Monday, 11 June 2018

Oare Marshes again for the Bonaparte's Gull

After our trip to Oare last week to get a year tick when we spot  one of the 4 Turtle Doves that have been seen there. We head back again today for the Bonaparte's Gull that has returned this week.
A quick look on the flood gets us no sight of the Gull ,so it's off down to the mudflats just past the boat ramp, where a single birder already had the Gull in sight & we have our year tick, it was an easy tick but thanks Barry & nice to meet you.
A walk up the track gets us onto another Turtle Dove & then Brian gets us onto one of the Little Owls we did see 2 last week but only one this time but nice this time as a couple of ladies had joined us & they had never seen one so nice to share the excitement with them.
A quick chat to the Essex boys in the form of Harry,Stewart & Neville before we set off to Elmley.
On the way we stop off as we needed Spotted Flycatcher for a tick & we have had them in there before.
It takes us over an hour before we spot one, we watch it fly into a large tree & get to see 3 more sightings over the time spent here maybe the one bird or maybe 3 different birds.
At Elmley there are many Yellow Wagtails on show plus another sighting of a Corn Bunting along with all the Skylarks & Redshanks, lots of Lapwing & the odd Marsh Harrier.It's such a nice way to round of a day's birding when ever we come here.

Skylark at Elmley
Song Thrush while looking for the Flycatcher, one of many.
Spotted Flycatcher
At Elmley 

Monday, 21 May 2018

Up & down day at Rye & Dungeness.

We set off 4.30 am in search of the Terek Sandpiper at Rye Harbour & arrive around 6 am.
It is a misty old morning & a lot colder than the last few days have been.
A search off all the pools over a two hour period gets us no luck with the Terek, so we pop into a couple of hides & the islands are full of Med Gulls & Sandwich Terns 6 Ringed plover,one Little-ringed Plover,2 Common Sandpiper all nice but not our target bird.
Disappointed we head off to Dungeness & head to Dengemarsh Road in search of the reported Hoopoe.
After an hour or so we hear that a Kentish Plover is on Burrowers pit so that's where we head too where we find Dennis hide packed out, after squeezing in we all get a good view of the a cracking looking bird.
We are set to move out of the hide so others can get in to view the Plover when the pager tells us the Hoopoe has been seen again at Dengemarsh rd.
We are round there in minutes but have to wait about 30 minutes before the shout goes up it's in flight being mobbed by some Magpies.
It flies across the field then lands & then it's up again to fly back to where it came from to give good views to the small crowd that had gathered to see it.
A quick look for the Bee-eater is in vain so we head off to Elmley so we could get some photo opportunities as is usual for us when we we have been to Dunge always a nice way to finish the day off.
Elmley Always a good place to find Yellow Wagtail
Elmley again
Corn Bunting not seen one here before at Elmley
Little Egret
The beautiful Kentish Plover what a cracker.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Great day in Norfolk Purple Heron & Dotterel.

As we near Docking where the Dotterel's have been reported, we make a decision to head off to Cley to look for the Purple Heron first & that was a great choice as we only just got up the bank where the bird was being seen & we got so lucky as we got on the Heron straight away & got a good look at it before a Lapwing attacked it & we got a good flight view before it flew out of sight.
So with the bird flying so far away we head off to Docking & after 20 minutes we get lucky again when 3 Dotterel's are spotted in the field apposite the one  where we where looking & the fellow that found them calls us over & we get some good scope views.
Off now to Titchwell where we get on a couple of Red-crested Pochard to give us all a year tick & then up on the beach another tick when we watch a few Little-Terns fly about in front of us to give great entertainment.
We spend a few hours here & with the sun shinning on us it was a really nice day & it gets better for me as we are heading  back to the car a Spoonbill drops in to give me another year tick,the boys already had that for a tick.
So off home with 5 year ticks  & a very nice day had by all.
Purple Heron
Little Tern

Monday, 30 April 2018

Green Heron ( lifer ) in Pembrokeshire.

We meet up with Brian at 4 am for the long drive to Llam-Mill in Pembrokeshire & we make good time & arrive around 7. 30.
The car is parked at the top of the hill as asked to do by land owner, the walk down to the old mill is at a fast pace & when we reach the bottom a sign had been put up to direct us up the path & another one to send us to the MPs house where the Heron was to be found.
As we enter the garden about 20 other birders were present & we were looking at the Green Heron within seconds to give us all another lifer.
It was showing really well but at the back of the flooded pond, as the morning went on the bird got active & flew a lot closer to us to give us some great views of this little beauty with it's wonderful colours.
People came & went over the few hours that we spent here only amounting to about 60 that was a lot less than we expected to come to this twitch as it's not that often you get a chance to see a Green Heron here.
The MP Simon Harts & his wife came out to greet us all & provide the group with coffee or tea & were very pleasant indeed & the whole twitch was a pleasure to be on.Made all the better when Brian went up the hill to fetch the car to save us the climb.
Now where do we head to looking for a tick or two it's a choice either Fishguard or Stumble head or Marloes.
Marloes wins the day & on the way we pop into Blackpool Mill & after walking the stream for half an hour or so we get to see 2 Dippers to add to year list, just a shame the Mill is now shut as it was a nice place to have a cuppa & a cream scone.
On to Marloes where we pay the £5 parking fee & head up Deer park to look over to Skomer Island
where we soon spot many Puffins both on the water & flying about always a nice tick to see them.
It was a lot harder to find any Chough & we had to walk the park before one flew over our heads calling as it went .Jimmy & Brian got to see a couple more but I was having a bit of a rest & let them enjoy the long walk to find them. A few House Martins fly about to give us a year tick.
So now the long drive home that took us 5 hours with Brian driving that was harder for him than us, but we all agreed that the day was worth all the effort & was one of our great days birding.
Green Heron

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Nightingale + at Lea Valley.

A nice warm day on Saturday See's Jimmy & I head off to Fisher's Green as it was almost to the day last year when we got Nightingale.
The big difference if you go this year is you now have to pay to park. The first hour is free but it is £2 50p after that for the rest of the day, but you can not drive to any other car park without paying again fine for dog walkers not so good for us birders.
Soon after we arrive we hear the beautiful sound of the Nightingale & just past the gate down to the National Grid station we get a couple of nice views of a single bird, there is just something about seeing & hearing a nice early Nightingale that puts a spring into your step.
Walking on & going across the Bailey bridge we search the bracken & soon see a few Common Whitethroat & then set about finding Lesser w.t.Not to long before Jimmy picks up one calling & then we get a great view as it sits up high on a bush.
We never found any Garden Warbler but our first Cuckoo of the year is heard
On Monday we pay a quick visit to KGV Reservoir & pick up a couple of ticks when we see our first Swift of the year & then we get a fly over Yellow Wagtail for another tick.
Egyptian Goose also seen at Fishers

Sunday, 15 April 2018

American Visitor at Carlton Marsh

5 am start for the three of us to head off to Carlton Marsh near Lowerstoft Suffolk in the hope of meeting up with the American Bittern. We arrive around seven am & park in the main car park.
It's then about a 20 minute walk along a fairly muddy track but not to bad, some birders are already here but not as many as I expected there to be. Just past the first gate we get our first tick of the day when a Grasshopper Warbler is found.
It's going to be a long four hour wait before we get any sign  of the lifer.
Around a hundred people had arrived by now, so we had many eyes looking for any sign of the bird. It was not looking good but the locals were not to worried & that's how it turns out when we see a few people running up the track but before we could join them the cry goes up bird in flight.
We get a really great short view of the Bittern as it flies across the front of us before dropping down into the reeds.
Everybody is now focused on the spot the bird had dropped into. But it was a long time before we get another sighting. It's found a long way up the track by the group looking there, a large group go charging up to join them & get another view as it walks across a channel between the reeds.
So well worth the long wait in the end.
While here we had 2 Common Cranes fly over & then get a year tick when a Whimbrel drops onto the scrape behind us.
Barn Owls are seen Quartering at both sides of the track & we get some great views of  Marsh Harriers nest building right in front of us & that helped pass the time while waiting for the main act.
On the way out we all pick up a tick when we get a Willow Warbler.
We stop off at Cavenham Heath & see a few Stone Curlew & also pick up another tick when we see  a few Woodlark as we head  up & down the track.
Really hard to get photos but Brian got this one 

Ring Ouzel at Walthamstow Wetlands

Friday morning nothing going on when a Ring Ouzel is found again at the Walthamstow wetlands so Jimmy & I are soon on the way, it's only 15 minutes from home so we are soon walking up to the bushes 20 yards or so before the bend where we saw the Little Bunting.
We only have to wait a short time before the Ouzel flies down off the bushes from behind us & lands on the grass right in front of us.
We get to spend a good hour watching the bird just walking about not troubled by us being there, it helped with only one other fellow watching with us.
A walk around the wetlands we get to see a few Brambling plus ten or so White Wagtails but never saw a single Yellow Wag. We needed that for a year tick.
A few Egyptian Geese walk about on the paths as we walk around but no other year ticks are seen.
The wetlands have had a few good birds over the last few weeks with the long staying Little Bunting, Bluethroat plus a Hoopoe for a day & now the Ouzel, Looking forward to coming back here.
On the way home we pop into the KGV Reservoir & see our first Swallow of the year & then we find 6 or so Arctic Terns for another tick.
A single Little Gull flies towards us but it's not needed for a tick but still nice to see.