Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Poole Harbour from Shore Road and North Haven

Monday 25th February 2013, once again work took me down to Bournemouth, as I got to Basingstoke on the M3 a radio traffic report informed me that the M27/A31 to Ringwood was closed, so I came off a M3/J7 and using the SatNav made my way across country avoiding all major roads, a most enjoyable journey whizzing along narrow country roads, arriving in Bournemouth a little after 9:00. It was still cloudy and cold, but the wind had eased off, so I took my lunchtime break looking over Poole Harbour, I parked up in the small car park opposite the signs for Sandbanks Road and Shore Road.

The tide was going out and from here I saw around 70 Bar-tailed Godwits, one was in full summer plumage, with smaller numbers of Oystercatcher and Redshank, 1 Curlew and 1 Dunlin.
There were many thousands of Gulls attracted to the large amount of mud and sand being exposed by the receding tide, Great Black-backed gulls, Herring Gulls, Common Gulls, Black-headed gulls and Mediterranean gulls, some looking very smart in full summer plumage. Out on the water Great Crested Grebes, Red-breasted Mergansers and around 50 Dark-bellied Brent geese near the marina wall. I then went to North Haven and parked near the Ferry Quay seeing Pied Wagtail and Carrion Crow, and looking over the water adding Goldeneye, Cormorant, Shelduck and watched a summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe which took my year list on to 108.
Looking towards the Marina.

Looking across to Brownsea Island with the Sailing Club Pier in view.

Red-breasted Merganser
Ferry (North to South Haven)

2013 Year List = 108

Friday, February 22, 2013

Staines Reservoirs

Wednesday 20th February 2013, after working in London, I stopped of at Staines Reservoirs on my way home, and had great views a a pair of Scaup and the Great Northern Diver, on the North Basin.

North Basin

South Basin

2013 Year List = 107

Bedfordshire Birding

12th February 2013, after working in Hemel Hempstead, I heading to the headquarters of the RSPB, The Lodge to see the reported Mealy Redpoll as this would be a new bird for me.
I arrived around midday and joined the other birders watching the Gatehouse bird feeders, on and around the feeders were Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Long-tailed tit, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Brambling (Male & Female), Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, MEALY REDPOLL (Adult male in full spring plumage) & Lesser redpoll. Close by Magpie and Carrion crow, and over the nature reserve Buzzard and Raven having a go at each other.

Mealy Redpoll

Right Gatehouse Bird Feeder

Left Gatehouse Bird Feeder

I then went to Priory Country Park to see the Drake Ferruginous Duck, saw 22 species also added Song Thrush to my year list. Also saw a small flock of Bullfinches behind the Visitor Cenre.
 Bullfinches behind visitor centre.

Priory Lake.

Ferruginous Duck

2013 Year List = 105

Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens

Friday 8th February 2013, work took me central London, I parked near Hatton Cross tube station and took my binoculars with me, and as I hoped to I spent my lunchtime birding Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens.
In this lunchtime I had 37 species the highlights being the two female Bearded tits feeding in the small reedbed near the Ibis statue and a Sparrowhawk low over while I was at The Fountains.

The Serpentine.

Ibis Statue.

Round Pond.

The Long Water.

Bearded Tits.

2013 Year List = 100

RSPB Reserve Otmoor

Wednesday 6th February 2013, early start as working up in Birmingham, but I managed to close all the calls I had quickly, so on my return journey home I stopped at RSPB Otmoor for the rest of the afternoon, it was freezing, but I had an enjoyable few hours seeing 40 species of bird, adding European White-fronted Goose (3 in with the Greylags on Ashgrave) and Bullfinch (a pair near the feerders) to my year list.


View from the hide, in flask nice warm home made potato & leek soup to warm me up.

View from 2nd screen

View over Greenaways.

2013 Year List = 99

South East Hampshire

Monday 4th February 2013, the work I had scheduled got cancelled, so I headed to South East Hampshire for some birding, first port of call "Farlington Marshes", Tide Out.

A quick walk around the reserve and I saw 32 species, adding Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Skylark and Cetti's Warbler to the year list.

Point Field where Cetti's Warbler seen and heard.

The Deeps.

 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the Hayfield.

Then I stopped of at Eastney down at the end of Ferry Road, No Divers seen, just Great Crested Grebe and Cormorant.

View of the abandoned Mulberry harbour cassion left over from WWII.

From here I went to Southsea Castle, and found just one Purple Sandpiper among the rocks below the castle, also added Feral Pigeon for the day list.

Purple Sandpiper.

Then onto my final destination Walpole Park, Gosport to see "Waldo" the Ring-billed Gull.

While going through the gulls looking for Waldo, I added Mediterranean gull, Common gull, Great Black-backed gull and Pied Wagtail on the day list, Found Waldo in the middle of the gulls on the grass near the boating lake.


A look at Haslar Creek and I added Red-breasted Merganser taking the day list to 42.

2013 Year List = 97

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two Visits, Two Ducks

Back to Reigate on Thursday 31st January, and after reading about 3 redhead Smew at Water Colour Lagoon 1, at The Moors (Surrey wildlife Trust) the night before.

Path between Water Colour 1 and Water Colour 2 Lagoons
I headed there for a quick look before work, seeing Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Mute swan, Canada goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted duck, Ruddy duck ♂, Coot & Black-headed gull, but no Smew.

Ruddy Duck
I returned lunchtime for a second look, and on the water of Water Colour Lagoon 1 I added Cormorant, Smew, Common gull & Herring gull.

I then had a walk around The Moors,

The Moors
and I was glad that I had my SealSkinz socks on as much of the footpath was flooded,

Flooded footpath
 Flooded water meadows
and at one point I had to go to the higher ground next to Redhill Brook and follow the perimeter fence of the Biffa landfill site.

View of The Moors from the Redhill Brook side
Out and around The Moors were Little egret, Grey heron, Shelduck, Teal, Moorhen, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked parakeet, Wren, Robin, Great tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion crow & Goldfinch.

2013 Year List = 91

Spynes Mere (Surrey Wildlife Trust)

Wednesday 30th January, found me in Reigate Surrey, so at lunchtime I went to Spynes Mere (Surrey wildlife Trust).

Spynes Mere Information Board
I saw the following on and around Spynes Mere: Little grebe, Cormorant, Greylag goose, Egyptian goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Woodpigeon, Robin & Blackbird.

Spynes Mere
Middle Pit: Teal & Shoveler

Middle Pit
Mercers West: Goldeneye, Lesser black-backed gull & Green woodpecker.

Mercers West
Mercers Lake: Great crested grebe, Common gull, Ring-necked parakeet, Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion crow & House sparrow.

Mercers Lake

2013 Year List = 89

Christchurch Harbour

On Thrusday 24th Januey 2013, work sent down to Bounremouth, and while in between sites I took my lunch break birding Christchurch Harbour. I drove to the car park at Mudeford Quay, in the car park Black-headed gull & Starling,  and when I got out to view the harbour enterance, I noticed that the tide was going out. I scanned the sea and the sand being exposed by the reciding tide, Great crested grebe, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull & Carrion crow.
Sand bank and harbour enterance
I then moved to the sailing club slipway to view the inside of the harbour, Little egret, Mallard, Coot, Redshank & Turnstone. I returned to my car and as I was leaving the car park I noticed  Woodpigeon & Magpie.

Looking from sailing club slipway
Little egret at the end of the slipway
I then drove to Argyle road, to view the area around Stanpit Creek, Mute swan, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Moorhen, Grey plover, Dunlin, Bar-tailed godwit, Curlew, Spotted redshank & Common gull.
Looking up Stanpit Creek from the end of Argyle road
Looking across from the end of Argyle road
I walked down the footpath and around the houses Pied wagtail, Blackbird & House sparrow. I passed the boat builders/repairers and came to the end of the path and on the wooden gangway was a Kingfisher.
Kingfisher on wooden gangway
Finally I looked at Blackberry point adding Shelduck & Ringed plover.

2013 Year List = 88