Sunday, 28 July 2013

Gardening Duties

No birding for me this week-end as I was under orders to "sort the garden out".
Man or mouse? you may ask. Eek-eek my response on this occasion.
My birding pal Paul Frost took full advantage of my garden/skip loading duties with a trip to Rudyard Reservoir in Staffordshire. Here he enjoyed some nice views of the Caspian Tern. So Paul gripped me off again. He had previously seen Pacific Swift and Wilson's Phalarope and I could only get Bridled Tern back on him. I will just have to wait until he goes off on one of his exotic holidays!
Paul's Caspian Tern pics at Rudyard Reservoir taken on Saturday 27th July 2013.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Curlew Sandpiper at Tyttenhanger

A local Curlew Sandpiper at Tyttenhanger was a nice surprise this afternoon. The Curlew Sandpiper was on the spit on the Main Pit  feeding in amongst the Black-headed Gulls with one or two Lesser black-Backed Gulls and a similar amount of Common Gulls. Also several Lapwing and Common Tern. Distant pic below.
Curlew Sandpiper-Tyttenhanger-20/07/2013

Six Spot Burnet-Tyttenhanger-20/07/2013-Paul Frost

Sunday, 14 July 2013

London Peregrine Partnership

Tony Duckett's latest blog posting gives a great insight into the great work the partnership carry out to help peregrines in the London area.
Some fantastic photos and video too.
Tony's latest blog posting here
and his Peregrine pics and a couple of vidz here

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Crepuscular Birding

A late evening visit to Chobham Common with Paul and Brendan. A very warm but fairly overcast evening. We arrived at about 21:00 and we heard our first Nightjar churring fairly quietly about 21:25. Shortly after this we heard and then saw our first Woodcock of the evening. We heard several more Nightjars churring but they proved very difficult to see. Eventually myself and Paul had a half distant view of a Nightjar but unfortunately Brendan couldn't connect. Whilst searching for Nightjars we managed to see at least 4 more Woodcock. The Nightjars were much quieter and less active than in our previous visits to Chobham. Maybe something to do with the overcast conditions? It is appeared to me that there were less flies on the wing than on previous visits. We spent some time trying to get better views or in Brendan's case any view at all. We decided to head back to the car park and as we got closer we could hear a Nightjar churring away and apparently closer than any we had heard that evening. We made our way up onto the mound where the Monument is sited and almost straight away a Nightjar flew all around and over the top of us. A nice end to our evening.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Pig Bush

Friday the 5th July 2013
An early morning visit to the New Forest. I visited Pig Bush, Shatterford/Beaulieu Road Station and Acres Down.
No rarities just the birds you might expect to see in the New Forest at this time of year and with juveniles much in evidence.
A combined list from all the sites; Redstart, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Reed Bunting, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Treecreeper, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Stock Dove. No Wood Warbler, Firecrest, Goshawk or Ascensian Frigate Bird.
It was interesting to note that as the day warmed up the birds all but disappeared. There were lots at 06:00 and hardly any by the time I headed for home at 14:00. A good number of dragonflies were nice to see although I could not id any of them! Also nice to see a Fallow Deer at Pig Bush and some Common cotton-Grass at Acres Down.
Usual standard pics below, some of them incorrectly labelled? Let me know of any errors you may spot.
Pig Bush

juv Blackbird-Pig Bush

Fallow Deer- Pig Bush

juv Redstart-Pig Bush

juv Redstart-Pig Bush

juv Redstart-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat-Pig Bush

Mistle Thrush-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat-Pig Bush

juv Stonechats-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat up a tree-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat up a tree-Pig Bush

juv Meadow Pipit -Pig Bush

juv Willow Warbler-Pig Bush

juv Stonechat-Shatterford

Common cotton-Grass-Shatterford


juv Redstart-on railway bridge near Beaulieu Road Station

 female Stonechat-Shatterford

House Martin-Shatterford

House Martin-Shatterford

Mistle Thrush-Denny Wood

Redstart-Denny Wood

juv Redstart-Denny Wood

Stock Dove-Denny Wood

Stonechat-Acres Down

Stonechat-Acres Down

House Martins-Shatterford

House Martin-Shatterford

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Recent Pics

Some recent pics, if you know the beetle or the orchid sp let me know.
Arctic Tern-Farne Islands-03/07/2013
Guillemots inc 1 bridled-Inner Farne-03/07/2013
Small Tortoishell-Woodoaks Farm-04/07/2013
Light Aircraft approaching Denham Airfield-04/07/2013
male House Sparrow-Woodoaks Farm-04/07/2013
female House Sparrow-Woodoaks Farm-04/07/2013
 male Yellow Wagtail-Redbournbury-04/07/2013
juv? Yellow Wagtail-Redbournbury-04/07/2013
Red Cardinal Beetle?-Ivinghoe Beacon-04/07/2013

Orchid sp?-Ivinghoe Beacon-04/07/2013









Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Here Comes The Bridled-traditionally late of course!

A trip to Inner Farne with Samuel and Dave. We left about 3 a.m. this morning and headed up to Seahouses where we arrived a little after 8 o'clock. Not bad progress with a couple of quick stops on route. Whilst making our way to the ticket booths on the harbour side we heard the familiar voice of LGRE calling "Dave-Dave" he was delighted to see Dave and had just returned from the island and had enjoyed "crippling" views of the Bridled Tern before he saw it fly off. We paid our £13 for the return crossing and waited until after 9 o'clock when we boarded our boat for the 25 minute journey to Inner Farne.
On arrival no sign of the Bridled Tern but Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Shag kept us occupied for a while but our target bird was nowhere to be seen. After a couple of hours everyone was getting anxious as we only had limited time on the jetty. Then a strange turn of events. Another birder called an Arctic Skua but as Dave looked out to sea he got straight on the Bridled Tern. He called it out as it flew over the jetty and then out of site. Some birders got on it and some didn't. Dave and Samuel did and I didn't. Dave and Samuel could not stop laughing they thought it was hilarious! A bit harsh considering I was doing all the driving I thought.
This sighting seemed to re-focus the assembled birders attention and nearly all were scanning the Terns in flight and after about 10 minute's someone called the Bridled Tern as it flew towards it's favourite resting spot. It landed on the rocks and we enjoyed great views for over half an hour as it rested for a few minutes then moved a short distance away and rested again. It did not look too settled and seemed to call a couple of times and on one occasion was harassed by a Puffin.  It then took flight again appearing to perform some kind of display flight before disappearing from view. By now our ferry was back and we had to leave the island. A trouble free return journey completed a gruelling but most enjoyable day.
A few nice pics and an account from the rangers perspective on their blog here