Thursday, 29 April 2010

Ton up (Little Marlow GP - 29/04/10)

Pretty quiet at the lake except a pair of Little Ringed Plover.

As I was just getting into the car a Rose-ringed Parakeet (100) flew over my head into the trees.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Little Marlow GP (27/04/10)

A lunch time visit.

On the way there was a loose flock of 6 Red Kites over the road and singles all over the place (including the odd Buzzard).

The lake was pretty quiet although there were quite a few Common Terns. Best bird was a Common Sandpiper (98).

Taking a walk around to the fields for a hoped for Turtle Dove was unsuccessful, however, there were a few Stock Doves (99).

Birds, birthday and bloody rain (25/04/10)

My birthday and decided today was my annual early morning walk around Dinton Pastures. However, even though it was beautiful yesterday, it decided today that it was going to throw it down with rain, so I got absolutely soaked. Even so I only missed a few birds that I was expecting - mainly birds of prey and the hirundines. The strangest thing was that I didn't record one Willow Warbler and I didn't even hear one - where are they all???

The highlight has to be the Grasshopper Warbler (88) that was reeling and showing very well between Black Swan and White Swan lake (I have never seen one in this area before).

I now see there is a new hide on Lea Farm and they have blocked the old viewing gap in the hedge (rather annoying really) and I will have to join the Friends of Lavells Lake to get into the hide. I managed to get some glimpses of the lake.

I managed to see all the other warblers (except Willow Warbler), here is the list of other year ticks:

Cuckoo - one on Lavell's Lake (89)
Swift - one briefly over Lavell's Lake (90)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - male drumming in trees alongside the road (91)
Nightingale - 1 seen, 2 others heard (92)
Sedge Warbler - 1 seen, 3 others hear (93)
Reed Warbler - 1 elusive bird on White Swan Lake (94)
Garden Warbler - 1 seen well by White Swan Lake (95)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1 singing male seen well along viewpoint (96)
Whitethroat - several birds seen and heard (97)

Of other interest, I saw a Muntjac Deer by the edge of the Loddon.

Bug ridden Staines Reservoir (24/04/10)

Some nice year ticks were available so as it was quite a pleasant day I made the trip up the M3/M25.

The most obvious was the number of Little Gulls (83) which were all adults/near-adults except 1 first summer. Quite a few of them were sitting on the water although they would occasionally take off and fly around on rounded wings with obvious dark under the wing.

Carefully scanning eventually revealed the presence of the Great Northern Diver (84). As it was so distant it was difficult to tell whether it was a juvenile or an adult still in winter plumage.

Mainly in the SW corner were a lot of terns some of which were sitting on the reservoir. The majority were Common Terns, but careful scanning resulted in at least one Arctic Tern (85) amongst them. Eventually, I chanced upon the Black Tern (86) that had been reported. Unusually all the time I was there, all it did was sit on the water.

Unusually for this site there were no hirundines or Swifts even though there were clouds of horrible black flies all along the causeway.

Other year ticks:

Pied Wagtail (87)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

7th March (Fleet)

Walk to pub produced year tick: House Sparrow (82)

4th March (Littlehampton beach)

A walk with my parents along the seashore produced little but lots of dog walkers.

One year tick: Ringed Plover (81)

4th March (Pulborough Brooks)

Just popped in to see what was about and have a look at the books in the shop.

The reserve was extremely quiet and the highlight was a drake Pintail (77).

Other year ticks:

Skylark (78)
Chaffinch (79)
Wren (80)

3rd March (Fleet Pond)

Headless chicken job!

I was processing my holiday photos when news arrived of an Alpine Swift (74) @ Fleet Pond seen 20 minutes ago.

I eventually got to the pond and there was no sign of it, however, after a few minutes a spotted a swift species coming towards us which then promptly vanished behind the island.

Someone then spotted the same bird and it could be seen a little distantly flying over the pond and the nearby railway station.

At one point it did fly nearly over our heads where we had tremendous views. A quite powerful swift with white underbelly and throat.

Also at the pond were 4 Common Terns (75) and a few Sand Martins (76) (both my first for the year)