Friday, 28 January 2011

Waxwings again (28/01/11)

After seeing a report of Waxwings at Marlow, I drove to the garden centre but the birds were nowhere to be seen. Earlier in the week I though I had some flying over the A404 so I drove down Parkway alongside the A404 and the birds were sitting in a tree alongside the A404, occasionally dropping down onto berry bushes. I roughly counted about 60 before they flew off about 12.50pm.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Around Hants (23rd January 2011)

First port of call was Walpole Park in Gosport. There were few gulls on the boating lake so I walked over to Haslar Creek. Scanning with my bins I spotted a good candidate for the bird I was looking for. I went and got my telescope and was proved to be correct - the Ring-billed Gull asleep on the mud. Could make out its pale eye and a couple of times it put its head out and showed the black band on the yellow bill.

Also on the mud was an adult Mediterrean Gull.

Next stop was Brownich where I walked down to the sea and then walked under the cliffs. There were lots of Brent Geese and as I was walking some more appeared from over the cliff and as luck would have it the Red-breasted Goose was amongst them. I hyper distinctive goose and very beautiful.

I then walked back to the car notching up 3 Bar-tailed Godwits. I met a couple on the way back and managed to get directions to Brownich Pond.

I drove and then walked to the pond but could find no sign of the reported Bittern.

Last stop of the day was Farlington Marshes but the species count wasn't particularly high, the highlights being:

Water Rail
2 Rock Pipits
Red-breasted Merganser
Little Egret

Year list: 94

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Accidental Waxwings (07/01/11)

I went into Bracknell at lunch time to do some shopping and as I was walking to Morrisons I heard the distinct trill of Waxwings. With my short sightedness I could see some birds perched at the top of some trees so I ran back to the car and grabbed my bins.

By the time I got back the birds were reduced to 1 bird, which was thankfully a Waxwing. Careful scanning revealed 2 other birds as well.

Eagle time (09/01/11)

It was the first NE Hants RSPB group outing of the year to Blashford Gravel pits.

The close proximity of a White-tailed Sea-Eagle near New Milton saw me drive down to that location at first light. It was a very chilly morning and as we stood waiting a Brambling was heard, a few Redwings were flying around and best of all a couple of Ravens flew over.

However, the eagle decided it wasn't going to show, so I reluctantly left the site and drove to Blashford lakes driving along very icy roads.

I met up with group at the main car park and we scanned Ibsley Water. Highlights were a few Goldeneye, 9 Goosander, an Avocet. a Green Sandpiper and a Fox scouting along the far bank.

I stepped out of the hide to warm up in the sun and as I did so a large flock of geese arrived. I dived back into the hide and called out that there were some White-fronted Geese with the flock. It turned out there were 9 birds (2 of which were probably youngsters).

We then proceeded around to the next hide where a confiding Buzzard set on a rock on one of the grassy banks. Birds from here were much the same so once again I stepped out of the hide and rang birdline. It was reported that the eagle was showing so I drove back to Hordle. I chatted to a couple of people but nobody seemed to be looking at the bird and nobody knew where it was. I drove around for a while scanning the fields but eventually ended back at the same place as I was first thing in the morning.

I got out the car and was just getting my kit out of the boot when someone said they had the bird. It was flying over the distant trees, but then best of all, it drifted towards us and then flew over us not 50-100 feet above our heads - breathtaking!!!

I reeled off some very shaky pictures and then watched as the bird drifted over some further woodland where it was joined by a couple of Buzzards. It was then that you could see the vast size difference.

I returned to Blashford Lakes and rejointed the RSPB group who were having lunch. I found out they had seen the Great White Egret, so while they had lunch I went over to tick it off and then walked over to the Woodland hide and met up with the group there.

The feeders were very active and we ticked off Nuthatch, Brambling, Siskin and Redpoll. Also a close view of Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Next was the Rockford Lake where we scanned for Smew but couldn't find any. I walked up a bit further and found 3 RD's which no one else saw.

Last place was the Ivy Lake hide where we looked for Bittern but the windows were steamed up and viewing was very difficult.

Year list: 75

Another Berkshire Tick (04/01/11)

I heard of another Berkshire tick at Remenham and after driving to completely the wrong place, I managed to find the place.

Here were quite a lot of Reed Buntings (c20) and quite a lot of Egyptian Geese, but best of all were 15 Tree Sparrows counted in the hedgerow.

Year list now: 49

A new year (07/01/11)

I returned to Moor Green Lakes to kick off the new year. I reasonably good number of species around the lakes but only 1 Redpoll (by the car park) and no Barn Owl and the only Red-crested Pochard was the drake.

Highlights were:

3 Egyptian Geese
drake Red-crested Pochard
c20 Goosander
Little Owl (in the same area as last time)