Monday, 31 March 2014

West Sussex (30/3/2014)

Lucked in on a fairly good seawatch at Selsey Bill.  Common Scoter were passing in large numbers - I had about 100+.  Other species were Fulmar, Red-throated Diver, Sandwich Tern, Eider (including a flock of 36) and Mediterranean Gull.  Offshore I saw at least 2 Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver.

I then went to Church Norton where I had my first Willow Warbler and Blackcap of the year.  At Sidlesham there wasn't much but I heard a close Cetti's Warbler but couldn't see it.

Nothing at Chichester GP's.  At the Breech Pool there was a cracking summer plumaged Water Pipit, but the Spotted Redshank had been flushed before I arrived.

Next was Climping where I had excellent views of the Hoopoe in the hotel grounds and a bonus of a cronking fly-over Raven.  Car parking at Climping is a bit steep - a pound an hour!

Popped into Dad's for a cuppa before going up to the Burgh where it was quite hard work but had another Raven, singing Corn Bunting, 6 Red-legged Partridges, Red Kite and the hope for Grey Partridge - a pair.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Theale (26/3/2014)

After finishing early from work I dropped into Theale and found the adult winter Little Gull on the main pit.  A pair of Red-crested Pochard on Hosehill Lake.

Kent is King (23/03/2014)

I had a great day in Kent despite the M20 being closed between J8 and J9.

First stop was Dungeness where I quickly scoped the Black-throated Diver on the far side of the new diggings and then down to the lighthouse where I walked to the patch.  I scanned the path for the Glaucous Gull but there was no sign, however, there was the bonus of a 1st winter Iceland Gull - a very white individual.

I then strode over to the fishing boats bumping into a pair of Wheatears on the way.  Scanning the beach didn't reveal the Glaucous Gull but then walking a bit further along to a couple of fishermen I found the 1st winter Glaucous Gull sitting on the beach with a couple of Herring Gulls.

I reeled off a quick couple of shots and then the bird took flight and appeared to head over towards the patch.  I followed but scanning didn't reveal it.  I was told it sat on the roof before flying down the beach and I never saw it again.

I then drove over to the RSPB reserve, but didn't stay long because my quarry, a couple of Tree Sparrows, were seen quickly on the feeders by the toilets.

I then drove over to Ramsgate cemetery where I was the only birder and eventually I pinned down the  Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler which showed quite nicely on the drive leading up to the entrance.  Also here were quite a few Rose-ringed Parakeets which showed extremely well.

Final stop was Stodmarsh which was rather muddy but on arrival I had a fly past Bittern, then 6 Marsh Harriers including a male and finally at the point of the path where I could no go no further there was a drake Garganey on the flood.

Moor Green Lakes (22/03/2014)

Not much apart from my first Sand Martins of the year - 5 briefly over the new conveyor belt.

Monday, 17 March 2014

New Forest again (16/03/2014)

An early start to finally get the dowitcher.  Initial walk down to Keyhaven and back produced a Greenshank and a few Knot but no sign off the Dowitcher.  Spent the next few hours scouring the area.  Eventually joined other birders overlooking Fish-tailed Lagoon as was just going to check out the Jetty Pool when suddenly 3 snipe-like birds dropped into the Fish-tail Lagoon.  Almost immediately the Long-billed Dowitcher was picked up and gave excellent scope views.

I then made my way over to Pig Bush where I had a single Dartford Warbler but no sign of any Lesser Spots.

Next up was the Tawny Owl site but no sign of the owl or any Lesser Spots.  Then onto Eyeworth Pond where immediately picked up a pair of Mandarins.  Last stop was Nomansland where spent some time scanning for Goshawk but no luck.  However, a pair of Woodlarks here, a couple of distant Ravens and best of all a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which flew over our heads.  I have chase and eventually pinned the bird down briefly in some trees near a boggy ditch.

Elusive 2 Barred (15/03/2014)

The male Two-barred Crossbill eventually gave itself up by perching in the tops of the pine trees and later seen badly under the canopy.  In the meantime had very good views of a pair of Woodlarks.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Combe Wood/Bury Down (08/03/2014)

At Bury Down the Corn Buntings were quite vocal and I saw at least 5 individuals as well as 3 male Yellowhammers.

At Combe Wood the Willow Tit's were being very elusive, the best I could do was hearing one briefly, although I did pick up 2 Marsh Tits.

One the way back home I drove down the Combe Wood valley and had to turn around because of flooding - good idea.  I parked up and nonchalantly walked along the road and then hear a Marsh Tit.  On the side of the road I found the Marsh Tit then two other birds came to my attention and the buffy underparts indicated possible Willow Tit.

I followed the birds along the road and then finally they both started calling - classic Willow Tit call.  One of them showed extremely well down to a few metres.
By the way I managed to acquire a puncture on this trip with required a) a puncture repair which didn't work and b) a new tyre.

Hants -> Sussex trawl (09/03/2014)

First stop was Budds Farm/Broadmarsh where initially I thought I had found the Red-necked Grebe but on good views it was a juvenile Slavonian Grebe - should have guessed really - it was with two adult winter Slavonian Grebes.

Eventually I picked up the drake Long-tailed Duck which hadn't yet acquired its tail - got a bad picture of it.

I then went around to Hayling Oyster Beds where the higlight was the congregation of gulls on the oyster bed islands.  Lots of Black-headed Gulls but the main highlight was at least 110 Mediterranean Gulls.  Some of them were, what I would term,display flighting.

No sign of the Red-necked Grebe here either, just 2 Black-necked Grebes and another Slavonian Grebe.

Another birder present told me that the Red-necked Grebe had been seen from Budds area again so back I went but with no luck.

Next onto Pagham area where nothing at Chichester GP's, Church Norton and Selsey, just 4 Avocets on the Sidlesham Ferry pool.

Final stop was Littlehampton where I spent ages walking up and down West Beach road with the only highlight being another adult Mediterranean Gull and lots of Turnstones on the jetty.

While scanning for any gulls I suddenly saw my quarry distantly along the river so I quick marched in that direction and saw 2 other birders with camera's had also seen it.

The Kumlein's Gull seen close up in flight feeding on bread and fish and chip remains.  At one point it perched on some railings where I managed to get some shots.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Rubbish day in New Forest (02/03/2014)

Started at Pennington Marshes where I could find no sign of the Long-billed Dowitcher.  The only highlight was 6 Ruff and lots of Golden Plover.

Then went to Blashford Lakes but it was pretty poor.

Got brief half views of the Tawny Owl near Bolderwood.

Noo sign of the Long-billed Dowitcher again at Pennington Marshes in the afternoon.