Monday, 23 December 2013

Tice's Meadow/Moor Green Lakes (22/12/2013)

No sign of any snipe of any description at Tice's Meadow.

Eventually found 4 drake Goosanders on Moor Green Lakes and a possible flock of fly over Redpolls.

Also at the lakes were Red Kite, Buzzard and two Little Egrets.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Wasted journey to Pagham (15/12/2013)

I started off at Selsey Bill which was very rough - close views were had of Rock Pipit and Turnstone.

Met up with the RSPB group at Church Norton - but what a disappointment - no Firecrest, no high tide roost to speak of, no grebes on the sea and nothing at the Severals wood.

I gave up and went home

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hemstead Forest (24/11/2013)

I had left making this trip for a while because I hate driving around the M25, however, today I decided to go and was glad I did.

I reached the forest and a leaving birder said he had seen both my target birds this morning, so I joined another birder who had not seen the birds.

We stood around for about 30 minutes when suddenly a flock of Crossbills appeared and landed in the tops of some pines a fair way away.

I immediately got my scope onto them and almost the first bird that I picked up was the male Two-barred Crossbill.  A cracking bird with an almost glowing pink rump and large white wing bars.

I then got onto a female type Crossbill which based on the size and structure of the bill was probably a female Parrot Crossbill, although one of the guys present disagreed.  We then came across a definite male Parrot Crossbill which showed well.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

New Forest area (17/11/2013)

First of all I did a search around the Sturt Pond/Keyhaven area for the Red-breasted Goose without any luck.  I then walked from Keyhaven to Pennington and back again.

A scan of the solent revealed 3 very distant Shags feeding together and a Great Northern Diver.  There were also a lot of Red-breasted Mergansers.  I then had a chat with a nearby birder who had been looking at the Long-billed Dowitcher.  I then made my way over to scan for it, but suddenly all the ducks and waders got flushed and had a 10 second view of the dowitcher swimming amongst the Teal before it took off and flew to the back of the pool where it wasn't visible.

After waiting for a long time I made a decision to try and see it from the other side of the pond.  All the waders flew up and luckily the dowitcher flew back onto the pond where it gave great views on the pond.

I then made my way back to Keyhaven and drove to Lepe.  I paid my £2 for the car park and made my way to the pond where the Lesser Yellowlegs was showing nicely.  Also on the pond were at least 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls.

I then made an "on the offchance" visit to Rhinefield enclosure where after spotting a couple of Siskins, I found a solitary Hawfinch in the tops of the pines.

On the way out 8 Crossbills flew over.

Monday, 11 November 2013

South coast and Surrey (10/11/2013)

First stop was Gosport where the Ring-billed Gull was present on the nearby creek and even my short supply of bread wasn't large enough to lure it over.  There was an adult Mediterranean Gull also nearby.  Then someone else started throwing out larger amounts of bread and the Ring-billed Gull flew over to the melee and then was seen very well on the causeway on the boating lake.

Next stop was Hayling oyster beds where I was told the Long-tailed Duck was tidal.  However, after scanning the estuary the duck was seen to swim out from behind the island on one of the oyster beds - it must have been sitting on the rear of the island.  It was seen at close quarters until it swam over to the far side of the oyster bed.

I then had a long (25 minute) walk south along the estuary where I picked up the Black Brant in amongst a large flock of Brent Geese.

Final stop was at Papercourt sailing club where eventually the juvenile Great Northern Diver was seen on the far side of the lake.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tices Meadow (08/09/2013)

The 2 Spotted Redshanks seen distantly on the far shore and a hunting Hobby also seen before the rain set in.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Moor Green Lakes (01/09/2013)

After a wait the male Ruff appeared on the far shore of the new diggings.  While waiting for the Ruff I managed two Hobbies, a Little Owl, 3 Buzzards, 2 Red Kites, 3 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Green Sandpipers.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Farlington Marshes (27/08/2013)

For the first time ever I did a double loop of the walk which turned out to be of some benefit.  I walked clockwise.  There were quite a few Whitethroats in the bushes but little else, a juvenile Bearded Tit by the hut and heard Yellow Wagtail.  The sun was a little awkward but there were a couple of Greenshank on the mudflats but I did get better views on the lake side.  Eventually I saw a flock of 5 Yellow Wagtails, 2 of which landed and then another flock of 8 flying south.  In the usual place on the fence line I saw 4 Whinchats which had increased to 6 on the second lap.

On the lake there was very little apart from a scattering of ducks but on the second loop a Curlew Sandpiper appeared with 4 Dunlin.  One Common Sandpiper was against the reeds.  Down by the stream were 2 Clouded Yellows.

The only birds that the second loop did produce differently was a female type Redstart where the path from the huts met the sea wall and a brief Wheatear

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tice's Meadow (11/08/2013)

News of a Wood Sandpiper led me to making the short drive to the meadow.  Initial scans of the meadow didn't reveal the Wood Sandpiper, just 4 Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers and a Yellow-legged Gull.  Speaking to another birder I found out the Wood Sandpiper had been seen further down the path, so I made my way down there and finally had good views, although brief of the bird feeding on the near bank so it wouldn't have been visible from the viewing mound.

One Swift was in amongst the many hirundines.

Tundry Pond (10/08/2013)

Although the weather wasn't great for dragonfly hunting I did see at least 2 Brown Hawkers and best of all at least 3 Small Red-eyed Damselflies sitting on weed on the smaller cut off area of pond.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

More photos

Egyptian Goose, Red-eyed Damselfly, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Red Damselfly

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Amberley Wildbrooks (21/07/2013)

Another scorching day and I went to visit my father in order to see his photographs from holiday.  We went to the wildbrooks to look for dragonflies and although it started slowly, it did get better.

There was an unidentified Emerald dragonfly near the entrance, plenty of Azure and Common Blue Damselflies, Four-spotted Chaser, Emperor, lots of Emerald Damselflies, a fair number of Variable Damselflies, at least 3 Brown Hawkers (including an ovipositing female), Blue-tailed Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly and best of all a Golden Ringed Dragonfly.

Warren Heath (20/07/2013)

I actually made two visits (the second one into the early evening), but the first wasn't as good as the second because the sun wasn't out.

I am pretty sure that I saw at least two Brilliant Emeralds but could only get brief views of the diagnostic face pattern - note to self: Get yourself in a position where you have time to view the dragonflies flying towards you along the bank.

There were quite a few Downy Emeralds, an Emperor and a couple of Four-spotted Chasers.

In the early evening I had great views of a Southern Hawker by the broken down building on the western lake.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

New Forest / Southampton (14/7/2013)

Not much action at first because I started early.  Birds were more of a feature with Grey Wagtail, at least 2 Redstarts and a male Siskin.

As the temperature soared the first dragonflies started to become active and I saw at least 3 Golden-Ringed Dragonflies, a few Keeled Skimmers, a couple of Small Red Damselflies and eventually 2 male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly.

I then moved onto Southampton Common boating lake (although it took a while to get there because I had chosen the day when the Race for Life was on the common so they closed the road I needed to go down).  At the lake there were 3 male Red-veined Darters which showed very well landing on the side of the lake.  The lake also had at least 2 male Emperors.

Thursley Common - Moat Pond / Basingstoke Canal (13/07/2013)

Tried for Brilliant Emerald but there was only a couple of Downy Emeralds, one of which actually landed on me - difficult to photograph though when any movement would have frightened it off.

I then moved onto the Basingstoke Canal near Fleet but once again could only find Downy Emeralds.  There was a female Adder on the canal path and also a couple of White Admirals

Monday, 8 July 2013

Warren Heath (07/07/2013)

When I found the lakes (the hard way) I spent a couple of hours looking for Brilliant Emeralds.  They were plenty of Four-spotted Chasers, Downy Emeralds, Common & Azure Damselflies, a probable Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Large Red Damselfly and a few Keeled Skimmers.

I found a spot overlooking one of the lakes where I tried to pick up a Brilliant Emerald without much success.  The funniest thing was I was sitting on a dead tree trunk overlooking the lake and suddenly it have way dumping me partially in the lake.

I Kingfisher was noted a few times over the lake.

Whixall Moss (30/06/2013)

Eventually got around to the long trek north to the moss.  On arrival, although it was quite breezy, the weather was fairly decent.  Walking to the right place I flushed a Hobby which later showed nicely overhead.  Also I saw a pair of Curlew which got very agitated when a Buzzard flew over.

Eventually reached the right pools and eventually pinned down a White-faced Darter (a new species for me).  When it flew over the pond the local Four-spotted Chasers chased it around the pool.

I managed to get a few shots when the darter landed on the far side of the pool but then after a while waiting it flew over to my side of the pool and landed a few inches from me.  I then got some much better shots.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Moor Green Lakes (15/06/2013)

The female type Marsh Harrier seen off and on over the new diggings, at one point in landed where I could get a photo.  Also notable was the large numbers of hirundines swirling around especially Swifts.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Farnham Heath (6/6/2013)

Very quiet to start with - a single male Redstart and Tree Pipit.  Later on at least 3 Nightjar's churring and I saw at least one male and female in flight.  Also a brief roding Woodcock

Below is my local Badger's:

 Below is the reported Marsh Warbler in Gosport which I strongly believe is a Reed Warbler

Monday, 27 May 2013

Pewley Down (27/05/2013)

No sign of the female Red-backed Shrike from yesterday.  A very picturesque site though.

Broxhead Common (25/05/2013)

The Roller seen immediately on arrival sitting in a bush.  Quite elusive throughout the time I spent there, disappearing for a while and then suddenly re-appearing, usually fairly distant and not easy to photograph especially given the heat haze.  David Ryves who was on the Morocco tour I went on turned up so we had a good old chat.  At this site there was a nice Woodlark, Tree Pipit, distant Red Kite and a Buzzard.