Sunday 23 October 2016

A day at Pagham Harbour

Today we were meet with lovely sunshine but a stiff easterly wind for our tour.

First stop the ferry pool several small groups of Lapwing along with a few Teal and about twenty Wigeon, a single Green Sandpiper also found on the muddy edge.

A Cetti's Warbler blasted out its call giving a very brief view as it dropped down into a thick bush.

Just as we were about to move off a large bird of prey shot over the top of the pool putting up some of the Lapwing this turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon looking for breakfast. We watched it for a few minutes as it dived at something out in the field but did not see if it had caught anything.

Moving down the footpath towards the estuary we encountered several different birds with Little Grebe calling on the small pool along with Tufted Duck, Coot and Moorhen, also several vocal Curlews rose up out off the marsh along with a few Redshank. A Water Rail called from within the reed bed but we could not locate it so moved on.

Moving a little further down we watched a Sparrowhawk fly out over the marsh but it did not seem to be hunting on this occasion. Checking the fields we found around 30 Skylark feeding along with Meadow Pipits, Pheasant and Red Legged Partridge also a group of a dozen Swallows flew past us on their way back south.

Heading towards the hide we could see several groups of waders out on the mud flats so decided to head into the hide to get a little shelter from the wind and check out the groups.

Scanning through them we found Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover, Black tailed Godwit, Turnstone and several Little Egrets. We also found the Peregrines again sat out on one of the islands giving some great views through the telescope really showing the size difference between the larger female and the very much smaller male.

Taking lunch in the hide we had a brief view of a Kingfisher as it shot past also a late Red Admiral Butterfly flew by.

After lunch we heading back checking the more tree lined areas and found Great spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Jay, and a very close view of a male Kestrel sat in the tree tops. Smaller birds were harder to find today maybe they were hiding out of the strong wind.

Checking one of the small channels on the way back we found a single Greenshank giving a nice close up view and a single Reed Bunting dropped into the reed bed also a couple of Snipe were seen flying over.

Other birds seen included Pintail, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Goldfinch and Greenfinch in total a list of 62 birds seen or heard on the day.

Again we struck lucky with the weather no rain but a little windy but still a very enjoyable day at this fantastic bird reserve on the coast. DT.

Sunday 9 October 2016

Half day at The Cotswold Water Park

Today we were greeted with lovely sunshine for our tour around Cleeveland Lakes.

From the car park we could still hear Chiffchaff calling and overhead four Skylarks flew by along with a couple of Meadow Pipits.

Scanning the lakes we found around 50 Cormorants along with over 30 Little Egrets and a good number of Great Crested Grebes.

Numbers of Wigeon are starting to rise now as the winter is on the way also a few more Shoveller are around.

Looking out from the hide we had very good views of both Goldeneye and Black Necked Grebe also a few little grebes.

Moving on to the other hide a good selection of duck could be seen which included the following,
Teal, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon and best of all two juvenile Pintail.

A couple of Grey Wagtail feed along the muddy edge along with a single Snipe. We heard a Water Rail call but it did not come out from its hiding place, also hearing Cetti's Warbler here too.

Moving on back around the lake we saw both Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher and two tiny Goldcrest were found in the thick hedgerow.

A quick look from the new footpath around lake 83 produced two Stonechat and a couple more Meadow Pipits.

With the warm weather still around we counted four Red Admiral butterflies all around the Ivy bushes along with a few larger Dragonflies.

All in all a very enjoyable walk in the Autumn sunshine.DT

Sunday 2 October 2016

A day at Farmoor Reservoir Oxford

Today we visited Farmoor Reservoir.

A bright sunny morning greated us at this large body of inland water.

First birds seen flying over were a small group of House Martins making their long journey back to Africa.

Scanning the water several groups of Cormorant, Great crested Grebes and Little grebes were found all diving and fishing in the sunshine.

Walking along the middle of the two basins several Pied wagtails were found along with a couple of Grey Wagtails and a single Yellow Wagtail great to see three different types all close together showing their different plumages.

A little further on two Meadow Pipits were found along with two Wheatears.

Around the small nature reserve at the end of the reservoir several Long tailed Tits were calling along with both Blue and Great Tits. Also seen or heard here were Goldcrest, Green Woodpecker, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Bunting, Wren, Robin along with Grey Heron,Moorhen and Coot.

Moving onto another hide we had a very brief view of a Kingfisher diving into the water and a fly past Kestrel also a couple of Chiffchaffs were heard.

After taking lunch in the hide we headed back along the middle of the reservoir picking up several Buzzards riding the thermals along with two Red Kites, out on the water were several groups of Tufted duck and Mallard a few Greylag Geese and a single male Pochard.

Scanning the gull flock we found Black headed, Herring, Lesser Black Backed and a single Great Black Backed gull.

Surprising for this time of year no waders were seen but still a very enjoyable day in the warm sunshine. DT.