Friday, December 14, 2012

Grey morning and a Buff afternoon

Thursday 13th December, I went to Hitchin Hertfordshire to look at an IBM server, and the problem turned out to be some of the memory Dimms needed to refitted after transit to site. So some time to go birding, close by was a Grey Phalarope at Dunstable Sewage Treatment Works Thorn Bedfordshire. Arrived at Thorn and located the track going down the the STW, on the gate was one of the local birders who gave me the site details and let me in. Around and under the bird feeders were Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch. The first two ponds were completely iced over and on the third in the far left hand corner was the Grey Phalarope, busy feeding and making short flights, one flight was due to a Little Grebe fight that got to close.
Birds on 3rd Pond, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull Carrion Crow and the Grey Phalarope. Year List = 228
Looking over the Third Pond

Fourth and largest Pond, added Canada Goose, and a Ring-necked x Tufted Duck Hybrid.

Ring-necked x Tufted Duck Hybrid

While on site on of the another birders pager went off, and mentioned negative news on a Buff-bellied Pipit at Queen mother Reservoir, finished and went home. When at home switched on my laptop to some work, and I had a quick look (as you do) at the latest bird news, and the Buff-bellied Pipit had been relocated and was showing well. Back in the car and of to QMR, as I drove pass the reservoir I could see the group of birders with others walking towards them. Parked up away from the main gate and down the nearest residential road, and quickly made my way up to where the BBP was showing. As I was approaching the main group two birders in front of me stopped and I caught them up, they where on the BBP which was right in the middle of the path feeding and coming closer to us and further away from the main group.

I was able to get great views of the BBP in my scope.

It then flew down to the waters edge, most of the main group started to leave, in this group was a local birder giving out the day permits for £2, the BBP flew back along the waters edge as more birders arrived. Seen on way out Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Magpie and Carrion Crow. Year List = 229

Freezing, Foggy Farmoor for Falcated

On 11th December as Farmoor Reservoir Oxfordshire, was only a short drive from where I was working, I went to a Freezing, Foggy Farmoor for the Falcated Duck.
Parked up and walked up to view the reservoir near the tower on Farmoor II, first birds seen Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and then a Kingfisher on the raft. 

Also seen on Farmoor II as I walked towards Farmoor I were Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Coot & Pied Wagtail.
Then I started to walk around Farmoor I in an anti-clockwise direction, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Carrion Crow & Magpie added, then about half way along this bank with the Tufted Ducks & Coots was a Salvonian Grebe.

I turned the corner to go up the far side of the reservoir, then from the trees out flew a Buzzard, and feeding in and under the trees & bushes were, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Starling, Greenfinch & Goldfinch. Back to the water and the search for the Falcated Duck, seeing Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler & Pochard. In the NW corner were a large amount of Mallard and in with these was the Falcated Duck, the bird is unringed and surprisingly wary, swimming away from the 
shore at speed, before any of the Mallards it seems to be associating with.
Falcated Duck (for more images go to

I then continued round along the causeway and near one of the hides, close in was another Salvonian Grebe. Year list now at 227.

St Katherine Docks

5th December I was back at Aldgate, so for my lunchtime walk I went around St Katherine Docks and along part of the Thames path. Birds seen: Cormorant, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Magpie, Carrion Crow.
Tall Ship (Etoile Du Roy) & Coot

Tufted Ducks in St Katherine Docks

View from Thames Path

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mill Pond Bracknell

Friday 30th November, worked closer to home and I only had to go to Bracknell Berkshire, so at lunchtime went to Mcdonald's which is next to Mill Pond.

After I had eaten, I returned to my car a got my binoculars and then walked around Mill Pond, seeing:- Little Grebe (4), Cormorant (1), Grey Heron (1), Mute Swan (5), Egyptian Goose (2), Canada Goose (31), Mallard (40), Pochard (1), Tufted Duck (14), Moorhen (11), Coot (36), Black-headed Gull (86), Common Gull (4), Herring Gull (2), Grey Wagtail (1), Magpie (6), Carrion Crow (6) and in the trees and bushes Woodpigeon, Robin, Blue Tit & Great Tit.

Aldgate to Belfast

Thursday 29th November, I was working in Aldgate London, so at lunchtime I had a walk over Tower Bridge and then on to view HMS Belfast. Birds seen were Feral Pigeons, and near City Hall, 2 Woodpigeons and a Starling, and on the Thames 2 Cormorants (also 1 Cormorant in St Katharine Docks) and numerous Black-headed Gulls.
Tower Bridge

HMS Belfast
Tower of London