birders around so i had the whole orchard to myself to search for these birds , i walked down the path alongside the orchard and checked likely looking trees that they might roost in , however the first bird i found was a Barn Owl.

Rear view of the Barn Owl.

Barn Owl.

Well hidden.

Great start and a welcome year tick , i retraced my steps checking the trees again when i found my target bird , a really well hidden Long Eared Owl.

Long Eared Owl , honest!!!

I then soon saw the second bird which was less obscured but still well hidden .

2nd Long Eared Owl.

Really pleased to see these birds and they were a very welcome year tick , i watched these birds for a while then left them in peace , of note there were several Red Admirals around the orchard.

One of several Red Admirals.

On my return journey down the access track i saw a distant female Merlin plus Mute Swan , Little Grebe , Little Egret , Grey Heron and a large number of Lapwing .

Very close Lapwing.

Great colours on these birds.

Two distant female Marsh Harriers and a distant calling Corn Bunting which remained unseen made for a very good birding session.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Another Day , Another Shrike

Iseablline Shrike.

On hearing news of a Isabelline Shrike showing well at Worth Marshes i made haste and headed there and after bumping into one or two Kent birders on route i was soon enjoying close fabulous views of this stunning bird , here are a selection of pics i took :

Eating a Dragonfly.

Taking off.

In sunlight.

Wing patch & white supercillium.

Whitish underparts.

No doubt there will be some debate over the "Race " of this bird  which i will happily leave to the experts . This has been a great year for Shrikes for me with this bird being my 5th different species this year.

Edit: This bird has been confirmed by SBBO as being a  Turkestan Shrike.

Updated Edit ; The BOURC have now lumped all 1st year  Isabelline Shrikes 'Races'  as Isabelline Shrikes and not into a species  ie : Daurian or Turkestan.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Norfolk Shrikes Gold ......... Plus Tawny Pipit in Newhaven

Steppe Grey Shrike.

An early morning trip to Burnham Norton in Norfolk yesterday morning the 11th October  proved very successful with excellent views of the Steppe Grey Shrike which was a lifer   , the Shrike showed fantastically well most of the time i was  there , here are a few of the photos i took :

Awesome tinge to plumage.

Eating a meal worm.

Pale base to bill.

Awesome wing & tail markings.

Fierce looking.

Torpedo flight.

I watched this awesome bird for over an hour as it fed on meal worms and beetles , other birds of note in the area were huge skeins of Pink Footed Geese . unfortunately time was against me today so i headed back to  Tide Mills near Newhaven and had excellent views of Tawny Pipit which was a very welcome year tick for .

Showed really well.

Dark lores.

Taking off.

I also had a Raven pass overhead " Conking as it went " .