Monday, March 28, 2011

Third Hoopoe dip

They certainly can be elusive. After trying for the Swineham and Axmouth Hoopoes had a go for the Portland one today with the same outcome.
Skylark was a year tick

Later Great Spot in garden was also a year tick.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blashford Lakes new arrivals

Arrived at the car park to be greeted by the constant calling of Little Ringed Plover. The bird then birds were flying around and calling for a good 10 minutes, occasionally coming over the carpark

They later settled to join 2 other birds that had also arrived today

They were certainly very excitable and wasted no time in getting on with the business of courtship. There was tail fanning, some kind of parallel walking, lots more calling and even scrape making. All at pretty close quarters

This bird flattening itself down

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yankee double. Dandy

Off to Wales today with up to 4 possible yanks available. Left early to try and get them all in. Ok if you know where you are going. After following some signs to Cardiff Bay on arrival realised it was a different Cardiff Bay to the one I wanted! This one was the new business district that had been given the same name. Bought a map and found the Ice rink where the Bonapartes had been seen from. Got there to find a load of Black-heads feeding a long way out and into the sun. Decided to just keep driving around the bay until the sun was in the right place. After some perseverance managed to locate the bird.

It later flew to the large barrage at the mouth of the bay

Off to Llanelli now for the Blue-winged Teal. It was at a place called Sandy Water Park and was fairly easy to find. Lovely bird when I eventually got some good views. Unfortunately was beaten to it by some local twitchers trying to get photos. What a bunch of dicks. No fieldcraft what so ever. It was located at the edge of the reeds as I was approaching and the first guy just went straight into the reeds to get a closer look and flushed it! Boy did he get a mouthful.
After it was located at the other end of the lake the next guy did virtually the same thing! Unbelievable! It went something like " What the fuck are you doing you idiot, why didnt you just wait for it to come out! In the end they buggered off and I was able to get some decent shots.

Quite a few Gulls there also, many coming to bread

Next place on the agenda was Peterstone Gout just east of Cardiff for Green-winged Teal. This was another difficult place to find. Infact I didnt really find it in the end. I got to a rather dodgy looking parking area near some gypsy caravans where you were supposed to park and then walk about a mile so didnt bother in the end.
This then gave me enough time to get to Slimbridge and have a look for the Lesser Scaup. Well that was the plan. Just a quarter of a mile from the motorway turnoff we all came to a stop. And it stayed that way. In the end got so frustrated that I made a dash for it down the hard shoulder to get off at the exit only to be greeted by the local constabulary. The exit was in touching distance. " Do you realise it is an offence to drive on the hardshoulder" blah blah blah
It wasnt even shut, the accident was a few miles down the road but for some reason we all had to sit there. Eventually we were allowed to use the exit.
Got into Slimbridge 5 mins before closing and the Lesser Scaup had not been seen all day. Persuaded the lady to let me in for half price so could have a look for myself. Well I had come all this way.
Whats this? A Lesser Scaup me thinks.

Oh look and there's another! I think I was in the wrong place. Ah well nevermind 2 out of 4 will have to do today

Bit of a collar going on there.

Monday, March 21, 2011


A few sites around Dorset didnt pay any dividends. Main disappointment were the Long Crichel pig farms which were empty fields. Ended up at Radipole where there were a few Gulls moving through

Confiding Gadwall, only just squeezed into the frame

Mallard getting seen off

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Grove, Portland

A quick visit to Portland for an hour this afternoon. For some reason thought I would have a look around The Grove.
Turned out as quiet as the rest of the island. Apparently I was quite lucky to see the wild Goats as they have been very elusive recently

Had completely the wrong settings when this HG appeared so terribly burnt out picture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rough-legged Buzzard Oxfordshire

First Oxfordshire record for some 40 odd years.
Bit dull and foggy but at least we can see what it is

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oare Marshes

Few more photographic opportunities today

Little Egret in courtship plumage

Amazing coloured lores

Friday, March 11, 2011

2 days at Cliffe + Shorne

Visitor surveys today at Cliffe so couldnt do any wandering about.
One of the monster ships going up the Thames, this one registered in Nigeria, presumably a flag of convenience?

Female Eider, presumably a notable bird here

Some of the lovely views of the area!

Turning around 180 degrees... Tilbury Power Station for the Power Station list

More local delights, a memorable 75th photographic year tick


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Off to Kent again

Made a bit of a day of it this time on the journey there, as it was such nice weather.

Beachy Head

Ticked off Fulmar

And Jackdaw

Also Chinook which came pretty close

Smile for the camera

Next stop Dunge where the Penduline Tit had been reported again from the Hanson Hide on the ARC pit. When I arrived it was immediately apparent the chances were very slim to zero with only a handful of reeds there. Unbelievably over the past x amount of weeks this is the only place it has been reported from. It never ceases to amaze me how unadventurous people are, there were reeds everywhere but people just sat in the hides like zombies waiting for its next 6 hourly fleeting visit. Why dont people go and have a wander around? Needless to say I spent around 2 minutes there taking shots of some Smew and a bonus Ruddy Duck

Think Cormorant also year tick

With daylight running out made a dash to the point where I caught up with the Glauc this time which was hanging around the fishing boats

Seems to have lost its tail somewhere