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, 27 March 2013

Monday 25th March - Migrants

Not having been out for a couple of weeks due to work and the weather, withdrawal symptons set me off to Dungeness in search of anything new for the year. Stopping off at Pett Level 300+ Brents a few Bar-tailed Godwits were the only thing of interest, a 90 second sea watch as my eyes were watering in the raw north easterly wind found one Great Crested Grebe. Fingers aching set off to Dunge.

On arrival the "Bloggers" were around the old Lighthouse Plodding and Plovers looking at a stunning male Black Redstart.

 Trying to get nearer for a better pic it went to the Old lighthouse garden
 then disappeared. A wander around I caught sight of a white rump and tracked down my first Wheatear of the year.

After losing both I set off for the ARC which was quiet other than the usual ducks and 2 male Goldeneye bobbing on the rough water. It looked like the sun was coming out so went back to the lighthouse to see if I could get any better pics of the B Redstarts. 2 were around but wouldn't stay still but it was nice to see through the scope.

The best I could get.

Then the phone went with Bird Guides text of Kentish Plover at Rye Hbr, so the seed dump at Tickners Lane was given a miss and off to Rye. On arrival Chris Bentley kindly picked me up in his truck and took me to back to Lime Kiln Cottage where good but distant views were had of one then two Kentish Plovers.
It wasn't long before the "Bloggers" arrived followed by the local names - so I left!

A good on the spur of moment session with a twitch on the door step.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Saturday 9th March SWW New Forest

For the third year running a misty drizzle morning but on arriving at the New Forest the weather was breaking.

It wasn't long before Paul heard a Woodlark singing and then another, Ian found a Hawfinch  and shortly after I saw a distant rapter, Paul confirmed it as a Goshawk.

Wing shape and Long tail = Goshawk
A male stonechat was the other species of interest seen before setting off to Blashford Lakes

The photo doesn't do justice, 25 plus Gooseander, 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, 100+ Shoveler, Lesser-black back Gulls, and Goldneye.

also a White Wagtail.

White Wagtail
Next stop was at the hide with the feeders 15 species were seen - best of the bunch

My highlight was this Brambling
My first Goldfinch of the year

A visit to Ivy Lake hide, just like last year a Bittern was close by.

Now we were off on a twitch..
At Farlington Marshes we soon put onto a Merlin sitting on a post, and it wasn't long before we were watching the Red-breasted Goose.
Also an adult Spoonbill in full mating plumage was seen in the distance. Next stop was to Warblington Cemetary where a Glossy Ibis had been seen. After a search of a couple of fields we eventually found it although distant we had good scope views.
What a great day, 12 more birds onto my year list, and with great company.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunday 3rd March - Off on a Twitch

Having missed out on the Penduline Tit at Dungeness a couple of weeks ago, and having only seen one in 2010 I noticed that the one at Stodmarsh had re-appeared after a weeks absence. Waking this am I was unsure whether to go but after walking the dogs decided to go for it. Eventually finding the boardwalk and being told it disappeared about 20 minutes ago I waited and within 10 seconds up it popped. a quick look through the bins and it flew 10 yards, landed on a reed mace giving enough time to get the camera out.

 There had also been 5 Water Pipits reported from the Marsh Hide so I set off in wellies through the deep mud to a deserted hide. A nice view over the marsh and reedbeds but not alot of birds, a couple of Snipe, half a dozen Greylags, a few Teal, and a male Marsh Harrier.

After about half an hour 5 small birds flew in landing on a distant muddy island looked good for Water Pipits through the scope, but a poor very heavily cropped pic.

Set off back for home stopping off on Walland Marsh at the feeders with plenty of House Sparrows, Reed Buntings, the Tree Sparrows staying on the other side of the road. Hundreds of Fieldfares on the ground were put up when a ringtail Hen Harrier floated over.

On Pett Level the 4 Pink feet were still with the Greylags but distant.