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.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tuesday 22nd May - Beach Watch - very much the same

A contrast in temperature compared to last week when I was wearing hat coat and gloves, this evening only a Tshirt.

First thing I noticed one on the reserve was the huge number of midges that got everywhere including inside the truck.

 Along the access road once again Cuckoos were feeding on the caterpillars there were 3 together at one time, here are two
 However I still couldn't get close enough for a good photo
At least I found 4 Little Terns this week, plenty of Ringed Plovers, Avocet, Dunlin, BH Gulls, Med Gulls, Common and Sandwich Terns and a couple of Grey Plover.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Saturday 19th May SWW New Forest

A 5.30am start to be in the forest at 8.30, a quick look from the road for Dartfords at Boulderwood was unsuccesful.  However from the car park Paul heard a Wood Warbler (our target) and within minutes we were watching.

Wood Warbler
 From here a walk around the woods turned up Gold Crest and a couple of Firecrests a further search for Dartfords proved fruitless so we moved to Acres Down where Common Buzaard were seen and 3 but distant Goshawks. On to Beaulieu road station. Here we found the Dartford Warbler my second target species.

Dartford Warbler
 Over the heath a couple of Hobby were hunting

 Also Stonechat and a Willow Warbler singing
Stonechat (male)

Willow Warbler
 In the woods several Redstarts both male and female, all the Tits, more Hobbys over the heath again and finally a couple of Wood Larks.

Wood Lark

4.00 pm headed for home another good day in the bag bringing this years total species to 200.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Tuesday 15th May - Beach Watch at Rye Harbour

Some how I have got roped into doing a Beach / Tern watch at Rye Harbour Reserve, Tues 15th was my first time, and very quiet 7 people and 1 dog. The weather having had heavy showers during the day didn't look very good as I went onto the reserve.

First birds of interest was a male Wheatear.

Followed by a female

and then another female

Further along the access road 2 Cuckoos were picking up the hairy caterpillars from the access road  which are of the nationally rare Pale Grass Eggar Moth.

Apart from the huge numbers of Black Headed Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, there were plenty of pairs of Med Gulls but I didn't find the Little Terns. Consolation was 30 Swifts coming in off the sea and a dozen Dunlin on the new saltmarsh.

Dunlin (summer plumage) and light fading.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday 14th May Walks with Warblers

Over the last week or so due to the heavy rain dog walks have been confined to the least muddiest areas, so the beach has been popular also Rye Hbr. After the excitement of the Kentish Plover on Bank Holiday monday alot of disappointed birders including me as the rarer waders had gone. Consolation was this male Wheatear along the track by the visitor centre
Northern Wheatear
 Also a Lapwing reasonably close by.

Along the canal the warblers are setting up their teritories, Common Whitethroats,

Same bird different angle, where did that black smudge come from?

Plenty of Sedge Warbles are calling

Sedge Warbler

and plenty of Reed Warblers

Reed Warbler
And several Cettis Warblers but very hard to see as usual, like the occasional Lesser Whitethroat heard but not seen.
A mute swan still on her nest for at least 14 days and a Hobby over Carters Flood this morning.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Saturday 5th May SWW 100 birds in a day-just.

An early start for the group, but too early for me so I caught up with them at church Norton at 8am. having just missed an Osprey twice, but in the course of the day added another 8 more to my year list which were:- Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Tern, Hobby, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, and Nightingale.We got to around 80 for the day and thought our total was out of reach then more species came along and the 100 mark was in sight. But what an incredible sight was all the 4 hirundines at Pulborough Brooks in their 100s. On leaving the reserve and heading back to the car park at 6.15pm we were on 99 just as our first Jay flew across making it 100 for the day - then another went by just to confirm it. A great day with great company. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Friday 4th May - Bank Holiday Wader Fest.

Walking around Pett Level early morning in the gloom a flood has attracted passing through Waders including Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Greenshank, Ring Plover, Whimbrel, Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Golden Plover, Grey Plover and Turnstone.

Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Dunlin

Summer plumage Spotted Redshank and 3 Grey Plover varying Summer plumage.