Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bonaparte's Gull at Oare Marsh AGAIN!

Work took me to Kent today so a quick trip to Oare Marsh was on the cards.
I arrived at lunch time and Napoleon was sitting pretty just by the bridge on East flood a few yards from the road. He was in the company of hundreds of Black headed gulls and Black-tailed Godwits but was easily picked out from the mass gathering of the high tide roost. A few Dunlin, a single Spotted Redshank, several Avocet, Redshank and Lapwing added to the list before a Golden Plover and Greenshank were added. Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit and Yellow Wagtail were also encountered.

The Bonaparte's slept for a while before taking a brief swim before flying out to the estuary when spooked by the cattle as they walked across the flood.

A quick stop on the way home added good views of Spotted Flycatcher with recent fledglings and a young Robin was also seen here.

Year list now 253

Bonaparte's Gull with Blackwits
Bonaparte's  Gull
Bonaparte's Gull with Black heads
Bonny Gull (top right)
Young Robin
Young Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Spot Fly
Spot Fly with fly

Monday, 18 July 2016

Sabine's Gull Carr Vale NR Derbyshire

With a meeting in Yorkshire today (Yes I had to drive to Yorkshire and back today for a meeting) I managed to find time to make the 3 mile diversion off the M1 to Carr Vale NR where a Sabine's Gull has been resting on a small pond for a few days.

I followed the postcode given on the news pages S44 6UU and pulled up at the bridge. I could see a very small pond with gulls on so parked up and walked back over the bridge turning right into the field. A short walk of a hundred yards or so and I was looking at several Black-headed Gulls and in the middle the splendid looking Sabine's Gull. The light was reasonable and I managed a few respectable shots which are shown below.

Year list now 252

Sabines Gull
Sabine's Gull Carr Vale NR
Sabine's Gull

Sunday, 10 July 2016

MALE Rosefinch Walthamstow Marsh

DIY and WORK have prevented me travelling the short distance into East London for the Rosefinch all week but after the Jims connected in the week I was duty bound to give it a go so after a couple of hours on Saturday night in strong winds when I dipped I then returned at 6am this morning.

Parked up in the Ice Rink car park I walked along the canal path and after a few hundred yards arrived at the Anchor and Hope Pub. Two birders were in place and had just seen the target on an ariel of the pub so I was hopeful that I might on this occasion connect. Scanning across the canal I watched every bird that landed on the ariels. First a House Sparrow then Goldfinch and a Great Tit before finally after over an hour the target sat up and started to sing. By now there was a small twitch developing and we all enjoyed the bird as it performed for the next hour or so dropping to feed in the gardens then returning to sing from the ariels. At one point it flew across the canal and sat in the brambles next to us but failed to sit up for the camera. The song was impressive and the stunning red plumage of this male bird was well worth delaying a little plumbing.

Walthamstow Marsh is a little oasis in what is now a very trendy part of Hackney. Lot's of Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and hundreds of Ring-necked Parakeet. I can't see it being long before more good birds are found taking a little break on this patch.

Record shot!!!       Common Rosefinch at Walthamstow Marsh

Year list now 251

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Update from BTO about my Starling

I recieved a reply today from the BTO after sending them details of the Starling photographed below in my garden at the weekend

This bird was ringed by K Dean as age 1st year, sex female on 13-Nov-2015 11:45:00 at Panshanger Lagoon, Hertfordshire, UK

Female Starling 
Interesting ringing facts courtesy of the BTO

Oldest bird – Manx shearwater, 50 yrs 11 months
Furthest travelled – Arctic Tern from Wales to Australia 18,000 km
Strangest recovery – Osprey ring found in stomach of a crocodile in The Gambia!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The longest twitch

Well it's finally been accepted!

The Chinese Pond Heron at Hythe that we reluctantly twitched on 2nd March 2014 has today been added to the BOU list and as such becomes bird 375 on my life list and drags the 2014 up to 271.

Good news too that the Hooded Merganser on my list seems to have been accepted by the BBRC.

And to add to the fun the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham that I dipped has also been accepted and I'm left regretting the dip on it at the local patch but congratulate those that did connect. I was there looking through the fence at the rubbish tip when people were seeing it but just couldn't say I'd actually seen it so it remains on the dipped list for me.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

More DIY and more garden birds

Still stuck at HQ with the DIY but I still found time to get the camera out during my coffee breaks and I had a few!

A Starling with both closed metal ring and open colour ring marked HDX has been visiting my feeders this year and today I managed a photograph to help pin down the lettering on the ring.
I'll try to find out what I can about the bird but if anybody reading this has anything to offer please leave me a comment.

Common Starling
I also managed a distant shot of one of the young Robins but sadly it appears one has been lost to the local cat. The Blue Tits continue to entertain.

Young Robin trying to survive
Couple of youngsters at the drinking well
Blue Tit
Juvenile Blue Tit

A male Common Rosefinch has just been reported at the Walthamstow Marsh but I'm just too knackered to make the five mile drive for it.

DIY isn't what it used to be or maybe I'm just getting too old for it or is it that I'd just rather be birding!

Year list still 250

Saturday, 2 July 2016

DIY and Garden birds

A rather difficult DIY project has kept me tied down over the last week or so but whilst relaxing this afternoon in the garden I was pleased with the variety of birds I saw and the amount of fledglings using the feeders today.

First a fly over Hobby (Always a good garden tick) followed by a pair of Sparrohawks then a Little Egret flew over the rooftops. Lesser-black Gull, Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull all flew over as did a pair of Swift. Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow and Rook all put in an appearance as did Wood and Feral Pigeon along with Collared Doves.

Dunnock visited with their young and a pair of Robin also dropped in with two youngsters. Over twenty House Sparrow came to the feeders and a very large group of Starling made a brief appearance. (I don't see many Starling in the garden usually since I stopped putting out fatballs) Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blue & Great Tit all visited with young and a pair of Chaffinch used the feeders but as yet have no young to speak of. A Blackbird sang it's heart out tonight too.

In all a very pleasant hour or two winding down in the garden after a hard days graft on the DIY front.

Year list firmly dormant at this point in time but here's hoping for more time to bird in the coming weeks.

Blue Tit (juvenile)
House Sparrow  Dad with one of the many youngsters in their family group
House Sparrow
Hobby over the garden 
Distant pair of Sprawks
Goldfinch Juvenile