Sunday, 29 April 2012

White Stork then Black Tern

Back to Oxfordshire with Paul this morning; White Stork (4) at Standlake Common near Newbridge.

Then this evening a trip to Staines Reservoir's again with Paul; Black Tern, Little Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Black-necked Grebe, Shag, Common Tern, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin.
Paul's pics below; White Stork's at Standlake and Swift at Staines.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Boomerang Birding

A trip to Balscote Quarry Nature Reserve in Oxfordshire or to be more accurate the field adjacent to the reserve. Paul, Brendan and myself made the trip this morning. On arrival we were told that the recently reported Dotterel had not been seen for over an hour when it had flown off with Golden Plover. The plover's had returned but the Dotterel had not. We stood in the pouring rain for about an hour and a half but the Dotterel did not show. There were plenty of decent birds which I will come to later in this post. We decided to head for home and when we were just outside Beaconsfield on the M40 news broke that the Dotterel had returned. A vote was taken and we decided to about turn and go back to have another go for the Dotterel. One hour later we were able to enjoy great scope views of the Dotterel associating with the Golden Plovers. The field containing the Plovers and Dotterel was an amazing field as it also held many other decent birds.
A full list of all the birds seen in or over the field; Dotterel, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Lapwing, Little-ringed Plover, Whinchat, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Robin, Reed Bunting, Redstart, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Canada Goose, Swallow, Swift, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Willow Warbler .
Paul's heavily cropped (by me!) pics below. Whimbrel, Whinchat.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Evans Halshaw

I took my car in to Evans Halshaw in Hemel this morning. Although it's quite a distance and despite looking like it was going to rain I decided to walk home via the Grand Union canal towpath. Not a great deal to trouble my notebook but the following were encountered; Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Common Tern, Swift (my first of the year).

Monday, 23 April 2012


Woodoaks before work; Little Owl, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Skylark.

Going Local

Sunday 22nd April.
The fields near my house before I got the hook because visitors had arrived, produced; Yellowhammer and Linnet.
House Martin (2) exploring for possible nest sites in the flats near my house.
Blackcap (pair) worked their way along the hedge in my back garden. Blue Tits and Great tits in the nestboxes.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Titchwell, Cley and the Brecks.

Saturday 21st April 2012. Norfolk then the Brecks with Paul and Dave.

Titchwell; Siskin, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Swallow, House Martin, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Ruff, Redshank, Spotted Redshank (4, including 2 in summer plumage), Little Egret, Brent Goose, Curlew, Whimbrel (3 over, Dave only), Marsh Harrier (5, displaying), Bearded Tit, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Diver, Velvet Scoter (3). Also Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer.

Cley, Wheatear (c12), Spoonbill (2), Curlew, Avocet, Swallow, Sand Martin, Marsh Harrier. Must be more mind gone blank!

Cley; "the Hangs" near Scrib Hill (i think!); Ring Ouzel, Redstart.

RSPB Lakenheath; Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Blue-winged Teal/Shoveler Hybrid (escape), Whooper Swan, Garganey (pair), Cetti's Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit (c10), Bittern, Common Crane (Dave only).

The Brecks; Stone Curlew (3, 1 with white ring on left leg).

Pauls's pic below. Cetti's Warbler at Titchwell, Grey Plover on the beach at Titchwell, next 4 images Spotted Redshanks at Titchwell, Chinese Water Deer at Titchwell, Muntjac at Titchwell, Avocet at Thornham, Wheatear at Cley, drake Garganey at Lakenheath, Bearded Tit at Lakenheath, Marsh Harrier at Lakenheath, Black-tailed Godwit.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wagtails at Farmoor.

Paul's wagtail pics on the causeway at Farmoor. Pied, Yellow, White.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Dorset Pics

Paul's pics from our trip to Dorset on Sat 14th April 2012. Black-winged Stilt, Kittiwake, Diver sp, Not sure possibly Zebra.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Marsworth and Farmoor

A trip to Marsworth with Paul and Brendan; Grey Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Buzzard, Sand Martin.
Farmoor with Paul; Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Tern, Sand Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting.

A days birding in Dorset.

Saturday 14th April 2012.
Abbotsbury Swannery; Black-winged Stilt.
Ferrybridge near Portland; Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Dunlin, Great Black-backed Gull.
Portland Bill; Manx Shearwater, Guillemot, Razorbill, Puffin, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Common Tern, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver, Rock Pipit, Wheatear, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Peregrine, Little Owl, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow.
Paul, Brendan, sh4rpy

Friday, 13 April 2012

Croxley Common Moor

A couple of hours on the Moor with Brendan; Redstart, Wheatear (3), Swallow (3), Willow Warbler (2), Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting. Also a Muntjac, Dogs (15+).

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Croxley Common Moor

An hour on the Moor before work; Common Sandpiper flew downstream from concrete bridge and landed in the "beach" area but flushed by dog walkers shortly afterwards. Female/Juvenile Wheatear on new tree stumps in general area of model airplane landing strips but again flushed by dog walkers! Also; Green Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed Bunting.
Birder went to work early flushed by dogwalkers.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Pics added to Scottish Trip Report

Thorpe Park, Staines Res and Moor

A mornings birding in Surrey with Paul.
Mill Lane, near Thorpe Park; Tundra Bean Goose, Egyptian Goose (3).
Staines Reservoir; Little Gull, Shag, Redshank, Wheatear, Swallow, Sand Martin.
Staines Moor; Curlew, Ring Ouzel.
Paul's pics below; Tundra Bean Goose x2, Little Gull, Ring Ouzel.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Rainham Marshes

A trip to Rainham Marshes with Brendan.
Coldharbour Lane, stone barges; Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Linnet, Black-headed Gull, Cormorant, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Herring Gull, Lesser black-backed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Pheasant, Dunnock, Starling, Skylark, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Lapwing.

Rainham Marshes RSPB; House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Coot, Mute Swan Green Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Snipe, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Little Egret, Greylag Goose, Song Thrush, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Swallow, Moorhen, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Great-crested Grebe, Gadwall, Yellow Wagtail, Jack Snipe, Garganey, Peregrine, Wren, Stock Dove.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


A return to Incombe hole this morning; 3 Ring Ouzel (2m, 1f), Red Kite, Green Woodpecker, Wheatear. Also 6 Sika Deer.
While I was at Incombe Hole Paul was at Stockers where he captured this image of a singing Cetti's Warbler

Friday, 6 April 2012

Scottish Trip pics

I took a few pics most of them not up to much, they are as follows; Our accommodation in the snow, Female Red Grouse, Male Red Grouse, Findhorn Valley x2, Dipper, Common Seals x3 .

Nouzel at Incombe Hole

An afternoon visit to Incombe Hole with Paul. No sign of reported Ring Ouzel's, they apparently flew towards Pitstone Hill shortly before our arrival. We did connect with; Bullfinch (4), Red Kite, Buzzard, Marsh Tit.

Later at Stockers Lake I managed; Willow Warbler, Blackcap (pair, male with nesting material in same bush as Long-tailed Tit also with nesting material), Common Tern, Goldcrest, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Ring-necked Parakeet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

ScottishTrip Report

Scroll down page for Paul's pics.

Day one Sunday April 1st 2012.
I picked Dave up from Bedmond shortly before 04:00 and we made our way over to Harefield to collect Paul. Then over to the APH off airport parking in Crawley. Then by courtesy bus to Gatwick Airport North Terminal where we checked in and had a short wait before boarding our Easyjet flight to Inverness. The flight was about an hour and a half and we landed in Inverness on time. We collected our hire car and made our way to our accommodation in Nethybridge, arriving at about 10:20.
On route from the airport to Nethybridge we noted the following species; Kestrel, Pink-footed Goose, Red Kite, Stock Dove, Lapwing, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Rook.
After leaving our bags at our accommodation we made our way over to the nearby Loch Garten RSPB Osprey Centre. Here we encountered the following species either at the Osprey centre or on the loch or in the surrounding woodlands; Osprey (2), Siskin, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Goldeneye, Goosander, Whooper Swan (24), Scottish Crossbill, Curlew, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Great-crested Grebe, Wigeon.
We spent over an hour at the feeders near the Osprey Centre Reception hoping for Crested Tit or Red Squirrel but none showed. So not wanting to waste too much time we made our to Loch Ruthven, here we encountered to the following; Slavonian Grebe (6), Little Grebe, Red-throated Diver, Meadow Pipit, Teal, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Hooded Crow, Wood Pigeon. Also noted Roe Deer.
Loch Ashy; Mistle Thrush, Buzzard.
Dunlichity; Black-throated Diver, Starling, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Golden Plover.
Our final visit of the day was the Findhorn Valley, here we added the following species to our list; Golden Eagle (adult), Peregrine (2), Wheatear. Also noted Red Deer (100+), Brown Hare.
Day Two Monday April 2nd 2012.
Our first stop was the RSPB Osprey Centre hoping for Capercaillie. We arrived before 05:00 but could not get into the centre until after 05:30. We spent about two and a half hours in the centre but no Caper showed. We also spent time at the feeder near the reception hoping for Crested Tit and Red Squirrel but again no luck even though there had been regular sightings of both. From here we headed over to Applecross on the west coast. We made a couple of stops along the way.
Lochcarron; Red-breasted Merganser, Herring Gull, House Sparrow.
Lochalsh; Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Rock Pipit, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Eider, Shag, Grey Heron.
Applecross; Ptarmargin (4 in transitional plumage).
From Applecross we made our way over to Skye in the hope of connecting with White-tailed Eagle at Torvaig.
Torvaig; Raven (2), Song Thrush, Robin, Blackbird. Also of note but previously seen; Whooper Swan, Hooded Crow, Red-throated Diver, Shag. Despite spending a few hours at this site no Eagles were seen. Not ideal conditions lots of mist and drizzle. On the long drive home it started snowing and the roads became treacherous (very). But we still made it to the chippie in Aviemore for our supper!

Day 3 Tuesday April 3rd 2012.
The snow from the previous evening had continued overnight leaving the area coated in an eight inch blanket. We decided to give the Caper watch a miss. Lucky we did as we found out later the Caper did not show again. Braving the ice and snow we headed out. Before heading out we noted a Stoat jumping around in the snow outside our accommodation.
Grantown on Spey; Red Grouse (2).
Loch Garten RSPB; Long-tailed Tit, Crested Tit (2) at last! We then connected with two more Crested Tits in the forest surrounding Loch Garten.
Nethybridge; Redshank, Near the bridge; Dipper (2).
Finally at Findhorn Valley; Golden Eagle (3, 1st summer) clashing talons.
Day 4 Wednesday 4th April 2012 (My 54th Birthday!)
Another early morning visit to Loch Garten RSPB Osprey Centre for the “Caper-watch”.
As soon as we arrived in the centre a Caper was showing but partially obscured. I managed a half decent view through someone’s scope and then the Caper flew off. Dave and Paul could not get on the Caper so I was p*ssed off to say the least! However, Dave would not be beaten and went outside to search for the Caper himself. After a few minutes he came back into the centre and said he had re-found the Caper and it was showing well. We all left the centre and made our way along the path towards the reception centre. Here about 30 people including a coach party of American tourists were able to enjoy great views of the Capercaillie. Even the centre’s sophisticated cctv camera’s could not find it. Well done Dave!
Passing by the reception on our way out we noted a Red Squirrel on the nut feeder.
Tulloch Moor; Black Grouse (2).
Then we made our way over to the Ythen Estuary for the regularly reported King Eider and also Lesser Yellowlegs at Loch of Strathbeg, although the Yellowlegs had not been reported at all the previous day.
Ythen Estuary; King Eider, Sandwich Tern, Linnet, Skylark, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Shelduck. Also noted although previously encountered were; Eider (100+), Red-breasted Merganser (c50), Common Seal (100+).
Frazerburgh; Magpie, Yellowhammer, Turnstone, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Purple Sandpiper, Gannet.
Troup Head; Stonechat, Razorbill. Species encountered before but worthy of mention; Large Gannet, Guillemot and Razorbill colony on the cliff face. Raven, Peregrine.
As there had been no news of the Greater Yellowlegs either yesterday or today we headed back over to the Findhorn Valley for our final stop of the day. When we were well over half the way back news that the Yellowlegs had been sighted came through! At the Findhorn Valley we added a male Merlin to our trip list. Also Mountain Hare (2) and Golden Eagle (2 first summer), Wheatear.
Day 5 Thursday 5th April 2012.
At the Caper-watch we again drew a blank.
Inshe’s Marsh; nothing to add to our list the marsh being 99% frozen.
We then made our way back to Inverness airport for our flight home. Flight delayed for 40 mins not a big deal, another short delay waiting for shuttle bus to long term car park again no real problem. But M25 on the Thursday evening before Good Friday is not much fun. Give me A9 and snow every time!
Total Species; 91.
Mammals; Red Deer, Roe Deer, Red Squirrel, Stoat, Brown Hare, Mountain Hare, Common Seal.
Left to right. Dave Johnson (Expertise), Chris Sharp (Driving/Comedy), Paul Frost (Photo's)