Saturday, 31 March 2012

A brief Swallow

A lone bird shot thru along the Loddon at 13:45, I wouldn't have seen it had I not been filling the feeders. The Oystercatchers on Sandford were clearly looking at nest locations on the higher of the islands. Richard texted me about his Merlin going thru North late morning, but I was nowhere near getting there a.m. today.

Friday, 30 March 2012

07:00 Sand Martin at last

A dawn visit and I finally got a Sand Martin, circling over the lake. Misty conditons meant I couldn't see much else, but a nice sunrise photo opportunity. 2 Oystercatcher flew over the car park from BSL around 8:00 and the Nutchatch was singing loudly as usual.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


I am so easy to please sometimes, with the first Linnet, a male flying over the car park field low SW. I left early to see a male Pheasant in my garden, a first for me on the garden list. I did miss another Sand Martin that went thru LFGP after I left this morning. Still my 99 for the year isn't bad. I also forgot to mention that Alan Rymer had what was almost certainly a Green Sandpiper on the old tern island 25th, which flew off when they rowed out to rewire the tern raft. The park is now on 104 for the year.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Bright, clear.....and nothing new

Late morning and a skywatch produced lots of Buzzards at all points of the compass around DP, at least 12, probably 15+, 1 with very white tail feathers at the base, also at least 9 red Kites and a displaying pair of Sparrowhawk. 2-3 Blackcap around car park, Nuthatch and a trickle of Meadow Pipit N/NW.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


A slight sign of migration, with Blackcap singing near Ron's hide, Heron's Water and by the wooden footbridge at Lavell's car park. Nuthatch singing again too. Sandford Oystercatchers asleep, 4 Pochard, but no sign of RCP's. Raptors - 6 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, lots of Kites. 5+ Meadow Pipit went NW.

Monday, 26 March 2012


A splendid pair of Red Crested Pochard are on Sandford Lake this afternoon, the first since July 25th 2010.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Still no new migrants

A fine sunny morning, but LFGP held no new birds, even the Goldeneye appear to have deserted. Still c50 Wigeon, 2 Redshank, 5 Snipe and a few Teal. At Lavell's the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was drumming on the old Oak near Teal hide, before moving to the tall Poplars along the Northern edge of Sandford, where it was very vocal for 5 minutes. Later around lunchtime, the Nuthatch was again singing near the wooden footbridge by the car park, just 3 Buzzard and 4 Red Kite soared overhead.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pair of Spring Garganey

Richard Marsh made an excellent find at Redwood Lake at 12:30. Redwood is unknown to nearly everyone, just West of Bader Way and runs parallel with it. Access via Oak Drive, at sharp left bend down alley and left, walk 60 yards and view from South end. Birds favour reeds to right about 100 yards away. 100th species for the park in 2012.

No new migrants

07:30 at LFGP, but nothing new, just the same 1 Shelduck, 1 Redshank, 8 Teal and 40-50 Wigeon. On Tern scrape 4 Snipe, 2 of which were displaying to each other, quick jerky movements with tail pointed upwards and little jumps, fun to watch. A Nuthatch landed in tree above the path and appeared to place food items in cracks in the bark, before returning to the feeding area.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Keep missing Sand Martins

3 more Sand Martin went thru LFGP at 09:25, a while before I got there. 6 Fieldfare, many Buzzard & Red Kite displaying overhead. 1 Redshank, 5 Lapwing, c40 Wigeon and plenty of Black-headed Gulls pairing up.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Waiting for waders

LFGP in the morning rain produced nothing new, Oystercatcher still about and giving the Carrion Crows grief, which is very encouraging. 1 Redshank and 4 Goldeneye still. My hopes of LRP, Ringed Plover, or rather more hopefully a Rock Pipit, remain unfulfilled for now.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sunny late lunch

An hour or so in the car park area provided 2 singing Chiffchaff, bringing my year list to 96 out of a possible 98 so far, with Ring-necked Parakeet over, Nuthatch calling briefly, 10 Redwing, 5 Buzzard, Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker & 4 Jay. Tern scrape held 4 Snipe, 1 Little Egret and 30+ Shoveler.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

First real migrant?

A Blackcap in subsong in the Blackthorn near the benches at Lavell's, is the first of the year, 98 for the park, 95 for me. The second earliest record, but no real way of knowing if it is a summer migrant, or a winter bird moving thru. Oh well I'll take it anyway. 2 Oystercatcher on Tern scrape, Redshank here and on LFGP, 1 Little Egret & 4 Goldeneye there too. Darn cold again this morning.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cool, grey and pretty quiet

Up to 5 Oystercatcher still around 09:00, 8 Meadow Pipit over SE were the highlights, with no sign of the Brambling today. Last night at WSL and a brief visit to Tern scrape at 17:30 produced no Bittern at all, so maybe they have left already? And the Jack Snipe seen mid afternoon had hidden by the time I got there. A Chiffchaff was also reported 07:00 this morning, impossible to say if this is the wintering bird, or a migrant, no doubt it will be added to my year list any day now.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Warmish in the early afternoon sun

An hour or so in the car park in the sun, immediately after the mist and clouds cleared, produced good numbers of displaying Buzzard, at least 9 visible to N & E, a male Kestrel, 3-4 Red Kites and 2 Sparrowhawk were all the raptors, Nuthatch calling nearby, plus a single Lesser Redpoll and 2 Siskin over E.

Fog, but worth it

A brief visit to LFGP in the fog, was well worth the trip, with a female Brambling hanging around the feeders. Fairly predictable with friends reporting good numbers in the forests of East Berkshire, a tricky species to connect with at DP, so great to get another one back.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Birdwalk Sunday

Quite a lot of activity today, 3 Oystercatcher flew over Lavell's from LFGP 08:30, 1 asleep on Tern srape bund on arrival, still 30+ Shoveler there. Ring-necked Parakeet perched next to car park, on BSL the all white Black-headed Gull. There were Treecreepers all over the place, 4-5 Green Woodpecker, 3+ Great Spotted, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker heard from Sandford Hide, not seen by us, but several others did see the male along the Loddon. Kingfishers seen various locations along the Loddon, Grey Wagtail too, 30+ Redwing still around, a few Siskin. At LFGP, 1 Redshank, 1 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Sat 10th March

2 Redshank LFGP this a.m. singing Skylark & usual Little Egret, Shelduck and finally got ring number off the lcal LBB Gull J8TU, so will wait and see its origins.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Weds 7th Mar

4 Oystercatchers reported today LFGP, around same time 3 flew in on Lavell's, 1 leaving. Son who knows how many were here today. I arrived 16:40. 2 Oystercatcher on the shingle island mostly asleep. But after a about 15 minutes they woke up, made some odd piping noises and then mated. Same time the Great Crested Grebes got going. Usual Little Egret, Shelduck, 10+ Teal, 50+ Wigeon. No sign of any Bitterns at Lavell's by 17:30, but 42 Shoveler is a pretty good count.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday 4th March

Further failed attempts to see Bittern over the weekend, no sign at Lavell's all Saturday and dusk. Perhaps they are moving about more as they will leave any day? LS Woodpecker reports dried up too. Tonight at LFGP, 1 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 1 Redshank, 7 Goldeneye (4m), c70 Wigeon, c20 Teal and 3 Pintail still.

Friday, 2 March 2012

WSL Bittern news from fishermen

Despite a no show tonight at WSL, Jerry O'Brien spoke to fishing chaps today, who claim at least 3 birds at dawn in the last 2 days, so does that mean we have 5 in the area?

Friday 2nd March p.m.

1 Oystercatcher flew over Teal Scrape from LFGP, then refound on old tern island of Sandford. Expect we will see more of them again this year.

Friday 2nd March

Kev Tubb had 2 Brambling near the mill in the fog, hoping they stick around. Male LS Woodpecker again on old oak.