Thursday, 28 April 2011

Dinton Pastures (25/04/11)

My annual, early morning spring visit to Dinton Pastures. Not particular good this year missing out on Lesser Whitethroat and Swift and some common finches etc. However, still some good birds particularly the pair of Mediterranean Gulls on Lee Farm GP which after an altercation with the local Black-headed Gulls flew off at 6.30am.

Other good birds included 4 Egyptian Geese, 2 Garden Warblers, 11 Common Terns, Cuckoo, Cetti's Warbler (seen well), Nightingale, female Grey Wagtail, Red Kite and Buzzard.

Only managed to hear Reed Warbler, the brisk wind probably kept them out of sight.

Overall tally was 51 species (one heard)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Amberley Wild Brooks (24/04/11)

Went to see if I could find any Grasshopper Warblers but no luck. However, did see a Nightingale, singing Lesser Whitethroat and 2 male Yellowhammers.

Selsey Bill (24/04/11)

Not such a good seawatch today. The highlights were 4 Eiders, 5 Fulmars, 3 Great Northern Divers on the sea, 2 Common Terns and Black-throated Diver on the sea.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

New Forest/South coast (23/04/11)

On the entrance road to the car park I had a Muntjac Deer running along the road in front of me. Got to Acres Down at 5.30am and then spent the next 4.5 hours wandering around the tracks.

Managed to see 2 Redstarts, singing Wood Warbler (another one heard), 2 Tree Pipits, male Stonechat and my first Cuckoo of the year. On the way back to the car I jointed a few other birders on the down and started scanning for the Black Stork (which has been in the area) in the air. I wasn't successful (it was seen after I was on the way home), however, a bonus came in the shape of a flyby Hawfinch.

After getting back t the car I drove down to Pennington/Keyhaven marshes and walked the loop. It was fairly quiet on the outward leg but things got better on the return leg with 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 ads, 1 2s), Avocet, Greenshank, flyover Whimbrel (which was calling), 5 Little Egrets, 4 Little Terns, moulting Spotted Redshank, Ruff, summer & winter plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits with the Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Reed Warblers.

Year total now: 150

I was so glad that I was on the way back home at lunch time, because the traffic on the opposite carriageway on the motorway. It was almost nose to tail from about Hook to Cadnam!!!

Staines Reservoir/Moor (22/04/11)

A very hot day and went to the reservoir where managed to pick off the very distant female type Velvet Scoter on the north basin. On the south basin were 8 Black Terns although they couldn't be seen well until they got out of the glare from the sun. Finally on the way out managed to get some fairly decent views of the summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe on the eastern shore of the south basin.

Next onto Staines Moor. As I started off down the path 2 Rose-ringed Parakeets flew over and my first Sedge Warbler of the year singing in a nearby hedge. Once I got to the moor itself I heard a singing Lesser Whitethroat but couldn't see it. At the moor no sign of the reported female Ring Ouzel but I did see at least 5 Wheatears, a Little Egret and best of all a flyover Hobby showing well in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Selsey Bill/Pulborough Brooks (17/04/11)

Got to the bill at 6.30am and had a half decent seawatch along with some Selsey regulars.

Best of the bunch were:

5 Great Northern Divers sitting offshore.
dark phase Arctic Skua west
6 Fulmars
8 Whimbrels
1 Kittiwake
2 ad Mediterranean Gulls
2 Bonxies
6 Little Terns

It was then over to Pulborough Brooks to meet up with the RSPB group. The reserve was extremely busy and birds were few and far between. However, we did see 2 Nightingales, one of which perched at the top of a bush singing - right out in the open. A distant Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover were also seen, however, the Grasshopper Warbler that was present refused to sing and show when we went to have a look.

Dropped in to Thursley Common on the way home but the only bird of note was a pair of Stonechat.

Moor Green Lakes (16/04/2011)

Another walk around the west side of the reserve. 8 Common Terns were loafing around Colebrook Lake along with a drake Mandarin on the tern island. 3 or 4 Whitethroats were seen singing, a Garden Warbler was singing by the main hide and a Snipe was seen on the scrape.

Two distant Red Kites were over Finchampstead Church along with one Buzzard.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dinton Pastures (07/04/11)

As I had to go into work because the remote VPN wasn't working and it was a beautiful day I went to Dinton at lunchtime. There were Chiffchaff's singing everywhere and also a Sedge Warbler which just wouldn't show. I also saw my first Willow Warbler of the year, a subsinging male that was spending more time feeding. (123)

Crondall (04/04/11)

Parked up opposite the hospital entrance and located the quarry immediately. The Hoopoe was seen on a dirt track that ran parallel to the hospital entrance road. It was actively feeding and seemed to be finding a lot of food. A smashing bird being salmon pink with black and white wings and an orange, black tipped crest which occasionally it raised.

I watched it for about half an hour but it was quite cold and left when the bird started walking further away.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Moor Green Lakes (3rd April 2011)

Had another stroll around the lakes and up to Finchampstead Ridges. Fairly quiet, the only highlights being a pair of Mandarins feeding under the feeders and a couple of male Blackcaps in song.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Pagham area (27/03/11)

The NE Hants RSPB group trip to the Pagham area. Before meeting up with everyone else I did a short seawatch from Selsey Bill. Highlights were a couple of Eider, Sandwich Tern, 2 Fulmars and a few Gannets. Met up with the group at Sidlesham Ferry. We had a long look at the ferry pool and some of the farmland and north end of the harbour before returning to the car. On the ferry pool were up to 7 Mediterranean Gulls either on the pond or loafing on its bank. 2 Red-legged Partridges were seen distantly on the grassy area but no sign of any Wheatears. A Little Ringed Plover was feeding on mud by the reed bed. A small falcon appeared briefly from the left but was lost to view behind some trees. Given the brief views I suspect it was a Merlin but can't be 100% sure. We then drove around to Church Norton but as the tide was very low there were few waders to be seen. We did see a Water Rail in a ditch by the Severals grassy area and there were at least 3 male and 1 female Wheatears on the shingle bank although they could be quite elusive. I went up to the wood to try and find Firecrest but only found Goldcrest. On the way there I saw an Adder sunning itself by a bramble bush. After lunch we went around to Pagham Lagoon where we had good views of the 2 female Scaup on the lagoon (Mum & Dad turned up so could show them as well). Finally we walked up to the North Wall but the only species of note were a few Black-tailed Godwits and a Cetti's Warbler seen briefly.

Woolhampton GP (30/03/11)

Dropped in for another visit on the way back from Newbury. A cold, wet and blustery day. Most of the birds were quiet but did managed a lot of Sand Martins with a couple of Swallows and my first House Martin of the year. The 3 Black-necked Grebes appeared to have gone. Also heard 2 couple of Cetti's Warblers.

Fleet Pond/Moor Green Lakes (26/03/11)

Two of the earlier Little Gulls were still present hawking Fleet Pond. Both of them were in adult winter plumage. Also at the pond were a lot of squabbling Mute Swans and a Grey Wagtail. I then drove over to Moor Green Lakes but was quite quiet with the only highlights being a couple of Green Sandpipers and a male Mandarin on the main lake.