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.