Saturday, 30 April 2011

Beautiful South

2 House Martins looking for possible nest site in Parsonage Close flats.


Yesterday I was faced with a dilemma. Go birding in Norfolk with Brendan, Paul and Ian or go to my sister in laws for a Royal Wedding Garden Party?

We arrived at a field just south of Choseley Farm hoping to see Dotterel. Several birders were already on site and were struggling to see any Dotterel, however, we had our secret weapon Ian "eagle eyes" Bennell who soon had everyone on a distant Dotterel. Not easy to see given the distance, poor light and heat haze. The lone Dotterel was soon joined by two more. All three then scurried off out of site. Next stop was Choseley Farm "Drying Barns;" pretty quiet here but we did manage Yelowhammer and Yellow Wagtail. Then on to Titchwell RSPB where we noted the following; Garganey (pair,) breeding plumaged Ruff, White Wagtail, Marsh Harrier, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Bar Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Redshank. On the beach at Titchwell; Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Knot, Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Swallow.  We then received reports of 3 Red Footed Falcons at nearby Burnham Overy, so we made our way there. No sign of Red Foots but we did note the following; Pink Footed Goose, Wheatear, Spoonbill, Little Tern, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Little Egret, Golden Plover. Next stop was Santon Downham (suffolk,) not much here except for Siskin and Mandarin. Final stop was Foxhole Heath where we noted 1 Curlew, 3 Wheatear and good views of 8 Stone Curlew. Finally when we had arrived back at Langleybury Church we noted c20 Waxwing in flight.
Ian's version of todays events and some pics can be found on his blog here
sh4rpy, Brendan G, Ian B, Paul F.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Walthamstow Marshes

Cuckoo, Linnet, Swift, Sand Martin.

Maple Lodge.

Hobby, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Swift, Sand Martin.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Abbots to Kings.

An afternoon walk from Abbots Langley to Kings Langley and back again; 10 Swallow, 7 Buzzard, 3 Red Kite, 2 Sparrowhawk (1 performing display flight,) 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Linnet, 10 House Martin, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark and Chiffchaff.

Staines and Wilstone Reservoirs.

Staines; 14 Little Gull, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Common Tern.

Wilstone; 2 Hobby, 2 Raven (pair,) Common Tern, Red Kite, Buzzard, Swallow, House Martin.
sh4rpy. Brendan G.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Defra to remove problem monk parakeets from wild

The following article's on the BBC and Guardian website's may be of interest as there is a colony of these birds in Borehamwood. Mildred Avenue i think? BBC website and Guardian website.

Wood Warbler Ashridge.

An afternoon visit to Ashridge Forest in search of the well reported Wood Warbler. We walked about 100 yards east of "the pond" and were soon rewarded with cracking views of the Wood Warbler singing and displaying down to a few yards. A pic can be found on Paul Lewis's blog here
Then on the way home we noted a Yellow Wagtail on a manure pile Nettleden Road near the Leighton Buzzard Road.
sh4rpy, Brendan G.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Oare and Elmley Marshes.

Oare Marshes; Little Grebe, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Redshank, Turnstone, Common Tern, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Bearded Tit, Reed Bunting.

Elmley Marshes; Wigeon, Teal, 3 Garganey (2m 1 f,) Little Grebe, Little Egret, 3 Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Hobby, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Redshank, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting.

Also noted numerous noisy Marsh Frogs at both sites and two Grey Seal sleeping on the mud banks at Elmley.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Staines Reservoirs

Half an hour on Croxley Common Moor this morning; Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting.

Mid morning at Staines Reservoirs; Black Tern, Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe, 10 Common Tern.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Hillfield Reservoir

An afternoon visit to Hillfield Reservoir; 6+ Black Necked Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 5 Common Tern, Ring Necked Parakeet, Green Woodpecker, Swallow.

Later at Croxley Common Moor; Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Grasshopper Warbler "reeling."

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Croxley Common Moor

10+ Whitethroat, 2 Common Tern, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler (pair.) No sight or sound of Gropper.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lee Valley Riding School

Wheatear, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, 4 Linnet.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Staines Reservoirs

A late morning visit to Staines Reservoirs produced the following; c30 Little Gull, Black Necked Grebe and a Velvet Scoter.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Two Tree Island, Essex then Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits

An early morning visit to Two Tree Island Nature Reserve, near Leigh on Sea with Brendan G.
Excellent views of Grasshopper Warbler "reeling" we also heard one other. Good views of singing Nightingale and at least 5 others heard.  Also seen were Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Wheatear, 10+ Oystercatcher, 40+ Curlew, 2 Swallow, We did not see the recently reported Night Heron. We left about 10:00. About 11:00 the Night Heron was seen again. Oh well **it happens!

Midday at Tyttenhanger; 4 Buzzard, Red Kite, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Redshank, 5 Common Tern, 4 Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, c10 Sand Martin, Wheatear, Linnet.
sh4rpy, Brendan G

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Withey Beds then Croxley Common Moor

Today at the Withey Beds; Buzzard, 2 Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (2 sightings.)

Both lesser peckers were seen in the forked dead tree in the centre of this pic, 20 or so yards past the pill box.

Croxley Common Moor; Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff. No sign of reported Whinchat.

Paul F's pics from Dungeness

Some pics from Dungeness. Mystery Gull type and possible Arctic Tern in forground with Little and Common Terns. What do my vast army of followers think? Let me know by way of a "comment" or email me sh4rpy[at]
Reed Bunting






Sandwich Terns

Little Tern (top middle,) Common Tern (far right,) Arctic Tern in foreground.

Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtails



Singing Sedge Warbler

Sunday, 10 April 2011


A days birding at Dungeness with Paul F. We visited three sites at Dungeness; ARC pit, "The Patch" / power station area and the RSPB reserve.

First port of call was the ARC pit; Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, 2 Garganey (pair,) 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatcher, Curlew.

"The Patch" and Power Station; Meadow Pipit, 8 Linnet, c20 Common Tern, c20 Sandwich Tern, 3 Little Tern, Arctic Tern, 6 Common Scoter, 2 Swallow, 3 Wheatear.

RSPB Reserve; 8+ Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Cetti's Warbler, 20+ Sedge Warbler, Oystercatcher, Slavonian Grebe, 3 Marsh Harrier.

sh4rpy, Paul F.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

2 Loons

An afternoon visit to a very quiet Staines Reservoirs produced the following; 2 Great Northern Divers, Swallow, Sparrowhawk, Wigeon, Teal.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Croxley Common Moor-Wilstone Reservoir

Croxley Common Moor; 3 Green Woodpecker, 2 Swallow, Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing.
Wilstone Reservoir; 19 Common Tern, Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzard, 1 Swallow.

Monday, 4 April 2011

RSPB Nags Head 20th March 2011

Some pics from a recent visit to RSPB Nags Head with Brendan G and Paul F. Pics taken by Paul Frost do not use without his permission. Click on pics to enlarge.



Mandarin (pair)

Symonds Yat 20th March 2011

Some pics from a recent visit to Symonds Yat with Paul F and Brendan G. Pics were taked by Paul Frost, do not use without his permission. Clic on pics to enlarge.
 View from Symonds Yat Rock


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Titchwell Pics March 13th 2011

All the pics below were taken by Paul Frost. Do not use them without his permission. They were all taken on March 13th 2011 at Titchwell with the exception of the last pic which is a Stone Curlew in flight at Foxhole Heath.

Woodoaks Farm

A lunchtime visit to Woodoaks Farm produced the following; Yellowhammer, Red Kite, 4 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Little Owl. Also noted 5 Hare's (2 adult and 3 juvenile.)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Beds n Herts then Beds again.

Blows Down, Ivinghoe Beacon, Wilstone Reservoir, Blows Down (again.) with Brendan G.
Arrived at Blows down about 08:30, target birds were Wheatear and Ring Ouzel. First we gave the "paddocks" a good going over but nothing much of interest. We then decided to go up to the "plateau," on our ascent we encountered another birder who informed us 2 Ring Ouzel had been reported on the "Kingsbury slope." But despite some intensive searching by ourselves and several other birders we could not locate any Ring Ouzel, however, we did note several Yellowhammer. We then made our way to the "Plateau" where we noted c20 Meadow Pipit, 10+ Skylark, 4 Buzzard and a single male Wheatear. We also noted a Hare.

Next stop was Ivinghoe Beacon. As soon as we had parked up we were straight onto a very distant male Ring Ouzel. We made our way towards the Ring Ouzel where we were treated to some great views of the bird perched up and feeding. Whilst at Ivinghoe we also noted, Red Kite, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. Also at Ivinghoe were top Maple Cross birders Paul Lewis and daughter.

From Ivinghoe we went to Wilstone Reservoir in Herts. Here we noted a pair of Mistle Thrush feeding young, 50+ Sand Martin, 2 Red Kite, 9 Common Tern and thanks to Local birder Steve Rodwell 6 Sandwich Tern on the bunds for about 40 mins before flying off towards Marsworth. Whilst at Wilstone we received news that there was a Pied Flycatcher at Blows Down.

Last site visit of the day was a return to Blows Down. We joined about 15 other birders and before long we were treated to cracking views of a summer plumaged male Pied Flycatcher. We then gave the paddocks another look and were rewarded with great views of a male Wheatear, then another great show by the Pied Flycatcher before we made our way home.

sh4rpy, Brendan G.