Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Pushing to add December species total

I did tour of the car park field, Bittern Hide, LFGP, Sandford & BSL, on arrival everything was up and scattering, including 5 Snipe, so I can only hope I didn't miss a good raptor?

Great Spotted Woodpecker has already begun drumming.

70 Pochard on Sandford, c70 Teal LFGP, plus c150 Wigeon, 5 very distant Golden Plover going away East added to December, making 80 for the month.

We are short Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, along with Siskin & Lesser Redpoll, so welcome any reports, currently 6th position, 3 more to equal 3rd.

January 2015 predictions

Even though it has turned cold, I think it is going to be tricky to get the 2015 year list off to a good start, things like Siskin, Lesser Redpoll are absent at the moment, as is Barn Owl, Mistle Thrush is lurking somewhere, but Cetti's, Water Rail and Grey Wagtail are all being seen regularly. A bit of effort and Little Owl will be on, Goosander sightings, make it likely we'll get one early on.

If the water level drops enough Jack Snipe might grace us and make up for a no show in 2014.

In 2014 I reached 45 on January 1st, 54 on 2nd, 56 on 3rd, 61 on 7th, 65 on 8th, 72 on 11th, reaching 77 by 25th. I didn't add anything more until 13th Feb....Kestrel.

I expect to be out near dawn on the 1st for 2-3 hours, then 15:00 til dusk.

A nice dusk walk about

I got out around 15:00 and headed towards WSL, about 80 Pochard still on Sandford, bar a Cetti's showing quite well, it was very quiet on small birds front, at WSL I scoped down the lake and got on a pair of Goosander quite far towards the South end so headed up closer. They were quite active, not too nervous and swam on North quite quickly, without my adapter record shots were terrible, so not worth bothering.

Back at the Bittern viewing spot the Goosander were moving about, I looked up then down and they were gone. I checked for Bittern over and over with no joy. I went to check BSL, just a few Shoveler.

Again WSL, a Kingfisher perched on a reed, 3-5 Reed Bunting jumping around, then the pair of Goosander flew by left to right and off towards Sandford at 16:09. I decided to quit around 16:25 and headed for LFGP. At Heron's Water a Chiffchaff was calling on the right as you enter Sandford.

At LFGP a good smattering of wildfowl, nothing stand out and I was there for Woodcock anyway, so stood until 16:54 in the freezing cold and saw nothing, although the Lapwing flock looked in excess of 1000 birds, so worth checking on them properly.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Smew makes it a double

I got the text as I was heading out with the family, a male Smew on Sandford...aaargh!

I got there and enjoyed it for 15 mins with Trevor and Steve and dashed off again.

Here are several shots, of varying terrible quality

Bewick's Swans

To cap off an entirely amazing year for me, I found 3 Bewick's Swans at LFGP, I was in Bittern hide with Richard and kept hearing a distant honk. After a while I said I am going to have to check it out and on arrival found 2 adults, then an assumed immature bird, as it had dusky feathers around the head and neck.

I've waited all my patching life for this species to occur when I was around, life list now 197 and year list 136......awesome!

Here are some shots

Friday, 26 December 2014

Busy times

So a belated Merry Christmas everyone,

I can't believe my last post was 3rd December, but I have had to move house and just haven't had time to post anything on the few very shorts visits I have made since It doesn't amount to much. After getting Woodcock 25th November @ 16:38 (5th ever Nov record) and again 5th Dec @ 16:44, I had 3-4 Woodcock attempts without success, my best total for Snipe was 44, but I know it went above 50 and was settled around 35-39'ish, but oddly there were none today at 10:15.

2 unsuccessful attempts for Bittern at WSL, 2+ Water Rail and 2-3 more at Sandford. The odd Kestrel, no winter finches.

Today I heard Nuthatch, the first report since 12th Oct, but I doubt they are always around the East end of Lavell's. About 80-90 Pochard in the area, 1-2 male Goldeneye.

46 Herring Gull on BSL today, one on the old tern island today showed a yellow darvic with ring number 2Z8B I hope Tim Ball will be able to share it's ringing history.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


The first Goosander since Dec 2013 graced us on Sandford today, found by Richard and I was lucky enough to grab a lift with Trevor, having just dropped my car off for an MOT.

A very nice male was happily drifting about near c80 Pochard in the Eastern corner. My good friend Richard took this nice picture.

I am now 2 past my 3rd highest year list total of 133, so 135 for the year, one more to equal my second highest total, perhaps a Jack Snipe, or Brambling might show up?