Monday, 29 November 2010

Moor Green Lakes (28/11/10)

Up to 2 Common Redpolls had been reported at this site so, on another bitterly cold day, I went to the site and walked from the car park to the Colebrook Lake hide. However, at the hide all I could see were Siskins. I then continued onto the new diggings and saw the Barn Owl (178) sitting in the doorway of the owl box.

I then spoke to another birder who said he may have had a Scaup on the Grove Lake. I walked to this lake but careful scanning the Tufted Ducks didn't reveal anything that remotely looked like a Scaup.

I returned to the Colebrook Lake hide, and another birder and me stood checking out the mobile Redpolls that occasionally landed. Eventually 4 birds dropped into some trees by the main path abnd after scanning them one revealed itself to be obviously larger. Better views were obtained and we could see that it really did stand out being larged and much paler, although it was difficult to see the white bars on its back.

We both agreed that it was one of the Common Redpolls (179).

Also on the reserve was a flyover Buzzard and 13 Goosander.

Bracknell (27/11/10)

A bitterly cold day, but because a) I needed to some shopping and b) Waxwings had been recorded recently, I decided to go to Bracknell to do both.

On arrival I made for Birch Hill and then drove down Birch Hill Road. Just after passing the shopping centre I spotted some Starling sized birds in trees on the side of the road. Stopping the car on the kerb I got out my bins and there they were - 11 Waxwings (177) perched and preening at the top of the trees. I tooks some photographs and then went off to do some shopping.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Hayling Oyster Beds (21/11/10)

After lunch we had a short walk around the oyster beds. Main highlight was the 5 Black-necked Grebes (176) that could be scoped distantly from the car park.

Farlington Marshes (21/11/10)

On the previous day had a Green Woodpecker feeding in Mum and Dads garden.

Drove from Mum & Dads to the reserve to meet up with the NE Hants RSPB group.

The weather was quite good although it was pretty cold.

The first decent birds seen were a flock of Avocet which flew from the harbour into the main lake and a Sandwich Tern feeding in the same area. This is the first time I have seen a Sandwich Tern at this location and this late date.

We then took a gentle stroll around the reserve, and the timing was quite good as the tide was nearly in. The water levels on the main lake were really too high for many waders to appear on there - the Avocets were swimming rather than wading!

Around the reserve these were the highlights:

A couple of Buzzards over the A27 and later one sitting on the grass and fence posts on the main area reserve.
Nice selection of the user winter waders.
Lots of Red-breasted Mergansers
A few Little Egrets
Rock Pipit (175) feeding on the sea wall
A couple of Ravens which I picked up late as they left the reserve heading for the downs (my first Farlington record)

I noticed on the way around they have removed the fence that used to cross the main reserve - this is a shame because this used to be good for Wheatears/Whinchats in te autumn.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Cutt Mill House Pond (07/11/10)

On my way to Mum and Dads and decided to pop off to see the Red-necked Grebe (174). Although quite murky could see that it was a bird of the year with two toned yellowish bill and dusky throat/breast but the remnants of the juvenile head markings.

A Redpoll heard flying over but not seen.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Bittern off more than I can chew! (07/11/10)

What a terrible pun for the title for this blog entry.

As the American Bittern had been showing well from the Walmsley Sanctuary in Cornwall on Saturday, I decided to make the 200 mile trip today.

I needn't have bothered!

A stupid couple of Pheasants decided that walking across the A303 was a good idea. One of them found out that it wasn't when half of it ended up on my cars front grille (taking out the number plate) and the other half flew over the roof!

At the sanctuary I crammed into the first of the hides and spent a couple of hours searching for the American Bittern with no luck. I evnetually made my way over to the tower hide and spent the next 4 hours scanning every nook and cranny for the bird to no avail.

Recompense came in lots of Fieldfares (172) and a solitary Whooper Swan (173).

The journey back was a nightmare - I was so tired and the drivers on the road extremely aggressive. I eventually got home at 9.00pm after buying a chinese in Hook.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Pennington to Keyhaven (31/10/10)

What looked like a nice day turned into a horrible one with a howling easterly wind and rain showers.

I started from Lower Pennington Lane and walked on the landward side to Keyhaven. A Roe Deer fed unconcerned near the path on the infill site.

At Keyhaven I was checking out some Meadow Pipits feeding on the foreshore when I falcon appeared from nowhere and tried to grab a pipit but missed. The bird then flew out towards the saltmarsh but stopped and perched up on the top of a yacht mast. It then revealed itself to be an immature/female Merlin (168).

I then started walking back to Pennington. One the Fishtail Lagoon at the eastern end I found the Grey Phalarope (169). A first winter bird with some black feathering on the upperparts, a dark crown, dark mark through the eye and a yellowish wash to the side of the neck. I showed it to a couple who were walking nearby.

I then walked towards the jetty, scanning the sea for any grebes etc. Managed to pick up a couple of Eiders and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Near the jetty I heard the unmistakable song of a Dartford Warbler (170) and almost immediately a couple of birds flew from the gorse by the sea wall and started chasing each other (one singing as it did so).

Next up was a winter plumaged Slavonian Grebe (171) which was diving in the sea on the east side of the jetty

The final good birds of the day were a loose flock of Spotted Redshanks on a pool on Oxey Marshes.

I left early as the weather deteriorated further.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Keyhaven to Oxey (31/10/10)

What started off as a reasonably bright day ended up being a pretty horrible day with a strong E wind and rain on and off. However, there was some good birding to be had.

I started off in the Pennington Lane car park and walked on the inland side to Keyhaven passing a very confiding Roe Deer feeding on the in-fill site.

A crest gave me the run around and I couldn't identify it to species.

At Keyhaven I was checking out the pipits on the foreshore when a falcon appeared from nowhere and made a grab for the pipits and missed. Unusually, then the falcon went and perches up on one of the yacht masts - it was a female/immature type Merlin (168). I then walked back towards Pennington in the teeth of a strong E wind.

At the Fishtail lagoon I happened on the 1st winter Grey Phalarope feeding at the eastern end. Showed basically grey upperparts with a few black feathers, dark