Monday, 26 August 2013

Paul's Pics

The images below were all taken by Paul Frost on sundays trip to Norfolk.
Wryneck at Salthouse

Pied Flycatcher at Salthouse

Spotted Flycatcher at Salthouse

Stonechat at Salthouse

Pied Flycatcher at Burnham Overy

Greenish Warbler at Burnham Overy

Spoonbills at Titchwell

Spotted Redshank at Titchwell

Little Stint at Titchwell

Whinchat at Titchwell

Grayling at Burnham Overy

Southern Hawker at Burnham Overy

Norfolk Coast

Sunday 25th August 2013.
A trip to the Norfolk coast with Paul. Our provisional plan was to head for Titchwell but see what the news services were reporting on route. We set off in light rain at 06:00 and the rain steadily got worse. We made a stop at about 08:00 and checked for Norfolk news. A Wryneck plus some other decent birds had us heading for Salthouse. Luckily for us the rain had now eased off and by the time we arrived at Salthouse it had stopped completely, which is a reverse of our normal fortunes. The first decent birds at Salthouse were up to six Whinchat, then Pied and Spotted Flycatchers. Then after giving us a bit of a run around we connected with our target bird the Wryneck. A Hobby flying above the shingle ridge was also nice to see. We also bumped into Tony D here.
Our next stop was at the nearby Cley Marshes. An Icterine Warbler had been reported from here. On arrival at the last known location for the Icterine Warbler we were informed by other birders that it had not been seen for some time. We loitered with not much intent for about thirty minutes before deciding to try for the Greenish Warbler at Stiffkey. We joined a few other birders assembled in the wood near the campsite. While we waited news of another Greenish Warbler at Burnham Overy reached us. This one was reportedly showing well! So off we and a few other birders went and made our way to Burnham Overy Staithe. We made our way to the boardwalk area where the Greenish Warbler was playing hard to get. By way of compensation we had more Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and also a Lesser Whitethroat. It was interesting to see a Pied Flycatcher catch and devour a Small Tortoiseshell. Then the Greenish Warbler gave itself up and showed well for quite some time. We even left this bird to look for a reported Bluethroat. Only partial success here as we only managed a brief glimpse of this bird as it stayed low down in the Suaeda. On our walk back to the car along the coastal path we saw; Spoonbill, Little Egret, Wheatear and another Lesser Whitethroat.
Titchwell was going to be our next destination but we ended up at Thornham Harbour. An Ictreine Warbler had been reported at Thornham Point. Neither of us had been to Thornham Point before so we thought it would be near to Thornham Harbour. On arrival at Thornham Harbour we couldn't see an obvious "point". We asked some people including a guy repairing a boat but nobody had heard of it. On our brief stop here we did manage more Spoonbill and a Marsh Harrier. Our last stop of the day was Titchwell which at the beginning of the day had been our intended first stop. As usual a good selection of waders were to be found here, including our target birds 4 Little Stint. Also Spotted Redshank, Spoonbill, Ruff, Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Avocet. Then on the beach; Sanderling, Turnstone, Oystercater and a stunning summer plumaged Grey Plover also Common and Sanwich Tern. By now time was getting on for 18:00 so we decided to head for home. A female Whinchat and a Wheatear were our last birds of the day. On leaving Titchwell a few birders were arriving. Now and with the beauty of hindsight it must have been to go to Thornham Point which after a bit of research today (b/h mon) is accessed along the beach from Titchwell. At least I think it is!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Back to Barnes

An hour at the Barnes Lane, Clouded Yellow site. I decided to return to Barnes Lane for another look at the Clouded Yellows. Samuel P had seen Purple Hairstreak here yesterday so that was an added incentive. I met Samuel on site and we counted 13+ Clouded Yellow before scanning the tops of some Oaks on the edge of the wood. No luck with the Purple Hairstreaks too early in the day probably. Other butterflies; Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Common Blue. Silver Y Moth.
Some pics to my usual standard below.
Clouded Yellow-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Clouded Yellow-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Clouded Yellow-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Speckled Wood-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Common Blue-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Small Copper-Barnes Lane, Kings Langley

Sunday, 18 August 2013

not quite Dan Petrescu

Crystal Palace v Spurs was on the tv so I decided to have a walk around the fields near my house. A fairly quiet walk with very few birds. The more notable being; Sparrowhawk, House Martin, Swallow, Linnet. Slightly better on the butterfly front with lots of "Whites" on the wing. Also; Peacock, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Copper.
A very nice lady jogger in lycra alerted me to an escaped Budgerigar, so I went and had a look and sure enough there was a female Budgie. I thought about trying to catch it but I was over a mile from home and was concerned about it's safety if I carried it that distance. So I decided to have a walk around the nearby Toms Lane to see if I could see anyone searching for their lost pet. Nobody was around so I headed for home. Still unsure if I could have done any more for the lost Budgie.
Small Copper and Budgie pic below.

Wood Sand/Clouded Yellow Twitch

Tired of waiting for a Wood Sandpiper to turn up locally, Paul and myself headed off to Tices Meadow in Surrey. About a 40 minute drive away so no further than going to somewhere like Amwell. We arrived onsite at about 06:40 and made our way to the viewing mound. A few waders were to be seen; Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ringed Plover. After a few minutes the only other birder there found the Wood Sandpiper. It was feeding distantly on the far bank and in among some vegetation. Scope views were the best we could manage. After a quick team meeting we discussed where to go next. The two things were considered were Staines Reservoirs or to keep up our recent butterfly theme and go to Kings Langley in search of Clouded Yellow. The butterflies one by two votes to nil. On arrival we soon connected with a Clouded Yellow and then quite quickly 2 more. We gave the field a good going over and concluded there were 7 Clouded Yellow possibly more. Also here a Small Copper was nice to see.
The field is off Barnes Lane, Kings Langley. The entrance is opposite the rear entrance to the school playing field. There is just enough room to park one car here. If not park near the houses on Barnes Lanes and follow the path that runs parallel to the playing field fence and Barnes Lane itself. Grid reference for the Clouded Yellows TL06290345.
Paul's pics below. Clouded Yellows and Small Copper. All at Barnes Lane, Kings Langley.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Mind the Cloth Moth

I spent about 45 minutes before work today at Long Valley Wood which is on the opposite side of the Grand Union canal at Croxley Common Moor. I read somewhere that Purple Hairstreak can be found here. No luck with the Hairstreaks but a good few butterflies were on the wing; Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood all in or around the wood and Common Blue and Meadow Brown on the moor. Also noted from the canal towpath a Silver Y moth kindly identified by Samuel P.
Silver Y moth-Grand Union Canal at Croxley Common Moor


A bit of a late posting. Last week-end Paul and myself paid a visit to Buckenham Marshes, Strumpshaw Fen and Breydon Water. No year ticks but a pleasant enough day all the same.

At Buckenham Marshes; Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Snipe, Oystercatcher, Egyptian Goose.

Strumshaw Fen; Marsh Tit, Marsh Harrier, Common Tern, Ruff (c40).
Quite a few butterflies on the wing including hundreds of Peacock, also; Red Admiral, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large and Small White, Common Blue, Holly Blue.
Dragonflies were largely unidentified but included Banded Demoiselle.

A decent selection of waders at Breydon Water; Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Curlew, Whimbrel, Dunlin, Knot, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing.

Paul's pics below including some un-indentified dragonflies. Now identified by Samuel P. Thanks Samuel.
Swallow-Buckenham Marshes-Paul Frost

Common Darter (female)-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Ruff-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Southern Hawker (female)-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Black-tailed Skimmer (male)-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Peacock-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Banded Demoiselle-Strumshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Common Blue-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Holly Blue-Strumshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Speckled Wood-Strumpshaw Fen-Paul Frost

Sunday, 4 August 2013


Sat 3rd Aug 2013
A long overdue full days birding. Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes with Samuel and Ephraim. Our target bird was the Long-billed Dowitcher. We arrived at Lower Pennington Lane before 08:00 but no parking spaces here so we headed around to Keyhaven Quay. On route we bumped into Paul who could not commit to a full day as he had an appointment with his "super 'oops". We found parking spaces much easier to come by here and headed off along the sea wall towards Butts Lagoon. On route we mostly ignored the good variety of waders on show. On arrival at Butts we all connected with our target bird the Long-billed Dowitcher. We enjoyed some good scope views as it fed with a couple of Snipe. A Little Stint had been reported on Keyhaven Lagoon so we decided to have a look for it. No luck despite a giving the lagoon a good going over. No other birders seemed to have connected with the stint either. Paul left us at this point and we decided to have a wander along the sea wall to see what else we could find. A really good selection of waders were to be had including; Long-billed Dowitcher, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Sanderling, Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit. Not a bad haul and all from memory as Samuel was on notebook duties.

After a team meeting we decided to head to Acre's down. Not the best time of day or year for birding but on an enjoyable wander we did connect with; Crossbill, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit (heard only), Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Redstart.
The butterflies and dragonflies probably outdid the birds with the following; Silver-washed Fritillary (8), Large Skipper (3), Brimstone (5), Peacock (1), Green-veined White (1), Small Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. List from Samuels notebook
Dragonflies; Golden-ringed Dragonflies and Keeled Skimmers.
Finally a visit to the "Raptor Watchpoint". 3 or 4 Common Buzzards were all we could manage here. On our walk to the watchpoint a small herd of fallow deer was nice to see.

 A full list of the birds we saw in Hampshire.
Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Ruff, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, Snipe, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Common Tern, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Redstart, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Treecreeper, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Crossbill,

heard only: Wren, Marsh Tit
Total 66 inc heard only

A great day out, not sure this post does it justice. My pics below certainly do not!
juv Little-ringed Plover

Long-billed Dowitcher with Redshank

Curlew Sandpiper with Black-tailed Godwit

Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin