Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Red Kites and Ravens put on a flying display.

Great lunch time, parked up next to Prospect Hill/High Wood Hurley Berkshire, 14 Red Kites, 2 Ravens and a supporting cast of Woodpigeons, Stock Doves, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Pheasants, Carrion Crows, Magpies and a Robin.

Top Field

Lower Field (You can see the Horizon Office Building where I work when required)

Return to QMR for 226

On Monday 26th Novemeber after working in central London, on my way home I went back to the Queen Mother Reservoir for the Long-tailed Duck reported on goingbirding. Quickly found the LT Duck close to one of the sailing club slip ways (see Below).
Long-tailed Duck (for better photos go to http://www.berksbirds.co.uk/photos.asp).

Great Sky in this photo looking over the reservoir.

Other birds seen: Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Peregrine, Black-headed, Common, Herring & Great Black-backed Gulls, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Grey & Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Jay, Magpie & Carrion Crow.

Human League - Brighton Dome

Tracey and I went to the Brighton Dome on Friday 23rd Novemeber to see the Human League in concert, they were great, I loved growing up in the 80's.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

5th Grebe of the year

21st November I was working in Hurley Berkshire, so at lunchtime took the short drive to the Queen Mother Reservoir to see the Red-necked Grebe, taking my year list on to 225.

Looking towards the Tufted Ducks and the Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Looking back at the sailing club.

Aylesbury Waxwings

20th Novemeber
Back to Hemel Hempstead for work in the morning and then to High Wycombe in the afternoon, so in between went to Aylesbury to see the waxwings. Arrived at Gatehouse Way around 14:45, No Waxwings on show, so had a walk around seeing Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch & Goldfinch. I then moved the car so I could eat my lunch while the trees next to the Micha building were in view, then a flock of birds flew in, a quick look confirmed them to be the waxwings, so I got out and counted 18. Before I left to go the High Wycombe, I sent Lee GR Evans a text message with the news. Year list - 224

Foggy Fleet Pond

16th November took the dogs for a walk around a very foggy Fleet Pond.

Foggy Fleet Pond from Sandy Bay, highlight of the walk was here as in the alders was a mixed flock of Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch.

All the dogs in the wooded area near the car park.

A tale of two Salvonians

15th Novemeber, On holiday this week, finished redecorating the bathroom, so time for some birding, first stop Manor Lake Thorpe Surrey for the long staying Salvonian Grebe. I parked down Church Approach and walked down the footpath to view Manor Lake. I scanned the lake and quickly found the grebe in the SW corner, and watched it as it dived at regular intervals. Up to 223.

SW corner of Manor Lake (Salvonian Grebe is on the water between the viewing panels and tree)

Great start to the day, headed back home to collect the dogs and then of to Pagham Harbour (Church Norton) Wesr Sussex. Arrived at the Church Norton car park around 12:30, then we walked down to the harbour, but did not get very far as the tide was in, and it was a very high tide covering all the footpath. So we walked back to the car park and then down the road until we got the road/footpath on the left which goes through the farm.

.Looking round the farm buildings, birds seen here and on the way to the Severals, Kestrel, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling and Chaffinch. Then on to the beach and looked over the Serverals adding Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot and low over the reeds a Sparrowhawk.

On the beach near the Severals looking towards Pagham Harbour. Oystercatcher and Turnstones on the beach.

Polly and Thomas.

Charlie and Reg.

We then walked along the beach up to the harbour mouth seeing some Skylarks, Tide going out. Gulls seen Black-headed, Common, Herring and Great Black-backed. Out on the sea Great Crested Grebes and a Salvonian Grebe.
Birds on the water and roosting in the harbour, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, DB Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Red-Breasted Merganser, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Curlew and Redshank.

Roosting waders - Knot, Grey Plover and Turnstone.

Looking back towards the hide at church Norton.

The Harbour Mouth

We then started to return to the car park at Church Norton as all the footpaths were now clear of water. On the way there were Stock Doves in the trees, and then one last look over the harbour mud, adding Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit, I then saw a very pale large bird! Which turned out to be a Leucistic Curlew, and finally in the trees in the car park Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

Hooded Merganser & Red-Breasted Goose

The morning of 8th november had me working up in Hemel Hempstead, and as I finished earlier than planned, I headed of for the Hooded Merganser at Pagham Harbour (North Wall) West Sussex. I walked to the sluice gate and joined the other birders around 13:00, only poor distant views of the Merganser to start with, as the tide was out and looking towards the sun, but as luck would have it, the tide was now coming in.

From the Sluice gate.

After about 90 minutes the tide was bringing the Hooded Merganser,other wildfowl and waders closer.

Dark-Bellied Brent Geese in field next to the road where car parked.

Still had some daylight left so on my way home I stopped at Farlington Marsh Hampshire for the Red-Breasted Goose that arrived with the Dark-Bellied Brent Geese. Viewing from the sea wall I located the RB Goose with some DB Brent Geese near to the earth mover that is being used to repair the sea wall around Farlington Marsh, these two taking this years list to 222.

Desert Wheatear 2 Eyeball Paul 0

On the morning of 6th november I set off to Abberton Reservoir, Essex hoping to see the Desert Wheatear that had been around the visitor centre car park. When I arrived I went into the vistor centre, and found out that the Desert Wheatear had not been seen that morning, the freezing cold night or the work on the sand mound had moved it on.
Chinese Goose

Monday, November 5, 2012

West Wycombe Buckinghamshire

Today work took me to High Wycombe, and at lunch time I went to West Wycombe for a walk.
I parked down Toweridge Lane,
and crossed the A40 to view the fields, seeing Black-headed Gulls, Woodpigeons, Magpies, Pheasants, a few Red Kites overhead and then two Carrion Crows started to give a Buzzard, that was perched on a fence post a hard time, it took off and landed in a nearby tree.
In another field a Kestrel was hovering near the hedge, and further up the hill Red-legged Partridges were seen. I then walked towards West Wycombe and as I started the climb up to the Mausoleum a Grey Heron flew over, in the bushes was a Robin and Great Tit. In the numerous Yew trees were Blackbirds enjoying the berries. Once at the top of the hill I walked around the mausoleum,
and church yard, on my return down the hill Red Kites were seen flying below me giving great views.
I returned to my car and a Pied Wagtail was seen on the roof of one the the buildings. Before returning to work, I had a quick walk up Toweridge Lane to view the Game Cover Crop,
in which was a large number of Pheasants, Red-legged Partridge, and in the field Woodpigeons and Rooks and finally in the hedge Chaffinches.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lunchtime at Staines Reservoirs

On the 30th October I was  working at Sungard's London Technology Centre, so at lunchtime I went to Staines Reservoirs, and saw 30 species of bird.
Little Grebe (North Basin), Great Crested Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebe (South Basin), Cormorant, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted duck, Goldeneye, Coot, Lapwing, 2 Green Sandpiper (North Basin), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling and on the reservoir side and bushes with the sheep, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Great Tit.

Sand and rocks everywhere but NO Desert

Friday 26th October, and I was working down in Havant and as I finished at 16:30, I decided to go for the Desert Wheatear at Splash Point Worthing. I arrived at about 17:30 and there were a few other birders milling around, but none of them had seen the DW. The wind was getting up and it was freezing, so I had a good look around Splash Point and up and down the beach, seeing Black-headed gull. Common gull, Herring gull, Great Black-backed gull, a Rock Pipit flew in and landed on the rocks, Pied Wagtail over and also Carrion Crow on the beach.

Exe Estuary Reserves

On Wednesday 24th October I went to Exeter for a call and I managed to finish this just before lunch time, in the same office but on a different floor was the RSPB’s South West Regional Office. So I went up and asked for any leaflets on the local reserves around Exeter, and using these I heading to Bowling Green Marsh.

I drove down Bowling green road and passed the hide and further down the entrance to the viewing platform, I continued down and parked up near Riversmeet House. I then got ready for my afternoon of birding, then I walked down to end of the road where there was a small slipway, looking across through the gloom to the far bank I saw Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Curlew & Black-headed Gull, and I noticed that the tide was coming in, and that groups of waders were flying in, to an area around the corner that I could not see from where I was.

So I walked around to the viewing platform, joining some other birders already there. Using my scope I found the following, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Water Rails were heard squealing and I managed to see one before it ran into the bank side vegetation, Waders seen from here where mainly Black-tailed Godwits with smaller numbers of Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Dunlin & 2 Common Sandpipers, 

Common gull, Herring gull and in the bushes and fields, Woodpigeon, Wren. Robin, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Magpie and Carrion Crow. I then made to short walk to the hide and while eating my lunch added the following, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot. Again here the majority of the waders were Black-tailed Godwits, and also seen from the hide, Lapwing, a single Ruff, Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Pied Wagtail, Starling. Then nearly everything went up and a female Sparrowhawk flew through low and fast, but no kill seen.

View from the hide.

I left the hide and looked at the bird feeders just outside, on or around these were Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

I made my way back to the car and enjoyed eating a Mars Bar, then off to Exmouth to look over the Exmouth Local Nature Reserve on the way to Exmouth I passed the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre Lympstone. I followed signs for the Seafront and came across a car park in Imperial road, so I stopped here to view the nature reserve.


There was good numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Wigeon, 1 drake Pintail and on the shore line Pied Wagtail and Carrion Crow.

I drove further round into the recreation ground to view more of the reserve, seeing Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-headed gull, Herring Gull, feral Pigeon and Starling. Then on to the mouth of the Exe to look across to Dawlish Warren and on the dock side were a small number of Turnstones.