Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hemsted Forest Kent - Crossbill Twitch 24th October 2013

Found out on the 23rd that I was going to Maidstone to do a call, and that the system board had been ordered for a morning delivery. Set my alarm clock for 05:30 and was soon on the road to Hemsted Forest, and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. Found the track as other cars parked up already, and was walking down the track just passed 08:00. Joined the other birders and around 08:30 some Crossbills flew over and landed high up in some pines, one of these was a Parrot Crossbill, but the view wasn't great as looking into the sun.
They flew off and a Yellowhammer flew in and landed on the oak, then some more Crossbills flew in and landed in the oak and on the nearby pines, in with the Common Crossbills were some Parrot Crossbills, this time the sun was behind me and I had great views, before this flock departed. Then around 10:40 another flock flew in and in with these was the male Two-barred Crossbill, and again getting great views before they departed. Time for me to depart as the system board had been delivered.

2013 Year List = 185

Lunchtime looking for the Semi-P again

Working again in Havant and at lunchtime on the 23rd October even though there had been no reports on the Semi-P, I went back to Black Point. The tide was coming in and pushing the waders closer another birder and I. In the wader roost were Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Turnstone, 1 Knot still showing some summer plumage and 2 Sandwich Terns, No Semi-P. Looking at the sightings on the Sussex Ornithological Society web site that evening it was reported on Pilsey Island, so still in the area.

Boomtown at the O2 Academy Bournemouth

No looking for the Semi-P today (22nd October), had a half day holiday to go to the O2 Academy Bournemouth to see "The Boomtown Rats"

Another day, Another dip

21st October and I was working down in Havant, so at lunchtime I went onto Hayling Island and headed to the Lifeboat station at Black Point for the Semipalmated Plover. When I got there there was only 1 Ringed Plover and a handful of Sanderling, no sighting of the Semi-P by any of the other birders. We all left and joined the other birders at the wader roost on the sea front, went through all the Ringed Plovers and could not turn any into a Semi-P, a lot of Sanderling and a few Dunlin, then back to work.

Dipping the Radde's Warbler

15th October I had a job in an office on the perimeter road of Heathrow airport, and while I was waiting for the users data to transfer, I had a look at the bird news, finding out about the Radde's Warbler at Anton Lakes Andover. I finished my job, called in and had no more work, so drove round the M25, down the M3 and A303 to Andover. Found the lakes and parked up, a few other birders were returning to their cars and the news wasn't good it had not been seen since the morning. I found the area where other birders were still looking and joined in, for a few hours until around 17:30 when I left to go home. A good number of Chiffchaffs going through, two Red Kites over and a very tame male Pheasant were the highlights.

Looking for a YBW

On the 11th October I was working down in Brighton, and as there had been an influx of Yellow-browed Warblers into the country, so at lunchtime I went to see if I could find one in Woodvale cemeteries. the weather was not that great being dull and overcast, and it started to rain soon after I arrived. While walking around a Buzzard flew down and landed in a tree close by, but left as soon as it saw me, also flushed a woodcock which was an unexpected find, finally I came across a mixed tit flock, no YBW only a few Chiffchaffs.

RSPB Otmoor

On the 2nd October on my way home from working in Coventry, I dropped into RSPB Otmoor hoping to see the Whinchat reported on the 1st. Had a good look around but no Whinchat found, however there was a Great White Egret and a Hobby.