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Saturday, January 28, 2012

28th January

I popped out to the Chilterns for a walk around the Xmas Common area. Kites were everywhere calling and pair bonding. Unfortunately we had hardly any sunny spells where we were. It wasn’t until we headed for home at 2.30pm that we were bathed in glorious sunshine. Then I couldn’t really stop on the M40, my wife would have gone mad, only joking I am not that irresponsible.  Other birds of note encountered on the walk were Marsh Tits, Nuthatches, Redwings, Fieldfares and a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

Here are some poor kite photos, that mean I will have to venture out there again





Female above and male below

I am used to seeing Kites stuck in tree on Primrose Hill but never this many.


Friday, January 27, 2012

27th January

I only had time for a quick walk up to the Brewhouse Fields today.

Common Buzzard: What I take to be Mondays bird, was chased from the wood near the Brewhouse.

Redwing: It is hard to say how many are present as they are scattered over much of the western side of the park.


The Common Buzzard is keeping an eye on incoming crows







After being used to getting up-close and personal with the birds, this lot, with the exception of the Mallards are quite nervous.


A bit of warm sunshine triggers the drakes hormones and the females have to take flight



Thursday, January 26, 2012

26th January

As things seem pretty quiet in Regent’s Park and in Bushy I thought I would post a couple of snaps that I have taken whilst I have been here. Today was my first attempt at getting a few bird photos. It has been a while and hopefully either Bushy or Richmond will come up with a few goodies.

The first few photos were taken either looking from my office window in White Lodge down the Lime Avenue towards the Diana Fountain or the other way.






One of the local vandals








Black-headed Gull and Common Gull





Friday, January 20, 2012

20th January

Shoveler: 48 on the lake.

Common Teal: 7 on the Wetland Scrape.

Peregrine Falcon: a male flew over

Redwing: 2 were seen

Thursday, January 19, 2012

19th January

Work in Regent’s Park has started to extend the area of reeds in area 2. Hopefully it will allow more Reed Warblers to breed.

Birds in Bushy Park

Green Sandpiper: one was flushed from the scrape in the Brewhouse Fields. At the moment the scrape is viewable from the Iron Bridge.

Little Egret: one flew from the same area earlier in the day.

Common Teal: 5 on a pool by the Longford River.

Redwing: 38 still present.

Fieldfare: 1 perched by the Iron Bridge.

Siskin: 30+ in the Woodland Garden.

Lesser Redpoll: one associating with the Siskins.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18th January

Lesser Redpoll: 3 birds are still present and were seen feeding in Silver Birch trees in area 36. Alas no Couse’s Arctic Redpoll with them.

European Wigeon: pair still present on the main lake.

Bushy Park

Siskin: 30+ birds feeding in Alders alongside the Longford River in the Woodland Garden.

Lesser Redpoll: one was also in the Woodland Garden.

Redwing: Still a flock around 40 birds commuting between the Woodland Garden and Holly Bushes by White Lodge.

Fieldfare: one in the same area.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

15th January

Norfolk yesterday was well worth the 4.40am alarm call. Well in fact I was awake before the alarm went off, thus not waking up Sally (my wife). I picked up Glen from Primrose Hill and off we went. I had arranged to meet my friend Mark and Trevor (his Dad) between 8.15am and 8.30am at Cley NWT Reserve. I was a little worried that the weather forecasters had mentioned fog and even though we drove through some small patches on route by the time we reached the North Norfolk Coast at 7.50am all we were met with was some high cloud and good visibility. We made our way to Daukes Hide, as we approached the hides the roosting Pink footed Geese began to leave, to feed on the farmlands of East Norfolk, amongst them was alone Ross’s Snow Goose, one of 2 birds in Norfolk this winter. Once inside the hide we set about trying o find our target bird, Western Sandpiper. At around 8.10am Mark and his Trevor arrived and within 10 minutes Mark drew my attention to some waders on the farside of Simmons scrape, going through these it wasn’t long before I announced that the Western was amongst a small group of waders. We watched the bird for a while until they were spooked by a Marsh Harrier. They were then very fidgety and would land and take off after a few seconds, this was our cue to move on. I then headed off towards Titchwell and would stop if I thought something might be on view. My first stop was along the coast road between Wells next-the Sea. We then starting scanning and it wasn’t long before I said b----- h---, which is not like me, when in the middle of my scope was a not to distant Rough-legged Buzzard. It was sat looking at us with not a care in the world. A fantastic bird in superb light, you couldn’t ask for more. It was spooked by something and headed away from us, but soon settled in a small pine plantation. We headed off, stopping next to look at a flock of grey geese in a roadside field. This consisted mainly of White-fronted Geese, with a few Grey-lags and a dozen Barnacle Geese. As time was passing and I wanted to be at Titchwell before the car park became to busy we carried on, only stopping when a very obliging Barn Owl sat on a roadside fence post. We pulled into the RSPB’s Titchwell Reserve at 10.15am, to find the1st car park full but the over-flow car park empty. Our target here was Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, a bird I had seen last year without confirming it’s identity, was later done. We stopped at the feeding station (one of it’s haunts), before moving to the main beach path. Here there was a group of birders looking at some redpolls feeding in some Alder tree’s. There were 11 or more Lesser and a single Common (Meally) present. After much scanning and looking at the underside of birds I picked out the Coues’s, it’s short stubby bill, small balck throat patch is a good clue to this birds identity. The pale rump is very hard to pick up, especially as it fed on the far side of the tree’s. After we had seen this for long enough we set off towards the beach, bumping into Lee Evans, who gave us a run down of what he had seen on the sea, 4 Long-tailed Ducks being the best of a good bunch. Unfortunately we were unable to find them we we reached the beach, though other ducks, auks and waders made up for it. Our stomachs were now in need of food so we headed back for some food (mushroom & stilton baguette) at the RSPB snack shop. After this Glen and I left Mark & Trevor, as they were here for the weekend and headed towards home stopping on route for a Great Grey Shrike at Fakenham and then hoping for Hawfinch at Lynford Arboretum. Unfortunately some irresponsible bird photographer had trespassed into the field and under the trees that the birds favour. For this reason the tally for the number of species I recorded was only 99.



European White-fronted Goose



Barnacles with White-fronted Geese(above) and Brent Geese(below)



Northern Pintails  and female Shoveler (Titchwell)


Water Rail running between ditches at Cley NNT Reserve



Barn Owl in the mid-morning sun


Is it a bird or is it a branch? yes it’s a Treecreeper


Meally Redpoll (Titchwell) show large chin patch. The Coues’s Arctic Redpoll has a much smaller patch.



The broad wing-bar, lighter mantle, pale rump, light brown ear coverts and small stumpy bill are features differentiating Coues’s from Meally Redpoll.




Great Grey Shrike near Fakenham


Black-tailed Godwit looks to be going down the plug-hole


Sanderling (above) and Oystercatcghers (below) at Titchwell leaving their high-tide roosts.


With a couple of rarities only a quick dash down the M3 to the New Forest, it really was an opportunity to good to miss.


Dark-eyed Junco at Hawkshill enclosure in the New Forest


Just a short 10 minute drive from Hawkshill enclosure to Calshot was the Spanish Sparrow, present for at least a year.


Spanish Sparrow trying to hide amongst dense cover.