Saturday, 29 September 2012

Same again

Later arrival in car park field at 09:30, Swallows still streaming thru maybe not quite so many, but still 150+ in 2 hours, again just handfuls of House Martin, 20-30 Meadow Pipit, 2-3 Siskin, 1-2 Blackcap in hedgerow, 1-2 Chiffchaff, the best bird was a Hobby moving SE above hirundines.

Friday, 28 September 2012

More Swallows & Mipits

07:20 arrival at BSL today, where I immediately picked up the first 2 Pochard (imms) of the autumn over near the gold course strip. Lots of Swallows already streaming thru SE, at least 300, probably nearer 400 in next 1.5 hours, 50+ House Martin and about 60 Meadow Pipits in groups of 3-8. Just 5-6 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaff seen in car park field Hawthorn. A very noisy Ring necked Parakeet and Nuthatch were about it, then 3 Linnet went SW. A lone Siskin landing in the Alder was all I had from a 2 minute look at Sandford.
The Pochard make it 103 species for the month for the area.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Swallows in big numbers

Funny I saw so few this morning, by lunchtime Trev called to say good numbers were on the move, so I joined him overlooking the landfill to see 150+ moving East, 10% House Martins too. 10+ Meadow Pipit over South too, Parakeet calling to the East often, 2's & 3's of Buzzard very high up to the North and West. As I walked back to my car 5 Siskin went East over the car park.
Encouraged by the hirundine passage I went back again to find the numbers even greater, 500 to 1000 Swallows massing over the landfill and general DP airspace, 10+ Meadow Pipit on the landfill itself. About to leave I got on to a distant large long tailed raptor against very dark clouds beyond Lodge Wood and failed to see any rufous colouring, ti went behind the wood and I never saw it again.....shame. A very quick visit to LFGP offered just a lone Green Sandpiper, a few Teal and Shoveler

Late warblers

I stuck around the sailing club car park for 45 minutes just checking warblers at 08:30, there was at least 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and for me a really late Whitethroat, a female in the compound with the old CCTV camera. Also a brief view of what was probably a Willow Warbler and Treecreeper, before heading to Lavell's car park field, where I had another 2 Blackcap, 4 Meadow Pipit over South, 1 Grey and 4 Pied Wagtail North and just 2 Swallow, was such a contrast to yesterdays 250-300 SE movements both a.m. and p.m.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Record year list possible?

The park record is 142 set in 1983. 
The park year list currently stands at 140 not including a pending Grasshopper Warbler, which I wait for CDRH to give his verdict on. We have blown it on Whimbrel this year, but am sure they are annual, so we just missed connecting, most frequently they go thru early a.m.
Sandwich Tern might still go thru early I had one 26th Sept 1992, but there are no October records.
We are running out of time for Whinchat and Black Tailed Godwit, but either could still occur between now and late October, the latter as late as November. A Scaup could show up anytime and Smew do sometimes come thru late Nov to Dec.From October there are lots of possibilities including Short Eared Owl, Rock Pipit, Brent Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Duck, Yellowhammer, but maybe we will get and overdue Yellow Browed Warbler, Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern, or other Diver?
Happy birding

Quick visit

In just a 30 minute visit I had a pleasant walk, first at the sailing club car park, 3 Siskin over South, |Mistle Thrush over low East, so staying local, 2 Blackcap, 150 House Martin, at least 3 Sand Martin, Coal Tit by the old compound, plus 2-3 Chiffchaff.

Crossing the road to the car park field, I had a very quick look over the landfill, where 250-300 Swallow lingered, but most then got up together and headed off SE. A couple of Meadow Pipit went over, I heard the Ring-necked Parakeet, the Autumn's first Redwing was in the bottom hedgerow and then as I crossed the field back, I turned and saw a Spotted Flycatcher drop onto the top of the dead tree in the right hand corner, it stopped there just a couple of minutes and then dissappeared. I felt that other things are out there to find, but had to leave then.

Monday, 24 September 2012


Ahhhhh, I love it when a predicted addition turns up and most importantly I see it, number 11 on my list. Alan called me soon after I had returned home from my car park field walk, saying he had a smallish plover type bird on LFGP shingle island. I downed my coffee and dashed.
On arrival it was facing away, but I could see it was too small for a Grey Plover, it turned and confirmed my was the first ever Knot. It was still pelting with rain but a reeled off lots of shot with my iphone and eventually the rain stopped and I got a few half decent shots.... Very happy days.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Yellow Wagtails before work party

I was lucky to have been stood near the DP compound waiting to load up the tools for todays work party when I heard a familiar call overhead, I looked up to see a tight flock of 13 Yellow Wagtails heading ESE at about 150 feet, certainly the biggest single flock I have seen since the Eighties.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Frosty start

My son was awake at 06:00 again today, so we were all up and eating toast by 06:30 and I was at LFGP hide by 06:50. The early morning mist clung to the lake as the sun came up and I took a few shots. About 20 Teal were just about visible in the SW corner. I headed for BSL and then the car park field, where the grass had a crisp frost. 4-5 male and 3-4 female Blackcap chased each other in the large Hawthorn, I heard but never saw a Mistle Thrush. Moving to the bottom of the field to look over the landfill, 11 Meadow Pipit mobbed a Kestrel perched on one of the vents, 7 of them then moved to the wires next to the farm to warm themselves in the rising sun, a Chiffchaff joined them for a minute.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Should be checking ducks more

Spending time at LFGP yesterday produced only my fifth Peregrine this year, rather high up too. And the car park brought little but heavy House Martin passage. What we should have done was check Sandford where Mike Hunt found a female Red Crested Pochard later, good job it wasn't a year tick, as so far there has been no sign today.

The first Cetti's since May was heard from Teal Hide by PBT today. A couple of Siskin and light Meadow Pipit passage was all I had in the car park field this morning, but a lovely sign of the House Martin passage was over 500 on the wires above the golf course.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Car park again and Eton Wick Pectoral Sandpiper

Redstart still present, well one of the two recent birds, plenty of Blackcap still, Meadow Pipit in lower numbers over South, 30+ Swallow too.
Later I couldn't resist going to see the Pectoral Sandpiper at Eton Wick, a classic juvenile, good record shot opportunities and over a dozen Yellow Wagtail amongst the cattle. DP has never had a Pec and you could say one is long overdue!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Redstart No. 6?

After seeing what I assumed was the same Redstart in the car park field 08:15 this morning, Trev & Richard saw two similar plumaged birds later. I had taken some quick snaps and it might well have been this sixth bird? It could be just different light, but it looks greyer and a more pronounced pale mark above the bill?
In the large Hawthorn was 5 male and 2 female Blackcaps, possibly the same Garden Warbler from the 15th, with 35+ Meadow Pipit over South in small groups.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fifth Redstart of 2012

The car park field is continuing its reputation as 'The autumn Redstart migration spot' with a juvenile on the wires at the bottom of the car park field, an amazing fifth this year. Lots more warblers in the hedgerows today of note a Garden Warbler, plus many Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a couple of Reed Bunting, just a few Meadow Pipit overhead, Nuthatch and Ring Necked Parakeet heard nearby.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Turnstone still here

Our juvenile Turnstone is here for the fourth day, a record, also providing better photo shots today, very quiet otherwise. The several hundered hirundines yesterday was reduced to just less than 10 House Martin and just 1 Meadow Pipit over.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Turnstone still LFGP

The Turnstone was still present Weds and again today, making it the first ever 3 day bird. Yesterday Meadow Pipits began trickling thru in groups of 5-20 almost un-noticed. The Garganey visited Lavell's and afew more people connected with the elusive Mandarin there.
Also today at LFGP, a suspected Whinchat turned out to be a Wheatear, 2 Little Egret, a lone Green Sandpiper and a Hobby were present again. Another Marsh Harrier was reported just before 08:00.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And now the bad news

Richard Sajdak (spelt wrong by me) told me today he saw a Bearded Tit near Bittern Hide in the first week of January. What a downer for us year listers! But at least the Turnstone marks 140 species for the year....only the fourth time 140 species, or more have been recorded.

Sept 11th always turns up something

For some reason we do tend to get a good bird on the 11th September....and 2012 is no exception, with PBT finding a Spotted Flycatcher on the island from Teal Hide, which I relocated along the Loddon path just 40 yards short of the green bridge. I left only to get a call from Trevor at 11:10 during my work conference call, that a juvenile Turnstone had just flown in at LFGP. I had no choice but to wait until the call finished at nearly 12:00, before I could leave and not before dropping my mums dog at the groomers and my mum home. Luckily it was still there on the Eastern lake edge. Only my third ever, but only the 10th ever and first in Sept, although 2 records do not appear in the Berks Bird Report, these were 2/14th May 1990 (LB) and 1/7th July 1991 (LB), if only we knew who LB was???

As it is such a local rarity I am posting 4 wonderfully aweful record shots.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Hobby everywhere

Even though it remains quiet, Hobby are showing well all at Sandford, Lavell's and LFGP, 2-3 birds probably more. Shoveler numbers keep growing, well above 40, but difficult to be exact in morning light conditions. 2 Green Sandpiper were flying around Sandford heading off towards LFGP, but not found subsequently. The Teal missing it's primaries continues to stay just in front of Ron's hide.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Much quieter

A quick look at LFGP 09:10 was quieter than recently, but as suspected the Garganey was still present, 44 or more Shoveler maintains a good autumn count, a few less Teal. As I scanned the vents for Wheatear and chats, I saw a lone bird perched high on a bush in the ditch, as I quickly upped the magnification, it suddenly flew South, so I never got a proper look, but it did look rather chat like.....oh well fingers crossed for next 2 weeks, same fingers crossed for Spotted Flycatcher any day now.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Another Redstart 5th

The annual Redstart migration continued yesterday with another male Redstart in the car park field. With an absence yesterday folks are wondering if it is the same male as the 3rd, but I think it was darker red on the undertail coverts, with maybe less white around the neck?

Male 5th Sept flying

Male 5th Sept

Male 3rd Sept

Monday, 3 September 2012

Redstarts and lots more

LFGP produced another Black Necked Grebe, a winter adult individual, so two records in one year after 12 years without one. A distant Wheatear on the vents to almost furthest vent to East, plus a mystery chat like bird to the far SE vent. Later a Redstart appeared in the car park field and may have been said mystery bird. Raptors overhead included Hobby, 5 Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. After I left a juvenile Cuckoo dropped in and perched for a while. We await a confirmed Whinchat and twitchable Spotted Flycatcher.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Few raptors

Despite being sunny for the last 3-4 days, I have noted how few passage and post breeding Buzzards are about compared similar times of year over the last 11 years. Over previous Augusts we have seen upto 10-14, but also as many in mid September, so maybe they are yet to come through?

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Ducks and waders are moving

Missed BTB's earlier reported Spotted Flycatcher near the green bridge, but good duck numbers were present at LFGP, 45+ Teal, 39 Shoveler, probably more,which looks like the highest ever counts for both this early in the autumn. Also present was the immature female Garganey, Little Egret, Green & Common Sandpiper and lone Pied Wagtail on the shingle island. A Hobby was quartering near the green bridge. I left before the 2 Greenshank stopped briefly then headed on South, heard leaving by TAG