Friday, 31 December 2010

Moor Green Lakes (31/12/10)

My final bird trip of the year was to have a walk around the lakes.

There were 11 red-head and 6 drake Goosanders around the reserve, a flock of about 50 Redpolls on the path to the hide from the car park, a selection of gulls loading on the ice and then best of all a Little Owl (185) by the paddock next to Horseshoe Lake and a pair of Red-creasted Pochards (186) on Horseshoe Lake.

I dropped in on Edenfield CP on the way back but the CP isn't finished and the gate was locked anyway.

Freemans Marsh, Hungerford (30/12/10)

I got home about lunch time from Mum & Dads and decided to make the 40 mile trip to Hungerford. I'm glad I went!

Walked over the canal then over to the stream and the Glossy Ibis (184) was seen immediately showing fantastically well on the stream. Sometimes the bird was within about 6 feet. I wish I had brought my good camera but had to make do with my little point and shoot.

I had a good hunt around for any Jack Snipe but couldn't find any.

Other nice birds here were a fly-over Red Kite, lots of Redwings, a Green Sandpiper (heard), Little Egret and a Kingfisher.

I then went over to Great Shefford but the location for the Great White Egret only held a couple of Little Egrets.

I continued on the road to Welford to try for the Dipper but only managed to see a Grey Wagtail. I understand the Dipper was seen very late on at about 4pm.

I drove back to Great Shefford to find the Little Egrets now tallied 3. I got back into the car and was just going to leave for home when I glanced over the field and noticed the Great White Egret had suddenly appeared. I got back out of the car and viewed the bird and got some terrible photos with muy point-and-shoot camera.

Drove back home with the car making quite a racket - need to take it to the garage tomorrow!!!

Littlehampton East Beach (29/12/10)

An extremely murky day with very low cloud/fog made for viewing extremely difficult. Managed a few Turnstones but not much else. No Med. Gulls on Mews Park Lake

Mini-Sussex Tour (27/12/10)

Tour started at Burpham, then Rackham, then Lancing and finally Worthing.

Highlights were:

1. 28 Bewick's Swans (182) were feeding with a few Mute Swans by the road to Burpham.
2. 4-5 Buzzards on Bury Hill.
3. c70 (183) White-fronted Geese on Amberley Wild Brooks viewed from Amberley village.
4. Brooklands Lake (Lancing): 3 Teal, 3 Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull, Green Sandpiper.

Chichester GP's (26/12/10)

We were going to go to Pagham (east side) but the Boxing Day pram race was on so we couldn't get to the car park.

We opted to go to the GP's. They were mostly under ice but the couple of open areas of water held quite a few wildfowl. There was nothing particularly interesting apart from 4 RD's (181).

We didn't walk far enough to find the Bittern and Smew.

I did stop off at Climping on the way back but no sign of any Black Redstarts. Half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Eiders and 3 Common Scoters on a very flat sea were the highlights.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dinton Pastures (12/12/10)

Another bitterly cold today although it was bright and sunny.

Met up with the NE Hants RSPB group and we then walked out to Black Swan Lake and checked out the first area of open water where there was quite a close drake Goldeneye.

There were lots of gulls roosting on the ice but checking through them revealed they were mostly Black-headed with a sprinkling of Common.

Mots of the waterfowl were in a small area of open water and suddenly all the Coots decided to leave on masse but rather than flying they all started slipping and sliding over the ice - very funny!

We then walked around Sandford Lake which was all but frozen over and came across a small flock of Siskins feeding in alders.

Next onto Lavell's Lake (Bittern Hide) where up to 3 Water Rails (180) showed on and off by the island and on the far bank. I kept continually scanning the reeds for the Bittern but gave up and went outside to find a patch of sunshine and warm up a bit. As I did so I was called back into the hide because the Bittern was now showing (typical!). I went back into the hide and the bird was showing on the far bank just beyond the bund of the scrape. It actually showed very well in the sunshine.

We then walked around to the new hide on Lee Farm and it was my first visit (although I was a member of FOLL). All the wildfowl again was congregated on a small area of open water.

Finally we returned to the car park via White Swan lake. As I stood on a small jetty I suddenly picked up another Bittern clambering through the reeds and got two other people onto it. Suddenly this bird disturbed a third Bittern. The first one flew off left and the second one off right. The first tried to land back in the reeds but was pushed back up again by a Grey Heron and then proceeded to dive into the heart of the reed bed. We lost track of the second bird.

Wow, a 3 Bittern day, I've only had that once before on the Somerset Levels.