Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Monday 17th March 2014

    A trip to the Avon Gorge Peregrine Watchpoint, after work. I got there just after 4pm, to be told i had just missed a close food pass, and people were still looking at their camera backs!!!! Bugger.

Peregrine (Pair)
    The birds were still there and flying, but not photographable. I did managed a couple of not very good shots. Then about 5pm, the light gone, and it was now bloody cold too, they did another food pass. This time on the far side of the river, and i managed some even worse shots!

Peregrine (Male)

   Will try again, better light, more time..............better shots!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Sunday 16th March 2014

  A wander around Somerset today. Saw nothing much until Catcott, where they was a drake Garganey and a female Marsh Harrier. Then to Chew, still not seen a Sand Martin!!!!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Saturday 15th March 2014

   As usual, a rare bird turns up on a Monday, and work all week gets in the way, bugger!!!! After waiting all week to see the Great Spotted Cuckoo, i finally have chance, so lets go see. This will only be my second in the UK. My first being the one at Pennington Marshes, Hampshire in 2001! Wow, long time. I actually saw a couple last year in Spain, but need photos..........

   So, after a 2 hour drive, we arrived in the railway station car park, at Penally, Pembrokeshire. I asked a birder in the car park "I take it its still showing well, is it?", to get the answer "No.......it flew from the headland out to the island, about half an hour ago!" POOH!!!!

   Oh well were here now, may as well take a look around. A Cettis warbler called from a nearby wet field. Meadow Pipits flew from around my feet, there were quite a few on the golf course. I bumped into a bird photographer friend, Richard Stonier, who said he had sen it quite close earlier, but the it was still too dark for photos. After about 2 & a half hours of nothing, i decided to go to look at another site, and maybe come back later. I swapped phone numbers with Richard, he said he would ring if it came back. So we left. We stopped to get some food, but the shop had nothing there, so we had ice creams instead, not really a fair swap i know, but hey......it was a sunny day! We were heading for Bosherton Lily Ponds, i had seen reports of Bittern and Ducks there, and more importantly some very tame Otters. Just over half way there, my phone rang, it was Richard, "Its back". So, we turned around and went back.

    We got back and i walked across the Golf course again. Got to where Richard was standing, and asked "Where is it mate, and have you got pix yet?" to which he replied "Its over there, and NO I haven't"

   The bird had been hiding in the long grass, between the humps. It then popped up on top of one, and the photos began. The bird then showed well for about an hour, before being disturbed by some golfers, and disappeared for over an hour. It was found again, but it was at the other end of the course.

Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

  Eventually, about 6pm, it returned to near the 'tin huts', where it roosts, and did exactly that! Sadly, it didn't show enough of the bird, from any angle to get decent shots, even if the light was gone by then!

   Oh well, defo the best shots i have anyway. Lets see if it stays a while?

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Friday 14th March 2014

Reed Bunting (Winter Female)
   Aust after work again, boring.................not really! Windier today, and cold......and no sign of the Twite, has it gone to be with its friends and breed...maybe? Oh well, here are some more Reed Bunting shots, this time Winter plumaged females for comparison, much paler face pattern, still nice though!

Reed Bunting (Winter Female)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Thursday 13th March 2014

Reed Bunting (Summer Female)
   A return to Aust, this time the Twite didn't show so well. It was seen to fly from its usual tree tops, out over the salt marsh, and join up with some migrating Meadow Pipits, flying North, and not seen again. So i concentrated on the Reed Buntings, and especially the females, which are coming into Summer plumage, and look cool...hope you agree?

Reed Bunting (Summer Female)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Wednesday 12th March 2014

     Early finish at work today, so off to Chew, to look for the Siberian Chiffchaffs near the Bernard King hide.

   Walking passed Hollow Brook, i noticed there were 2 female Goosanders there, so i tried to get some photos...got some before they flew off to the main lake.

   I carried on to the Bernard King hide, i saw a Chiffchaff straight away. After a short while, the Siberian Chiffchaff showed well too, then another. But, they were both behind the screen, and my lens won't fit!!!!!! Saw them anyway. Had a quick look for some reported Sand Martins, but no sign.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tuesday 11th March 2014

   After work i decided to go to Aust, to see if the Twite was about. No-one else there, obviously not been showing today................wrong! It showed, probably the best it has shown while its been here! Other than the other day, when i had it on the wire, but this was even closer.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Sunday 9th March 2014

     A fairly early start saw me back beside the river Arun, but not many Gulls there, and no sign of the Kumliens!!!! Back for breakfast, then after we met up with Nick bond, a birding friend who lives in Worthing. I managed to throw a whole loaf of bread out for the Gulls, but it didn't work, NO Kumliens or Glaucous Gull! We did have at least 4 Med Gulls, but none of them would pose for photos! Looks like i was right, when i said my luck had run out?

Herring Gull
   We left Nick and headed for Kent, not too far i thought. A stop at Dungeness RSPB, then onto the Heron? How wrong could i be........by the time we got to Dungeness, 3 hours later, i couldn't be assed with the Heron, might do it later in the day????

   I went into the Visitor centre at Dungeness to see what was about. The regular stuff really, until i noticed, right at the bottom of the board, 2 Penduline Tits at the ARC pit. Oh well, there is always other stuff there too, lets have a look. So, after a look at Google maps, to see how far the Heron was from here, we set off across the road to the ARC pit, and more precisely the Hanson hide. Got to the hide, quite a few people there, and a couple taking photos, so lets have a look......got it, thats too far away for pix though. But, they were still taking photos? Then i noticed that, either the first bird had moved closer, or the other one had been close all the time! Either way, it put on a great show for, probably, an hour. Lovely birds.....

Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit
      While there, may thoughts were proven right too, there was other stuff there. At least a pair of Goldeneye, a flyby female Smew, which i failed to get the camera on....bugger. The female Goldeneye showed well though.

Goldeneye (Duck)
    Do we have time for the Heron now? No not really, too far away, oh well lets spend some more time here instead. Tree Sparrows near the car park, very nice, a quick search, in vain for a Glossy Ibis, produced a flyby Great White Egret. 3 female Smew were found further east along the ARC pit. A search through the Gulls near the fishing boats, sadly didn't produce the Glaucous Gull or the hoped for Caspian Gulls. Right then time to set on our way home, check Google maps, don't know why, i know how to get home from here, but hey.....my phone clicked into gear, and Hythe, where the Heron was, was 14 minutes away............shit......it said over an hour earlier.....thought it had to wrong, but didn't have any go in me anyway after the traffic earlier. Oh well its 'plastic' anyway........aint it?????

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Saturday 8th March 2014

   Weekend trip, to the South Coast. Visit a birder friend, and get some birding done. Might even go for the rather suspect Chinese Pond Heron in Kent???????????

   Littlehampton was first, to see if i could photograph a 1st Winter Kumliens Gull, and a Glaucous Gull that had been there too. I got some flight shots, of the Kumliens Gull only, but not the, on the deck shots i wanted, sadly. Maybe later on in the day.

Kumlien's Gull (1st Winter)

   Next stop was Brooklands Boating lake, there had been some Little Gulls there, showing really well. Oh dear, maybe my luck has run out, there was no sign of any Little Gulls!!!! Right then, Widewater Lagoon next, Red-breasted Mergansers were the aim. They are here regularly so i have been told........No sign of them either.

   So back to Littlehampton, and again NO SIGN.................as i said, my luck has run out!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Thursday 6th March 2014

   Another after work bird trip, this time only to aunt Warth. It proved worthwhile, using the car as a hide, and a bit of patience, the Twite showed really well. Even putting in an appearance on the barbed wire, very nice.