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.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Friday 27th April - Didn't Dip on a Dipper, and Choughed to bits

On the Thursday after touring south Cornwall we came across a small bay next to Mevagissey, looking for somwhere to walk Frank I noticed a sign for the Pentewan Valley and on the nature board a Dipper was shown. An hour later walking up the river valley I spotted an unusual flight of a bird and landing on a stick from the bank there it was my first Dipper with a youngster.

Dipper

Adult with Juvenile

Adult Dipper
 After a heavy shower the bird returned to their original post, but in poor light.


Waiting all week for good weather conditions to visit the Lizard for the Choughs finally on friday we set off, but stoping off at Stithians Reservoir in the pouring rain I found the Ring-necked Duck with Tufted but was distant.


Ring-necked Duck
From here we went to The lizard and at the Southerly Point the Chough watch pointed us in the right direction but it was an hour before they appeared from their nest site within a cave - for about half an hour they gave us good but distant views.

Male Chough distinguished by missing wing feather

Male

Female leaves the nest to feed with the Male

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sunday 22nd April Down in Devon



Stopping en route to Cornwall at Stover near to Newton Abbott, the country park was next door, a couple of dog walks found my first House Martin of the year but the ariel walkway provided close ups to the tree canopy where the usual woodland Tits were, plus Bullfinches and Nuthatches.



Female Bullfinch

Male Bullfinch

Nuthatch
Before setting off to Cornwall we took a trip to Yarner Wood hoping to find Pied Fly Catcher, from the car park  we found a pair of Mandarin.



Female Mandarin


Also there was a Wood Duck - probably an escapee.


Male Wood Duck

At the Hide we found our target a Male Pied Fly Catcher.


Male Pied Fly Catcher
According to other birders Wood Warblers were calling but, I have still to learn their call, but I did hear a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Will have to visit here again next spring.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Saturday 14th April SWW to Old Lodge.

 After a misty start to the morning, a few breaks in the cloud appeared but not enough for good photos, however the birds put on a good show although distant with all expected seen.

 First up was a Willow Warbler in the car park

Next a Woodlark
Then a couple of Male Common Redstarts



Followed by a singing and displaying Tree Pipit



Also seen a calling Cuckoo, and 4 fly by Crossbills.

Later at Weirwood Reservoir a Little Ringed Plover and Black Cap

Migrants on this weeks dog walks


With heavy showers around the camera stayed at home.

Monday am at Pannel Scrape 2 Little Ringed Plovers

Tuesday Paula walked Frank.

Wednesday am on the beach at Cliff End a strange looking Wheatear when it flew no white rump so I think was a female Common Redstart, also 1 Male Wheatear.

Thursday am on the beach at Cliff End 2 female Wheatears both showing white rumps, later in the afternoon at Castle Water a pair of Garganey right in front of the hide and 8 Swallows over. 1 male Wheatear near Lime Kiln Cottage.

Friday pm An Adult Little Gull on harbour farm pools

Monday 16th, by harbour farm barns 3 Common Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warblers

Monday, 9 April 2012

Monday 9th April Easter at Eastbridge

We took the caravan to Suffolk for the Easter weekend, staying at the Eels Foot Inn, we pitched over looking the outskirts of Minsmere.

View from Caravan
Having seen there was a Glossy Ibis around since 23rd Feb. as soon as we were set up I had to take a look, within 10 mins it appeared just north of the bridge. Later I went back with the camera but it was still distant.

Glossy Ibis behind a Teal
A walk around Dunwich Heath on the Thursday afternoon was disappointing as all we could find was a distant Stonechat.


Stonechat
There was a distinct lack of migrants compared to last year at this time, the cliffs at Dunwich was desserted from nesting Sand Martins and so was the beach from people.

Dunwich Cliffs looking to Southwold.
A frosty Saturday morning, I stood with several others for an hour to get a better pic of the Ibis, at last it appeared but still distant and always reeds were in the way.



Glossy Ibis
 We dipped on a trip to Southwold in search of the Hooded Crow, and a walk over Aldringham Common to Thorpeness didn't find anything of interest. Sunday am before heading back took a quick look around a part of Minsmere where there wasn't much difference had I been to Rye other than a flock of 100 plus feral Barnacle Geese but was rewarded with a Bittern in flight, Marsh Harriers building a nest and also a Barn Owl earlier in the day at Eastbridge.
Barnacle Geese

Marsh Harrier - male

Marsh Harrier - male

Wren

Good job we left on Sunday, Monday it rained all day.