Saturday, 30 March 2013

Puffin Billy

Good Friday 29th March 2013.
A trip to Portland with Paul. At "the Bill" and general area; Puffin (2), Razorbill, Guillemot, Shag, Gannet, Fulmar, Great black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Red-throated Diver, Peregrine, Rock Pipit, Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, White Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Stonechat.
Barley Crates Lane; Ring Ouzel (2).
Reap Lane; Black Redstart (2).
Then over to Radipole Lake, Weymouth; Great Black-backed Gull, Sand Martin, Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler, Spoonbill, Snipe.

Paul's Rouzel below.


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Croxley Common Moor and Woodoaks Farm

Croxley Common Moor. Chiffchaff (5), Goldcrest (2), Green Woodpecker (2), Kingfisher.
Woodoaks. Golden Plover (60), Meadow Pipit (50), Wheatear (2), Yellowhammer (6), Stonechat, Ring-necked Parakeet.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013


A visit to Woodoaks Farm; Yellowhammer (20), Skylark (2), Meadow Pipit (6), Wheatear (2), Stonechat, Peregrine.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Kentish Plover in East Sussex

A days birding in East Sussex and Kent. A late start as I had to take my wife to work. After dropping my better half off I made my way over to Rye Harbour in East Sussex. On arrival at Rye Harbour I made my way to Lime Kiln Cottage. I joined the handful of birders that were outside the cottage. I pointed my scope in the general direction of the other birders scopes and amazingly there was the Kentish Plover I had come to see. At first the bird was quite elusive but then offered really good scope views. After enjoying this bird for some time I headed over to Dungeness. I parked near to the Lighthouse and had a look around the Lighthouse Keepers Garden hoping to see a Black Redstart, however, none were to be found. I headed from here towards "the patch" again hoping to see Black Redstart on the power station wall, no luck again. I stopped near the hide and had a bit of a seawatch. A few Gannets and a Red-throated Diver the best I could do here. Then another check of the Lighthouse Keepers Garden. Success this time as a Black Redstart flew in from the direction of the power station. Next was a walk around the observatory moat. Nothing at all here, however, on the walk along the road back to my car I managed to connect with a pair of Black Redstarts, a male Wheatear and a female Stonechat. With time getting on I decided to head over to the Raptor Watchpoint at Harty Ferry. On route a Barn Owl flew alongside the car near Lydd Golf Course.
At the watchpoint; c25 Marsh Harrier, 2 Barn Owl, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Bearded Tit (pinging), Water Rail (squealing).
Pics below; Black Redstart(s) in the Lighthouse Keepers Garden and near the road to the Observatory. Barn Owls at Harty Ferry.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Earlier today thanks to a text from Paul Lewis I headed over to Woodoaks Farm near Maple Cross. On arrival I soon connected with; Wheatear (3), Stonechat, Red Kite, Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit, Golden Plover (150+). All near the dung heap!
I met Paul Frost there and he managed the Wheatear pic below.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Larks in the mist again

A mornings birding that turned into a full day with Paul and Ephraim. No real plan for today so we headed off to Thursley Common as both Paul and Ephraim were both keen to jam in on "my Woodlarks". Dreary misty weather but not raining. A walk along the boardwalk and over towards "shrike hill". No sight or sound of Woodlark to begin with but a pair of Stonechat showed well. Then after a few minutes we could hear Woodlark singing. Then one showed well perched in a dead tree in the murk. After this we enjoyed several views of Woodlark either perched up, in display flight or foraging on the ground. As there was no sign of the Great-grey Shrike and the fact that it was not raining (nearly but not quite!). We decided to go down to Farlington Marshes. A Kingfisher on the boardwalk added a welcome splash of colour to our walk back to the car. On arrival at Farlington we headed off along the sea wall towards a field where several hundred Brent Geese were grazing. Luckily for us the Red-breasted Goose was with the Brents and showing well. So encouraged by our success with the Red-breasted Goose we headed over to Warblington in search of Glossy Ibis. On the walk from the Geese to the car park Pintail, Black-tailed Godwit and a distant Black-necked Grebe were noted.  
At Warblington we spent some time looking for the Glossy Ibis. There seems to be several cemeteries in Warblington! Anyway, we eventually found the Glossy Ibis feeding in a field at the back of a newish graveyard.
By now we were on a roll and not only that the weather had improved with hints of blue sky and even a small amount of sunshine. We took a gamble and headed for Acres Down. We were hoping to see Goshawk. On arrival the weather was still quite good but not exactly Goshawk weather. On our walk from the car park towards the "raptor watchpoint" we spoke to some birders who had seen 3 Goshawks from the watchpoint. On arrival at the watchpoint we scanned the surrounding woodland. No sign of any Goshawk but we did notice a massive dark rain cloud. You guessed it this big rain cloud was soon right over us! We headed for the woods hoping that the rain might move off but in fact it just got heavier. On our woodland walk we managed; Mistle Thrush, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit. As the weather had taken a turn for the worst we decided to head for home.
Pics below; Woodlark at Thursley Common, Red-breasted Goose and Black-tailed Godwit with lots of bling!. The Godwit not the Goose! At Farlington Marshes, Glossy Ibis at Warblington.



Friday, 8 March 2013

It rained today. All day!

A day off work so an opportunity for some birding. One big drawback though. Rain was forecast all day.  So where could I go in such miserable weather. Thursley common in search of displaying Woodlark? I was there with Paul on saturday, it was raining and no sign of Woodlark. So it was more in hope than expectation that I travelled over to Thursley Common in Surrey. No cars in the car park, nobody else as stupid as me on the common in this weather! A walk along the boardwalk towards "Shrike Hill". A singing Stonechat braving the mist and drizzle was a pleasant surprise. Then I noticed a small slightly bedraggled bird perched in a dead fallen tree. On closer inspection it was my target bird a Woodlark. I spent about an hour in this general area and saw up to 8 Woodlark, 2 of which performed their display flight.
Time to head back towards home now to avoid friday afternoon m25 traffic. On the way back I called in at Maple Lodge. Of course it was still raining but a Water Rail from the viewing screen and Green Sandpiper from the Rotunda Hide brightened things up.
Usual standard pics below. This time it was the rains fault. Woodlark at Thursley Common. Water Rail and Green Sandpiper at Maple Lodge.