Tuesday, 28 July 2009

London and Rainham over the weekend

Been up to London for the weekend on a mainly none birding trip. but we did get to visit Rainham marshes....

All in all the weather was a little bit crap so there was not a lot around: the odd Reed warbler poked his head out of the reeds, one or two Reed buntings flew over head, the usual Little grebes, Moorhens, Coots, Grey herons and Little egrets were scattered around the reserve.

Best bird of the day was a Green sandpiper ( my second for the year ) which gave some stunning views in my scope before disappearing behind the mud flats. ( I also joined the RSPB and am now a Phoenix member for the first time! )

Friday, 24 July 2009

just a quick update

Not much to update on...... Trip down to Weymouth to visit Lodmoor and Radipole lake produced the usual Common terns, gulls, warblers and other more common passerines.
Managed to see the local breeding Marsh harriers and juvs ( apparently the first breeding pair in Dorset for 50 years! ). The shots are some poor ( really poor ) photos I took of the Harriers, enjoy ;)
EDIT: forget to say I got a new lifer in the car when we drove past some heath, two Hobbies hawked over head, How could I forget that!!?

Friday, 17 July 2009

Birding around Upton and Middlebere ( part 2 )

After an enjoyable, relaxed hour and a half birding at Upton park we set off to continue on the way to Middlebere....

I have to say the Purbecks are one of my Fav parts of the country, for some reason it always seems sunnier than where I live ( Bournemouth ). Anyway inside the hide at Middlebere ( Avocet hide ) it was unusually quiet and deviod of birders. I checked the set of dead trees the Osprey always perches on across the river with my scope, no sign yet.

Unfortunately we arrived when the tide was out, so not a lot of waders around, only a few Shelducks ( with some really cute chicks and a few juvs), Oystercatchers, Little egrets and Redshanks. After about half an hour of watching and waiting for some other birds to turn up to no avail, we heard the footsteps of some people walking down the wooden bridge towards the hide, no doubt birders and a nice bit of company.

Never caught the birders names but they were a really nice couple who happily chatted away about birds with us, as we all scanned the main river for waders and others . The Osprey did turn up on the dead tree later on but the views were not great, as there was a dreadful heat haze which made the osprey look like a big black and white blob on the horizen. Also a cracking Common sandpiper flew in on to the small streamish river directly in front of the hide giving us all lovely views, another new bird for the Yearlist :).

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Birding around Upton and Middlebere( part 1 )

Me and my Auntie had been rather neglecting one of our local spots, Upton park, For a while now. I fancied visiting Middlebere to look for Common sandpipers and the local Osprey which had been seen of late and Upton was on the way there so.....

The carpark was ( as always ) almost full up to the brim at Upton, so we had to park in the overflow carpark. The sun was starting to peek through the clouds as we set off, Warblers were singing in the trees and the distant yaffling of a Green woodpecker echoed around the grounds as we walked down the grounds past the Upton House.

I had forgotten how good this place could be! Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Great tit, Blue tit, Greenfinch, Green woodpecker, Buzzard, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap to name a few. Inside the hide ( which looks out on to the harbour ) not much was around except for some Black tailed godwits, Oystercatchers, Shelduck and BHGs.....

( post the rest Tommorow :))

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Titchfield haven ( part 2 )

We payed a small fee to get in the reserve but it was worth it....

Walking across the sea wall in the to the entrance of Titchfield Haven, a few Sandwich Terns and Common terns flew off the sea and headed towards the reserve. Inside, we took the path told to us by the Chap at the visitor centre. The first hide held a lot of birders when we entered, mostly the kind helpful ones with an interest in young birders, but sometimes you get the one who just sits in the corner and does not say "hi" when you enter the hide ( I hate that!! Although they just might be shy...?). I have had my grumble now, so on with the birding...

Explosion in a gull factory!! thats the basic picture, just throw some in some numbered islands, hides, Terns, Gulls and loads of waders. Avocets, both the Godwits, Lapwings, Common terns, Sandwich Terns and countless BHGs and Herring gulls, all in good numbers and some with chicks ( Avocets ).

We left the hide after goggling at the sheer amount of birds after about half an hour in the hope to get me some more Lifers. In the next Hide it was almost deserted except for one of the elderly wardens and some photographers. I got out my Spotter scope and mounted it on my ( Crap ) broken Tripod and scannned the flats, BHG, BHG, BHG, another Black headed gull..... and..... very dark hooded gull with bright red bill!. First Lifer of the day and my new fav gull the Medditerranean gull. Then a few mins after that the Green sandpiper decided to show its self from behind the bend of the water, allowing me to get some great views in my scope. A second Lifer in several minutes, not bad for me........

( EDIT: turns out I did not see a quail on the way back to the car, so what could it of been? )

Friday, 10 July 2009

Titchfield haven ( part 1 )

This wednesday me and my Auntie decided to go a lot further afield birding than we usually do, All the way down to Titchfield haven, in Dorsets neighbouring county Hampshire ( been doing a lot of birding around these parts lately ). I hastly scribbled down the ( complicated )
directions from Google maps, climbed in the car and off we went....

Well as you probably guessed we got lost and had to ask numerous people around Titchfield where the reserve was, most of the people didnt have a clue! after finally finding someone who actaully had an inkling where the reserve was, it turned out it was only a few miles down the road!!!

Titchfield looked promising when we entered the visitor centre, the sighting board had, Green sandpiper ( potential Lifer! ), Common sandpiper ( potential Y Lister! ) and Mediterranean gull!!

( this going to be in Two parts because Mum is nagging for the computer at the present time, i will post the second part tomorrow... )

Monday, 6 July 2009

Photos from Blashford Lakes

Here are a few Photos from last weeks Birding at Blashford lakes, Hope you enjoy em Folks :)

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Nightjar success at Ferndown common ( finally!! )

Again and again I have been trying for Nightjars this summer but so far they proved way to elusive and we failed everytime. I was nearly on the point of giving up and putting my efforts into finding much easier birds for the LF list but me, my Dad and my Auntie decided to try one last time...

We sort of arrived a bit early on the heath at Ferndown common ( around 9.15 ) so we had to wait a little bit for the Nightjars to start their distinctive churring buzz. Around 9.50 the churring started, but further up the heath. Walking at a brisk pace towards the Calls, more started up around us and i was starting to get really excited on the prospect of another Lifer!

Moths flew low over heads as we edged slowly around the gorsh bushes towards some really loud churring coming from above us. perched on a wire in the setting sun was the distinctive shape of a new lifer, Nightjar!. I have said it before and i will say it again "patience is a must have" sadly mine tends to run out after an hour ot two of waiting lol.
Walking back in steadily darkening night, I got an even better view as I accidently flushed a couple of the them, which flew low over heads. A great end to some great night birding.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Blashford lakes Yesterday

Here is a quick review of yesterdays birding at Blashford lakes ( fab place! ). First port of call was the Tern hide, Little ringed plovers and lapwings with chicks were on the shingle, Common terns rested on the wooden platforms, Greylag geese were floating around with the Tufted ducks, Canada geese, Dabchicks, BHGs and Great crested grebes.

Next up was the Ivy hide which produced nothing ( had Bittern here a few months ago ).
The woodland hide produced more with suberb views of Nuthatch, Jays, a lovely female Great spotted woodpecker and the more common Tits and finches.
The other hides didnt hold a lot, except for some Sand martins breeding and a Weird looking Wagtail ( in the process of id ing ).

Tonight i am going looking for Nightjars at Ferndown, so I will let u know how i get on :)