Sunday, 26 January 2014

Lepe, Shatterford, Blashford, Blackwater

Sat 25th January 2014.

A days birding in Hampshire with Paul.

First stop was Lepe Country park. First birds of note were the hundreds of Dunlin on the foreshore. Then up to Stanshore Point where we soon connected with the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs. Keeping it company on the pools where a Redshank and Grey Plover. A Kingfisher also put in an appearance.
A full list of birds at Lepe; Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Curlew, Herring Gull, Cormorant, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redshank, Lesser Yellowlegs, Grey Plover, Meadow Pipit, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Red-legged Partridge, Mallard, Moorhen, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Redwing, Turnstone, Little Egret, Wren, Blue Tit, Dunnock.

Into the New Forest with a stop at Shatterford. We were hoping to connect with Great-grey Shrike at Bishops Dyke, however, after quite a bit of searching we drew a blank. Dartford Warbler, Stonechat and Buzzard offered some compensation and were the only additions to our "day list" here.

Over to Blashford Lakes.
From the Tern Hide c150 Pintail were an impressive site. Other additions to our "day list" from the Tern Hide; Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Coot, Gadwall, Canada Goose.

Woodland Hide. Our target here was Mealy Redpoll. Nice close views of lots of Siskin kept us entertained for about 30 minutes and then our target birds arrived on the feeders. 3 Mealy Redpoll with about half a dozen Lesser Redpoll. Other additions to our day list; Nuthatch, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker.

North Hide. No sign of Great-white Egret and hide quite full so we didn't stay long here.

We left Blashford and headed the short distance to Kingfisher Lake near Ringwood. Ferruginous Duck our target. We parked up at the end of Hurst Road and joined a handful of other birders peering through thick hedging and chain-link fencing to view the lake. Another birder had the duck in his scope and I was able to get a split second view before it dived and disappeared out of view. We had to wait another 40 minutes before the Ferruginous Duck showed itself again and we were able to get good if somewhat brief views. Great-crested Grebe and Mute Swan were additions to our "day list" here.

Our outline plan for the day was to finish up at Blackwater Arboretum. Apparently there is a Hawfinch roost here. We arrived shortly after 3pm which we assumed would be a little early for any roosting Hawfinches. Half a dozen birders had assembled about a hundred yards past the entrance to the Arboretum. We headed through the wooden entrance arch and immediately saw a Hawfinch perched at the top of a pine but it flew before we could get a decent view. We joined the other birders and to our surprise they were viewing another Hawfinch. This time we were able to get really good views of this bird before it shuffled into the ivy surrounding the trunk and disappeared to view. We waited for quite some time but it did not re-appear. Of course my birding day would not be complete without Bullfinch and I was pleased when one of the other birders picked out 5 (4f and 1m). By now it had started raining heavily so we headed for home.
Paul managed the pics below; Mealy, Mealies and Lesser, Lesser, Siskin, Mealy, Hawfinch.

Sunday, 19 January 2014


After dropping my wife off at work I headed the short distance to Tyttenhanger. A pleasant walk in the warm afternoon sunshine. Nothing too exciting but I did get 2 year ticks in the form of Tree Sparrow and Red-legged Partridge. A couple of hints of spring with two Wrens chasing each other about and a couple of Buzzards mewing and some interaction. A list of species seen; Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Coot, Heron, Great-crested Grebe, Carrion Crow, Greylag Goose, Moorhen, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Robin, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Mute Swan, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Redwing, Jay, Canada Goose, Great Tit, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Red Kite, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Cormorant, Meadow Pipit, Tree Sparrow, Red-legged Partridge, Green Woodpecker, Wren, Common Gull.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Grey Day at Hove and Shoreham

I set off for Hove just after 12:00 midday. Quite cold but bright sunshine in Hertfordshire when I left. However, the nearer I got to Hove the more overcast and gloomy it became. On arrival I found somewhere to park for free and made my way over to the kiddies paddling pool. There was only one other birder at the pool but luckily the Grey Phalarope was still on the shallow pool. The light was awful, really dark and dismal but not raining, quite windy too. I enjoyed the Phalarope for about 45 minutes and did my best to answer some of the locals questions. Apparently this bird had made the local paper. As it was so cold, wet and windy I decided not to lie on the ground to take photo's but instead took some from the "wood look" plastic bench.
Then off to Shoreham in the hope of Glaucous Gull. No luck with the Gull, just singles of Rock Pipit and Purple Sandpiper of real interest here.
Some Phalarope and Purple Sandpiper images below. If you want to see better images of the Phalarope try Ephraim's blog here

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Grey Day at Therfield Heath

A trip to East Herts this morning. Nothing too exciting here, the best I could do was Grey Partridge, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Who's Surrey Now

Another part days birding with Paul. First stop was Frensham, where we enjoyed good scope views of the Glossy Ibis. Then over to Staines Reservoir. Here we connected with Scaup and Black-necked Grebe.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Wilstone Res this morning

A couple of hours at Wilstone with Paul this morning. In driving rain we headed to the hide where we soon connected with the long staying Little Stint. Also from the hide several hundred Golden Plover and 27 Snipe. Then braving the elements we headed around to the jetty where we found the Water Pipit.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Scotsbridge Mill

At Scotsbridge Mill I had the pleasure of meeting up with Geoffrey Claptrap. Birds of interest here; Buzzard, Little Egret (2), Bullfinch (2), Water Rail, Green Sandpiper. A brief visit to Stockers as I noticed one of my tyres was bald (very!). Ring-necked Parakeet (2), Common Gull (2), Goldeneye (2). I dropped Jif off and then had a new(ish) tyre fitted. Off to work now.
Green Sandpiper and Little Egret pics below both at Scotsbridge Mill near Rickmansworth. Follow me on twitter @sh4rpy

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Ringtail Hen Harrier at Otmoor

A ringtail Hen Harrier was the highlight of a couple of hours with Paul F at Otmoor, before the wind and rain this morning.
1 : Robin
2 : Magpie
3 : Buzzard
4 : Red Kite
5 : Jackdaw
6 : Blackbird
7 : Chaffinch
8 : Redwing
9 : Carrion Crow
10 : Wood Pigeon
11 : Pheasant
12 : Reed Bunting
13 : Fieldfare
14 : Great Tit
15 : Greylag Goose
16 : Starling
17 : Blue Tit
18 : Lapwing
19 : Moorhen
20 : Rook
21 : Mute Swan
22 : Mallard
23 : Goldfinch
24 : Lesser black-backed Gull
25 : Canada Goose
26 : Teal
27 : Hen Harrier
28 : Wigeon
29 : Shoveler
30 : Tufted Duck
31 : Gadwall
32 : Coot
33 : Grey Heron
34 : Bullfinch
35 : Greenfinch
36 : Black-headed Gull