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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The is it or isn't it Stonechat

Richmond Park

I had to drive through the park this morning so thought I would pop and see the possible Siberian Stonechat. I had hoped that the sun would have appeared by then, it wasn't but soon popped out for a few minutes. This gave me to grab a few shots though not one of the bird flying.

Below are a few more images showing the bird in different light conditions












Monday, January 09, 2017

A gloomy few days in Norfolk

Norfolk in the murk

I am making sound worse than it actually was. The days that I had put aside to spend a few hours birding were on the whole quite gloomy and misty with a bit of drizzle thrown in. The best day with sun from sunrise through to late afternoon was the day my car went for a service. 

Below are a few of the more interesting photos I managed to take. 


    The only wader apart from the small flock of regular wintering Turnstone's was this 
    Sanderling.
    A couple of distant Tundra Bean Geese took off with over 2,000 Pink feet just as I arrived at 
    the viewing area.
    Before they had all got airborne I picked out this lone Barnacle Goose. 
    I went goose hunting over at Choseley one morning but the sun that had been forecast didn't 
    show in the time that I had allowed. I headed back east to see the Snow Bunting's at 
    Salthouse. On arriving at the end of beach road I was met with big waves crashing against 
    the shingle beach. It was beginning to come over the top and I was slightly worried that it 
    might breach it and flood the area and with it my car.


    Luckily enough the tide had peaked and disaster was averted for now.



    This 3rd winter Glaucous Gull flew over my head as I waited for the 
    Snow Buntings to work their way towards me.



    The Whooper and Bewick's Swans on the old Ludham Airfield were slightly closer this visit.

    The yellow-legged Bewick's Swan that I have seen on two previous winters had returned.

    Later that day a report of a Tundra Bean Goose on the airfield made my mind up as to where     I would go the next morning. 
    It didn't take me long to pick up the only grey goose on the airfield the next morning. Was 
    this the bird reported yesterday, being a lone bird made me think it was. The trouble was 
    that once I'd looked at it through bins I could see that this was just a lone Pink-foot and 
    possibly misidentified because it was further away the day before. 


    Another report of possibly 12 Tundra Bean Geese in with several 1,000 Pink-feet only a few       miles down was to hard to resist even though I still had my wife in the car. I asked her to 
    keep her eye's peeled for geese on her side of the road. Well it would have been impossible
    to miss them, they covered almost the entire Sugar Beet field and these fields are huge. I 
    pulled over by a farm gate and looked back, I was slightly to low to scan the field properly
    so once I was sure there weren't any Tundra Beans on this side I turned around and went 
    back to a nearby lane. It didn't take me long to pick up 5 Tundras, 3 unfortunately dropped
    out of sight over the ridge. These 2 stayed in view until I felt my other half was getting to
    cold.




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Post Xmas week in the Royal Parks

It has been a quiet week with lots of people on holiday, either trying to add a couple more species to there 2016 year lists, twitching what some hope will be a lifer Blue Rock Thrush or after the panel has debated may be dismissed as poss escapee, maybe not from the UK but possibly Europe. Others will be relaxing on places like the Isles of Scilly or places with full sun rather than blanket fog, which we have experienced several times in the past few days. Mind you we have had the odd glorious day with sun almost from dawn to dusk. 

I have been working for most of the Xmas period and have not seen anything out of the ordinary apart from a Stonechat in Richmond Park that may be a Siberian Stonechat. I did have an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a Kingfisher this morning in Regent's Park, well through bins it looked like eyeball to eyeball.

Below are some of my favourite photos from the past week.


    Little Grebe with his constant shadow who's waiting to steal his food.

    It helps if you have a long stride.

    As with the Little Grebe BH Gulls shadow Coots
    They don't always get what they want and are bullied by Common Gulls



    This 1st winter Herring Gull has been present for a few weeks and was ringed at Pitsea 
    rubbish dump in Essex earlier this year.

    Crows are always causing trouble

    Grey Herons are taking up more nest sites and if the weather remains reasonable will 
    lay their 1st eggs in early January


    Bullied Mute Swans are reluctant to leave the park  because they cannot see any water 
    when they take to the air. These 2 were in the air for 10 minutes but returned to the park.

    Grey Heron flying over a frozen Heron Pond in Bushy Park
    Hybrid RC Pochard and Tufted Duck


    This pair of Stonechats try to warm up on a very frosty morning.

   A male Kestrel enjoys the warmth of the sun while a female looks for breakfast

   7 female Reed Buntings were feeding on the frozen heads of Common Reeds in the 
    Brewhouse Meadow area.



    This drake Wigeon was reluctant to land on a 2/3 frozen Pen Ponds.

    There was an impressive 95 Shoveler's  on the water
 
    If you saw this bird your first thoughts wouldn't be Common Stonechat











    I do love the feather detail of Cormorants

    This male Little Owl enjoyed a sunny day in Kensington Gardens