Friday, 30 January 2015

Still quiet

The colder conditions might have brought some excitement today and I guess the c40 Golden Plover heading West, about 3 miles NE of the landfill, might be thought of as interesting, it wasn't really exciting. A group of around 200-300 Lapwing even further away didn't raise the blood pressure either.

At least 3 Sparrowhawk were up displaying and I saw a fourth at the layby, so they are around in force.

A few Herring Gull types on the shingle island kept me interested for a short while, but that didn't last long either.

Tonight undaunted, I went out to Bittern at 17:15 full of hope Woodcock and Barn Owl would show...but they didn't. Another day then!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

January so far

On Sunday I was on the monthly work party, I added one for the month when I heard a Meadow Pipit flying over the golf course, but later Marek sent a picture of a gull on LFGP, which was a first winter Yellow-legged Gull, the first since 12th August 2013. It was too brief to even get a stab at, so I can only hope another shows up during one of my brief visits.

As January's go, it isn't too bad, 84 so far, passing 2005, 2006 & 2013's total of 83, but we require 2 more to equal 2012 and take equal third highest January counts, 88 being the highest.

Peregrine is being seen regularly and is probably visiting more than once per day.

We can keep our fingers crossed to add more this month, all of the following seen in previous 6 years January's;

Shelduck, Pintail, Smew, Merlin, Curlew, Dunlin, Jack Snipe, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Blackcap, Brambling, Linnet, Siskin, & Lesser Redpoll.

I missed off Kittiwake, Common Sandpiper, Waxwing, Bearded Tit & Firecrest, as they are somewhat less likely than the others....but never say never!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Little Owl out of the hole

I did a very quick look and got House Sparrow at DP main centre, the one bird I saw then flew off to the very edge of the golf course opposite the houses along Davis Street.

The sun obviously tempted the Little Owl out of it's hole during an early lunchtime, not that my iphone shot shows it.

Tern scrape had over 20 Snipe hiding at the back, good number of Teal too, but the landfill was disrupted by some numpty in a high viz orange jacket bombing around the perimeter on a quad bike, probably something to do with the sheep farming?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Another one

A lunchtime at the bottom of the car park field was quiet, but saved by a Raven flying over Lodge Wood and away to the WNW. A Kestrel hunted the far landfill for the whole time I was there, so proving much easier than last year.

As I was about to get back in the car a small job flew over South and as I only got a very brief view, didn't quite clinch it, but it was probably a Meadow Pipit, though I don't feel I can add it.

Monday, 19 January 2015

No Jack

A brief pass to Bittern with my son, held up my belief that the claimed Jack Snipe, was not one, but I did get a Little Egret for the year. Popping back at dark Roger was still around and had the Bittern at WSL earlier, sadly no Woodcock, or Barn Owl appeared, the latter showing last night for Brian.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Car park field dusk visits

I have some catching up to do in posting terms, which isn't going to happen tonight, but keeping last years running total is proving interesting. As of today I am tracking exactly the same number and date, 74 on 17th, which doesn't impress me, but at least it means I have nothing to stress about.

The last 2 days dusk visits have been fascinating, so I look forward to posting on these tomorrow... I hope.

So, 16th I arrived around 15:45 with the West bound gulls heading to roost already, a Great Black-backed Gull was of note. I picked up a distant Green Sandpiper beyond LFGP, moving NE towards Twyford pits, a lone Snipe headed towards Lavell's. 2 then 2 more Ring-necked Parakeet headed West. Then a Kestrel hovered over West of Sandford Farm, then very distantly, to the point of questionable identification, 20+ Golden Plover were heading East into the dusk gloom around 16:15.

Last night an almost exact repeat, hearing Ring-necked Parakeet, a lone Snipe, but then a Peregrine shot East at 15:54, then back West 15:59, this was not the same pale bird of a few days back. Groups of Greylag Geese were heading towards DP, 8 landed at the far end of the landfill, then c40 came in and dropped on LFGP out of sight, then another c40 did the same, 20 of which peeled off back NW. A Kestrel did the same as yesterday too, so must do it's dusk rounds in the same places each night. Finally c20 Golden Plover again flew quickly East around 16:20.

Yesterday morning whilst Sandford Lane was blocked by the crashed pickup a pair of Nuthatch, called, sang and chased each other, around the newer house near to the Mill, before heading off to Sandford Copse. Geoff recently took a picture of an owl in the Barn Owl box, which appears to be a Tawny, meaning the park is on 82 for 2015.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Fun lunchtime

I agreed to meet Trev around 13:00 and was looking across the landfill at the Little Owl by then, he joined me and in under 10 mins it was out again, showing quite well.

Over the next hour 2 Mistle Thrush crossed the landfill West, then back East 10 mins later, the Lapwing flock rose and dropped nervously many times, but no obvious guilty raptors. Many Red Kite were up in the general area, despite the cold, blustery conditions.

A Sparrowhawk was up to the East, then a Kingfisher went by right to left, then a Kestrel off to the West, only my second this year.

An hour gone already it was time to head back, but in the car park I got onto a Green Sandpiper dropping towards Tern scrape, not that there would be anywhere to land. Then I could see the Lapwing flock looked a bit more frantic, much bunching and splitting of the flock and then I got onto a more compact raptor, it was a very pale Peregrine circling around 300+ feet, about 3/4 of the way towards LFGP, then it turned and went into a super fast dive coming towards us, it came over the central compound and past us just to our East, barely 80 feet away.... we think it covered 1/2 a kilometer in about 4 seconds.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Slow progress

I can't remember if I even got out Friday, but Saturday was fairly non eventful in the morning, 6 Goldeneye (5m) on BSL, c100 Pochard there too, 95+ Teal on Lavell's. Out again near dusk and I picked up Kestrel to the West of Sandford Farm, presumably the same bird flew over Lavell's when I joined Marek in the hide after. Marek had Bittern at WSL arounf 16:00, so perhaps the Lavell's bird has gone there.

Sunday, I got out late for the bird walk,  before I arrived Richard texted to say Peregrine on the landfill, but it flew off before I could get to a viewing position. Treecreeper was seen all over the place, good views of Goldcrest were nice too.

The next year tick came opposite the green bridge in the form of Coal Tit calling in the large Christmas tree, but only briefly. Later Marek had 2 Raven, 80th species for park this year, then he had Peregrine, plus a few he was missing and I am on 72, 4 behind him!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Lucky Green Sandpiper

Arriving at 13:09, I went straight down to the bottom of the car park field to scan and heard Green Sandpiper, picking it up heading ESE, perhaps towards the flooded fields East of the park?

I scanned and scanned for Golden Plover, but did pick up Mistle Thrush NNW of LFGP and then heard Pied Wagtail.

I haven't deleted my old year list so far, I may create a new box and keep it as a comparison, as last year as soon as I deleted 2013, I wanted to compare but couldn't. Currently I'm tracking at 70 out of 75.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Big Sparrowhawk

Mid am and a quick walk up to WSL, via Sandford and round past Sandford Copse, maybe heard Kingfisher, definite Chiffchaff at Heron's Water, Loddon side. Then a Sparrowhawk went over and landed Middle Marsh side, as it flew over I thought it was a big female at first, but on scoping found it to be about the biggest male I have ever seen.

Later on I arrived at Bittern Hide around 16:30, 4 others already there and no sign of a Bittern, we waited until we couldn't see thru scopes anymore, then headed out to wait for Barn Owl.

Even felt too late for one, but 16:55 a Woodcock shot thru and away left of the big Oak to the left of the Barn Owk box. Only 2, maybe 3 of us saw anything. I quit then as did all but 2, the Barn Owl never showed.

Hits and misses

Today was pretty tied up until late afternoon, I did the bottom of the car park field and got Greylag, a lone Great Black-backed Gull over, I re-found the Ruff from there, but didn't see the Little Owl even though it was sunny. Brian told me he saw it in the morning and that Rik Addison had 4 Goosander on BSL, but they'd gone by the time he looked. He got multiple House Sparrows at the main centre cafe garden.

I helped a couple see 2 of up to 4 Water Rail in the scrape, 10+ Snipe kept low, then I scanned the reeds one more time and found a Bittern, my first for 363 days!

I left and 25 minutes later Brian and Mary saw a Barn Owl hunting in the meadow briefly, making the park on 65, me on 61.

I expect someone has seen some of these but so far I have no reports of : Little Grebe, Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Little Egret, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Kingfisher, Pied Wagtail, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Tawny Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, or Linnet.

Now for my latest photos. the 4 Great Black-backed Gulls

My only shot of the Ruff that resembles one

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Day

Wasn't out early, but it was very grey and overcast, so it felt earlier. First was Blackbird as I passed the Mill.

I headed straight for the car park field, 5 Snipe over the landfill was it, then the golf course where I found a lone Fieldfare. Round to Bittern and nothing happening, back to the car park field again, hearing Ring-necked Parakeet and seeing 1 Great Black-backed Gull, head South, on to LFGP and 4 more GBB's on the deck.

Plenty of Lapwing and amongst them rather nice surprise in the form of a Ruff, very pale around the sides of the neck and base of the bill. Awesome picture to follow taken at 300 metres.

Last stop Sandford, Goldeneye, Shoveler and Cetti's brought my day total to 59. I added nothing later when I met Marek at dusk, but a distant flock of somethings could have been Golden Plover.

Last day of 2014

I went out one more time in the late afternoon, headed off down the car park field and scanned about, little happening but corvids, but then a flock of about 30 finches headed towards me from some way across the landfill. They went over Lea Farm buildings and I am sure they were Linnet, adding one more to December's total, now 81 = 4th with 2006 & 2007.