Sunday, 23 July 2017

2 year ticks Bonaparte's & Curlew Sandpiper at Oare Marsh

A trip to Oare Marsh gives me the chance to see the Bonaparte's Gull that Brian & Jimmy picked up a couple of weeks ago. We start off scanning from the road & it's only minutes before a single Curlew Sandpiper flies in to be followed by six more gives me the first tick of the day, a Spotted Redshank along with 2 Common Sandpiper, Dulin,loads of Godwits,Avocet,Ruff & 3 Snipe are picked out but no sign of the Bonaparte's so with the sun making it hard to see across the scrape as is usual here we head up to the boat ramp & scan the mud flats in search of the Gull.
This is achieved without to much trouble along with 3 Whimbrel as they walked about feeding on the mud.
On the walk along the top trail a few young Bearded Tits entertain us & a couple of Turtle Doves show in the distance.
A quick look in at Cliffe Pools on the way home in the hope of getting a better view of the Marsh Sandpiper that we saw last week ends in a dip. We do see over 40 Greenshank mostly asleep out on the scrape.
A nice warm morning & I pick up two ticks & not to far from home.
Today's Bonaparte's

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Vagrant Emperor at Minsmere but no Roseate Tern.

We head off to Minsmere in search of a Roseate Tern reported a few times as being seen from the public hide on the south scrape.
Once in the hide we see over  20 Little Gulls some in nice breeding plumage plus one Little Tern lots of Sandwich Tern & Common Tern numerous Med Gulls plus picking out 3 Kittiwakes.
Over the 5 hours spent here we see 5 Spotted Redshank, Green & Common Sandpiper, some Redshank plenty of Ringed Plovers both on the scrape & up on the beach, while by the beach Stonechat & both Lesser & Whitethroat seen in the bushes.
A walk around the reserve gets us some Bearded Tits & we spend a good deal of time watching the close up views of the wonderful Swallows.In the bushes around the reserve loads of Willow & Sedge Warbler spotted.
On the walk round to South hide we find a Dragon fly to photograph & when we get home Jimmy does some home work on it as he cannot find a photo of it anywhere he puts it on twitter & gets a good response from people telling him they think it is a Vagrant Emperor & a little while later the recorder confirms that it is indeed that.
But after having a really great 5 or so hours we have to concede that we will not be seeing the Roseate Tern such a shame as it would have been a lifer for me, still if I really wanted to put myself out I am sure I would get to see some, but not wanting to drive massive distances I will have to wait for one to come near enough for me to drive and see or when Brian drives us on long trips maybe some will be around, come to think of it Brian does the most of the little trips as well.

The Vagrant Emperor

Friday, 14 July 2017

Marsh Sandpiper at Cliffe pools Kent.

I sent Brian a text telling him that a Marsh Sandpiper was reported at Cliffe pools & does he fancy it after work, back comes the reply yes & to meet up in the usual place.
Brian turns up in Sue's 4 wheel drive & what a good call that turns out to be. The drive down the track at Cliffe is what you would call a bit bumpy with more holes than flat surface & the 4x4 made that a bit more bearable.
We drive past the black barn & reach the second viewing mound to find two birders who soon got us onto the bird, it is a long way over the back of Black barn  pool but it was showing well walking along close to the bank & then turning & heading back round the bend to stay out of sight for a few minutes.
The scope views were good but as I said distant & not helped by a heat haze.
This bird is a lifer for all three of us so well worth doing battle with the traffic both going & heading home not helped by the tunnel being shut.
Seven Black-winged Stilt are seen some of them youngsters, along with Redshank,Ringed Plover,Dunlin,Little Egret & many Avocet,& Godwit a Barn Owl puts on a display for us as it hunts along the grass in front of the mound.So a nice little bonus lifer on a Thursday evening.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Great night with the Nightjars.

We left home just after 8 pm & head to the Brecks in Suffolk to wait for the Nightjars to start churring & as we head into the clearing we get to hear them just before 10 pm that is the earliest that we have heard them here probably because we had a nice big full moon on a clear night.
Once they started calling we could hear them all over the place & we get a quick couple of flight views before the  wing clapping sound starts.
On walking about we get near to some more churring when on two occasions a Nightjar flies up over our heads to give us a great couple of flight views.
While here the Tawny Owls get into full voice to give Jimmy & I a 2nd year tick for the evening.
Back home just after midnight so nice & easy.
Brian & Jimmy are heading off to Oare Marsh in the morning for the Bonaparte's Gull but I have the Hampton Court Palace flower show to attend with Jean so will have to catch up with the Bonaparte's at a later date.
The first time that we have been to this flower show but will be going back again as it was most enjoyable place to be.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

6 Bee-eaters in Nottingham.

With Brian on a day off work we meet up at 4.30 & head up the M1 to Nottingham. It's a 2 hour drive before we drive into the farmers field at Lings farm in East Leake where the RSPB had set up safe parking for a small donation of £5 well worth that as it would have been impossible without their organisation so well done to them.
Once we cross the fast busy road we get our first sight of one of the Bee-eaters sitting high in a large Ash tree. A small walk down the bridleway path to join about sixty birders already present on site.
Three birds are seen straight away sitting out on a bare Branch & over the next 4 hours we get to see 6 Bee-eaters on the tree at the same time.
Only the second time I have seen these birds,the first time was on the Isle of Wight a few years ago.
Over the time we are here a good couple of hundred people had come to see these colourful birds & really nice to see so many young people interested.
 What we observed while looking around the gathered crowd was that cameras out scored telescopes by 5 to 1. A quick look around at Kelham Bridge on the way home in the hope of getting a year tick with a Willow Tit but once again we get a no show. We do get to see a nice long close view of a Kingfisher plus loads of Sands Martins so not a wasted trip.
A long shot of the Bee - eaters

Sunday, 25 June 2017

2 year ticks & Turtle Dove on a nice morning at Titchwell

A 4.30 start gets us to Titchwell by 6. 30 am, the car parks were all empty & that gives us a chance to have the Turtle Dove all to ourselves.
The bird is spotted within minutes of arrival first of all it is seen high up but then flies down to feed on the gravel of the car park to give the closest view I have ever had of a Turtle Dove so a great start to our day.
Walking up to the hides with nobody about we soon pick out a couple of year ticks when a Spotted Redshank lands not to far away on the scrape, later on we are told by a recorder fellow that the bird had been coming back here from Holland for many years now.
Then 3 Little Gulls are seen to give Brian & I another tick, also seen Black & Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, Ruff, many Avocet plus chicks, Little Tern, Marsh Harrier & 6 Spoonbill have flown in from Holkham, Common Tern & a few Med Gulls & some Bearded Tits round off a nice morning.
The Turtle Dove

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Elegant Tern for lifer at Church Norton W Sussex.

Despite Brian having a bad back & not looking like he would make it today, the thought of missing out on a lifer was to much for him to take, so we meet up & head to Pagham Harbour in the hope that the Elegant Tern had hung about for another day.
We arrive at 7 am & get lucky when we get parked at the church & that is only a very short walk to join the 30 or so birders already looking across to  the Tern colony.
They soon get us onto the Tern as it flies along the fence line & then back again to land out of sight in the long grass.
This is the pattern for the next hour until it flies a bit closer to us & lands but only showing it's head but that gives us great views of it's beak.
It then takes off & flies across the front of the now much larger crowd & heads out of sight over the beach & for the next two hours it never came back.
So with a nice lifer in the bag it's off home leaving a very large crowd waiting for it's return.

Part of the large crowd 300 or more over a few hours.
Brian's record shot