Sunday 31 March 2019

Garganey on Jubilee pond Wanstead

The local patch workers dug our another good Wanstead bird this morning which I shamelessly twitched this afternoon on the way to my mum's.

Having seen Garganey earlier in the week at Lakenheath I didn't need the tick but hearing news of how well it was showing I couldn't resist a visit and I'm glad I did. Big thanks to the guys for getting news out.

Now the image overload..........

Garganey at Wanstead
Garganey at Wanstead
Garganey getting a little attention from the local Swans
Garganey and Mute Swan
Garganey in flight
Garganey head on
No apologies for the number of images.....there may be more later.

Saturday 30 March 2019

A quick catch up

I've spent some time this week looking for the Epping Harrier without any joy but still had plenty of action with Red Kites, Buzzards and Sparrowhawks all showing in good numbers. A male Goshawk and a pair of Raven added to the drama as did a day calling Tawny Owl, lots of Deer and a few Hares.

A day at Lakenheath gave me a couple of year ticks in the week with a couple of  Little-ringed Plover on Hockwold washland and a pair of Garganey on New Fen. The number of Marsh Harriers displaying from Joist Fen was a real spectacle with at least fourteen birds in the air together. A couple of Bittern called and Kingfishers came and went as I waited in vain for any sign of the breeding Cranes.

At Dunge we landed another year tick with a single Sandwich Tern and again found the Cattle Egrets by Boulderwell Farm. A Peregrine and Black Redstart by the power station along with a few Wheatear on the shingle made up the best of the day but we also jammed on one of Britains two colonies of Grey-backed mining Bee on the walk to Denis's Hide almost in the car park at Dunge.

A decent few days but I'm still waiting for the real spring migrants to start pouring in.

Year list now 192

Grey-backed mining Bee at Dungeness RSPB
Grey-backed mining Bee at Dungeness RSPB
Greylag Goose at Lakenheath
Grey Heron at Lakenheath
Lapwing at Elmley
Reed Bunting at Dungeness
Muntjac at Lakenheath
Marsh Harrier at Elmley

Monday 25 March 2019

A day in Dorset

All winter I've wanted to get down and see the Lesser Yellowlegs at Lodmoor so yesterday we bit the bullet and drove the 160 miles down the M3 arriving around 8.15am we managed to find the target although views were not as crippling as the images I've been seeing. It was sat on the far bank tucked away in the grass and remained hidden to view for most of the day only dropping to feed on our second visit in the afternoon to the frustration to the guys that stuck it out all day.

Also at Lodmoor we picked up a very shy Willow Warbler for a year tick and a Little Gull out on the scrape with the many Med and Black-headed Gulls. I managed one further year tick with a single House Martin flying with the Sand Martins and Swallows hawking over the reed beds.
It was nice to hear our first Chiffchaffs of the year too.

At Radipole we very quickly located the Ring-necked Duck and managed a few shots from the fishing platforms opposite the Tennis courts and at Portland we found several Wheatear and a single Black Redstart to be the only things of note. On the drive out we picked up a single Shag in Weymouth harbour to finish a very enjoyable day in beautiful Dorset and the year list now stands at 189.

Ring-nekced Duck at Radipole
Lesser Yellowlegs at Lodmoor
Black-Redstart at Portland
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Great-crested Grebe at Lodmoor
Great-crested Grebe at Lodmoor
Grey Heron
Lesser Yellowlegs on the island where it spent most of the day
Ring-necked Duck
Linnet at Portland
Marsh Harrier at Lodmoor
Med Gulls and Black-headed Gulls at Lodmoor

Thursday 21 March 2019

One for the ringers out there

The above bird was photographed by me back on 31st December last year in Norwich and I've just heard that the bird has has been seen again.
It was ringed in Aberdeen on 24th November as it arrived in the UK as a three year old female and then moved south to Norwich where I connected with it some 547km south of the ringing sight. The last report was on 11th February but the remarkable thing is it has returned north in readiness for the pending departure whereas the ringers tell me that most just depart from their last sight.
This bird has flown 512km north to Dundee but who's to say it won't get all the way to Aberdeen before it leaves.
I always report the rings when I can get enough info and this is the perfect reason for doing it and an unexpected bit of history on this birds time in the UK.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Another noteable Firecrest

The people at Birdguides have given my latest Firecrest image a noteable tag in this weeks photo of the week competiton.

The noteable
I must admit I thought this one had a chance when I grabbed it but I would have liked a cleaner background.
There's just something special about a Firecrest

The RBA go and drop my Cattle Egret at Dungeness into their weekly round up.
Always nice to have your images chosen for these round ups.

Cattle Egret

Monday 18 March 2019

Firecrest and Cattle Egrets at Dungeness

A few more images form the weekend trip down to Dunge.

Cattle Egret at Dungeness
Cattle Egret at Dungeness
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret at Dunge
The bikers put all four Egrets up in the air.
best mates
Strange looking Cow
Four of the little crackers....will they breed this year?
Cattle Egrets at Dungeness
Firecrest in the lighthouse garden at Dungeness
Not always easy to spot and constantly on the move
The size of a leaf...I like to call them tiny little bits of special.
The Firecrest....surely one of our most stunning birds.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Let's go to Dunge

I had arranged to meet the Jims this morning but had no plans set on where we'd go so at 5.30am we discussed a plan and with nothing really jumping out as a target I uttered the magic words "let's go to Dunge" and then we were off. 7am and we were looking over the fence at the Lighthouse garden as I fancied finding a Firecrest and within seconds we had achieved our first goal followed shortly after by a second bird. A few Ciffchaff flitted about in the garden too but the Firecrests stole the show.

Firecrest in the Lighhouse garden at Dunge
I found my first Wheatear of the year at Lade before finding another two birds around the moat area of the Observatory. A fly over Raven gave the Jims another year tick before we set off towards Gallaways.
We got distracted by the Sheep Egrets along the Lydd road before getting to Gallaways to find the red flags flying and the road closed so we turned and headed for home in the knowledge that the M2 was closed and the M20 had lengthy road works delays.

Sheep Egret

Year list now 184

House Sparrow
Grey Heron