About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Friday 30th March. Its very much the same.

Over the last week the weather being warm still and sunny has meant work has gone mad, but on the dog walks not a great deal of change.

A trip to Castle Water with Frank had to be aborted from the Winchelsea Beach end due to cattle blocking the stile.
So the next day went in from the viewpoint which was very quiet. At the hide the usual ducks and geese but in far fewer numbers, still loads of Gulls

Herring, Common, Black Headed, Mediteranean, Lesser Black-backed, and (Greater Black-backed not in picture)
 Marsh Harrier also present.

Marsh Harrier
The Cormorants are busy nesting.

Around the reserve Sandwich Terns are increasing in numbers.

Sandwich Terns

At Harbour Farm Pools Advocets have arrived and the Ruff are still around but I haven't found the Little Ringed Plover yet.

On the beach at least half a dozen Bar Tailed Godwits

Bar-tailed Godwit
Highlight of the week was the Short-eared Owl west of Harbour Barns last friday, by the time I had the camera out it was heading off towards Dogs Hill.

Short-eared Owl
The next day it showed again even better than Friday - but didn't have the camera, so went back on Sunday and despite spending an hour in the area it didn't show.

Back home plenty of Chiff Chaffs now calling, also a pair of Bullfinches visited the garden again.

Bullfinch (female)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Saturday 17th March. Pett Level and Dungeness

The murky and misty morning started with the dog walk around Pett Level, 4 Avocets were on Carters Flood with the regular ducks and gulls, along the canal amoungst a group of Canadas and Greylags the Pink Footed Geese were still there.
Pink Footed Geese
  Heard and then seen the regular Raven.

No sign of any more Wheatears, so after breakfast set off to the point at Dungeness.
At the back of the old Lighthouse on the fence of the testing station was a Stonechat and nearbye a female Wheatear. A walk to and around the moat drew a blank but for a couple Firecrests that showed briefly in the gorse nearbye.

Back at the Old Lighthouse eventually a Black Redstart appeared.

Black Redstart

Went off to look at the Gulls, but on the way a Wheatear flew in front of the car, and joined another 3.

Northern Wheatear
The Gull flock was more or less non existent (porbably due to low tide) and with rain starting I headed for home, stopping off at Scotney where 6 Snow Geese were in Sussex, and another 1 in Kent.

Friday, 16 March 2012

This week's Dog Walks.

Highlights of the week have been 20 Redpolls, several Great Spotted Woodpeckers and possibly hearing a Lesser Spotted at Brede Woods on Monday 12th. Also seen the Buzzard with missing wing feathers also seen at footland wood on 26th Feb.
Lesser Redpoll

Buzzard with missing feathers
On Wednesday morning 4 Green Sandpipers flew up from the R. M. Canal. 4 Avocets on Carters Flood and 5 Buzzards just to the east. On Pannel Scrape the Bar Headed Goose with a dozen Canadas in front of the hide and no camera with me. Back home in the garden a pair of Bullfinches.
In the afternoon in the sunshine a walk around Rye Hbr LNR found Sandwich terns with Oyster Catchers on the new islands of the Ternery pool.

Sandwich Terns above Oyster Catchers
 The Ternery Pool also held 60 plus Med Gulls and even more Black Headed Gulls now in full Summer plumage.

On the pool behind the Ternery Pool I finally found the over wintering Spotted Redshank.
Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank

The finale to the week was on Friday morning at Cliff End when 5 Wheatears were on the beach, again no camera, later over Rye Hbr a Raven was calling.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Sunday 11th March. SWW Coates Common and Burton Mill Pond

Coates Common

A walk starting off from Coates Common, found Woodlark, and drumming GS Woodpeckers.

a distant Great Spotted Woodpecker

Further on a couple of Little Owls were spotted in the distance by one of the group.

2 well camouflaged Little Owls

Back at Burton Mill 2 Grey Wagtails were on the mill race.

Grey Wagtail
 Around the back of the mill Pond the usual woodland birds, with plenty of crests calling, a Buzzards nest was noticed and this one was close by.

Common Buzzard
 Later on at Petworth park we went looking for Brambling but no luck, seems they have eluded me this winter, but the Egyption Goose were close at hand.

Egyption Goose

 Another lovely day out in perfect weather.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Thursday 8th March. Wintering West Sussex Warblers

With the Common Yellow-throat in Wales apparently moving on, a change of plans and not such an early start to miss the rush hour traffic. I met up with Paul James in Worthing to seek out the Yellow Browed Warbler. Meeting Jan Jupp at Liddles in the centre of Worthing we walked across the road, within 10 minutes we heard it calling and then it appeared. Flitting around the bushes then across the road into the Firs.

Yellow Browed Warbler
 From here we went on to the North Wall at Pagham Harbour, on arrival a gathering of birders put us straight on to the Paddyfield Wabler - extremely mobile and no chance of a photo unless I stayed all day.
Wanting more for my year list we headed off to Selsey and managed a Sandwich Tern, Shag, Great Northern Diver. Back at Ferring a possible Red-necked Grebe far to distant to be sure.

A lovely day out in glorious sunshine.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday 4th March Snow Geese.

After my trip to the New Forest, dropping off on the sofa I had a text from Paul James re the Plodding Birder has reported 31 Snow Geese at Scotney. A rainy morning but I can go birding there from the truck.

No there isn't a hill the camera was on the bonnet

Very poor light

Sure enough after several counts 31 Snow Geese including 3 Blue Morphs and Juveniles.

Saturday 3rd. March SWW Trip to The New Forest

Just like last year the day started with Fog and rain but by 9.30am the sky brightened, it took a while for things to get going but after several Common Buzzards had put in an appearance we were treated to 2 Male and 1 Female Goshawk over the trees.

Too distant this year for a photo, this from 2011
Also seen several Redwings and an Alba Pied Wagtail as we headed back to the car.

Alba Pied Wagtail
 At Ibsley 4 Bewicks, 1Whooper were amoungst the Mute Swans

Although distant it was good to compare all three together

Blashford Lakes - Ibsley Water, Peregrine, 40 plus Goosanders, 3 Black-necked Grebes all distant.

In ront of the hides close views of Goldeneye and Little Grebe

Little Grebe
 Blashford Lakes - Visitor Centre Woodland Hide on the feeders, Redpolls, Siskins, Chaffinches, Blue, Great, Coal Tits, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, and 1 suspect Redpoll.

Siskins and Redpolls


Suspect Redpoll
The one way glass prevented bright shots. There was one opening window hogged by photographers but I managed to jump in for a few shots.



 Blashford Lakes - Ivy lake, we were treated to a glimpse of a Bittern through the crowd and the trees.

Bittern (heavily cropped)
Finally we went on to see the Dark-eyed Junco as several of the group hadn't, it wasn't long before he appeared at the pile of seed left for him.

Leaving the forest at 5.00pm another brilliant day birding