Monday, 26 May 2014

Isle of Purbeck/Martin Down (25/05/2014)

Despite the breezy conditions and much hard work I managed to see all the species I wanted at Dancing Ledge except Peregrine.  I managed 2-3 Puffins of which 2 showed well from the edge of the ledge, 3 Ravens gave a good show over the cliffs, Shags and Guillemot were in evidence all the time.  The Razorbill and Kittiwake were a little more tricky, I saw a couple of Razorbills briefly in flight before one have itself up on the water off the cliffs.  5 Kittiwakes eventually showed together including a moulting 1st winter bird which did settle on the sea.

The Turtle Doves at Martin Down took some finding but eventually heard one purring, saw it briefly disappearing behind some trees and then a pair flew across in front of me.  Also here was a Cuckoo, Raven, 2 Corn Buntings, Hobby and a Lesser Whitethroat.

A new butterfly for me was found - a Grizzled Skipper.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

What a crap start to short break (23/05/2014)

I visited Tyttenhanger GP's early on because 2 Temminck's Stints had been seen all week, however, they picked today to bugger off - only recompense was 2 fly-over Red Kites and a fly-over Yellow Wagtail.

Kev scores, Green Park (22/05/2014)

When I got to work I stepped outside and heard what was possibly a Great Reed Warbler.  I rushed indoors and dialled up Great Reed Warbler on U Tube - a perfect match.  I got the news out on the Berks birds website and rushed to get my bins.  Got back to the area it was singing and heard it briefly but didn't get to see it.

I then had to retire to work and kept checking the berks website to see if someone could confirm it.  I then got the news I was waiting for - Marek Walford had confirmed it.  However, due to work commitments it wasn't until lunch time that I actually got to see the bird.

I will now have to put together a submission to the BBRC - never done this before.

I had reasonable views after work but couldn't get any decent photos - managed to record it singing on my camera.

This is the first national rarity I have ever found.

Staines Moor (21/05/2014)

A pre-work very early start and a foggy, damp morning saw me tramping the east side of the moor.  As I approached the A30 I heard the Grasshopper Warbler and then got sufficient views of the bird preening and reeling in rank vegetation in the SE corner.  Also over were 3 noisy Rose-ringed Parakeets.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Various (18/05/2014)

After fighting to get to the site because the A3 tunnel was closed I went to the wrong end of Medmerry but was recompensed with a Spoonbill, 4 Corn Buntings, 2 fly-over Yellow Wagtails and a Cuckoo (with another calling).

I then went to Selsey and talked to the birders there to get directions to the east end (they had a Pomarine Skua).  Found the actual site and had good views of the 2 Black-winged Stilts along with a few Avocets.

I then drove to Farlington Marshes where there wasn't much about apart from a male and female Bearded Tit.

Final stop was Thurlsey Common where had good views of a singing Tree Pipit and my first Downy Emeralds of the year.

Moor Green Lakes (18/05/2014)

After a failed attempt to find any Tree Pipits at a couple of locations, I went to Moor Green Lakes where I saw the Wood Sandpiper which was getting a lot of grief from a local Moorhen.  Eventually, the sandpiper flew off high to the east.  The resident Little Owl was showing in its usual tree although it was quite difficult to see.

Monday, 12 May 2014

New Forest/Farmoor Reservoir (11/05/2014)

Started at Acres Down where I found a singing Wood Warbler not far from the car park, half a dozen Crossbills flying around, a singing Woodlark and a possible Tree Pipit.

I tried other places for Tree Pipit but no luck in a howling gale.

I turned up at Beaulieu Road Station at 8.45am to lead a NE Hants trip.  I waited until 9.45am, seeing male Siskin and male Redstart but nobody turned up.  I then drove to Farmoor Reservoir where once again I failed with the Spotted Sandpiper.  There was a flock of about 20 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers and a possible Hobby.

Farmoor Reservoir (10/05/2014)

No sign of the Spotted Sandpiper in a howling gale.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Jackpot !!! (05/05/2014)

What a morning - I seawatched from 5.40am -> 12.30pm.

It started fairly slow and had to wait for an hour for any skuas, however it was a Pomarine Skua.  While watching a lot of Common Scoter as per yesterday, it suddenly all kicked off with a flock of 6 Pomarine Skuas, followed closely by four more which then joined up with the first group.  A bitter later another 4 went passed and then singletons until one of the observers picked up a large flock distantly on the horizon (a flock of 15).  Finally, for me, at 12.30 a flock of 9 flew past.

I had a total of 47 birds (including 2 dark phase birds), but the brilliant thing was that the first flocks were very closely in and gave fantastic views.  I also saw 6 Arctic Skuas (including 2 dark phase birds), although I missed the Bonxie.  On the sea was a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver and 2 others flew past,  Waders passed included Whimbrel, 6 Barwits, Knot and 6 Sanderling, 3 of which landed briefly on the beach.

One of the larger flocks of Common Scoter contained a Velvet Scoter.

I dropped into Chichester GP's on the way home and had no luck with the reported Arctic Tern, but even better there were two summer plumaged Black Terns.

No Tree Pipits at Broxhead Common.

Selsey Bil/Farlington (04/05/2014)

First of a double visit to the Bill, where it was pretty slow - the highlight being the number of Common Scoter and a very distant Manx Shearwater heading west.

Farlington Marshes was very quiet apart from the Spoonbill on the main marsh which did pop its head up a couple of times.  Also 3 fly-over Mediterranean Gulls.

Moor Green Lakes (03/05/2014)

A fairly productive visit with the Barn Owl giving poor views in its box but best of all 2 Hobbies over the gravel workings.

Moving onto the hide over Colebrook lake I was glad to see the Whinchat was still present and showing well  Finally had my first Swifts of the year seen distantly from the gravel workings.