Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Otmoor Trip

Today's trip to Otmoor

First birds seen today were six Redwings flying over good to see they have arrived for the winter.

Moving out to the first hide we could see a large flock of small birds feeding along the path these turned out to be Linnets feeding on the food put out for them, also mixed in were Reed buntings and Goldfinch.

At the first screen we looked through the various ducks in various stages of moult, Several Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, and Gadwell were found which proved a real education for our guests.

A couple of Tufted duck came past along with a few Wigeon.

Moving further around a Great spotted woodpecker sat at the top of a dead tree which was then joined by a second bird.

Moving on to the next screen we saw 4 small birds feeding on the rose bay willow herb seeds which turned out to be Redpoll.

Several Red kite were seen over the Reedbed along with a couple of Kestrels hunting the marsh.

Some of our more interesting sightings turned up in the afternoon on our second trip around, which included  a fine Marsh Harrier which flew directly overhead along with a fly by Bittern again flying right over us.

A quick look at the second screen produced several Snipe that we looked at through the scope to obtain some wonderful views of their cryptic plumage.

Again a few butterflies were on the wing with both Red Admiral and Small copper.

Out in the fields both Roe and Fallow deer were seen.

Again another wonderful area for wildlife with some great close views obtained. DT.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pagham Trip

Today saw us at Pagham Harbour nature reserve in West Sussex.

A quick check on the ferry pool produced 1 Avocet,1 Snipe and a couple of Teal.

Moving on down towards the estuary we found a group of 6 Grey partridge tucked in at the edge of the field, 2 Kestrels were out hunting in the sunshine as we moved on.

Further down the track the landscape opens out to look across farmland and here we saw and heard Skylark and Meadow pipits giving fantastic views through the telescope, further on we found a couple of Goldcrsts and a Dartford warbler showed up in the Gorse, always nice to see these hear. 

A few Swallows and Martns were still on the move overhead.

We decided to stop for lunch at the hide watching the waders out on the mud, we could see Curlew,Turnstone and a small group of Dunlin along with five species of Gull (Black headed, Lesser black backed, Great black backed, Herring and some very smart looking Mediterranean Gulls). As we we're looking out the back of the hide towards the busy area we had a brief view of the Ring ouzel that had been around for a few days a nice surprise to see it.

After lunch we saw a couple of Sandwich tern fishing in the estuary.

A walk along the shingle beach produced a good range of Butterflies with Small copper, Speckled wood, Painted lady and around 25 Red admiral all enjoying the sunshine.

With time fast moving on we headed back to the car park finding a few more of the common birds species on the way, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbid all seen.

We then decided to try the North wall area which is about 15 mns drive around the bay, this turned out to be a good move as a lot of the birds were using this as their feeding area.We saw good numbers of Redshank, Black tailed Godwit with a couple of Bar tailed Godwit mixed in, also several smart Pintail along with a single male Eider.

 Further on a small group of Brent geese flew overhead as we watched a Greenshank feeding out on the mud with a group of Golden plover and some Grey plover also. 

Mixed in with the many gulls that were using the shingle bank as a roost point we found a single Spoonbill which seemed to be fast asleep in typical spoonbill pose, it did stick its head up once just so we could confirm its identity. 

Moving back we found a Kingfisher and a couple of vocal Cetti's Warblers in the bushes.

A very pleasant and relaxing day with a total of 50+ species of birds seen. DT.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Autumn/Winter walks around CWP

We have now started our Autumn/Winter walks program. These tours run on the first Saturday of the month from October through to March with the next walk taking place on Saturday 4th November meeting at Waterhay car park for a 09:00 start. Price £10 per person.

On our first outing we were greated with drizzle but the wildlife still put on a good display with several points of interest.

Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin, Bullfnch, Goldfinch, with both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers all seen within the first area we explored.

A great view of a Kestrel hovering over an area of rough ground as it searched for breakfast.

With the weather still very mild the number of ducks are still very low but we did find a few groups of Wigeon around along with several Tufted Duck and around 30 Great Crested Grebes fishing as a group. As winter moves on the number of Duck will increase to well over 4000.

There are some obvious signs that Otters have been using the lakes we found a couple of spraints (Otter Poo) left behind on some rocks on the waters edge.

A small group of six Snipe flew over along with six Curlew with plenty of Black headed Gulls around to.

Our two best sightings came a bit later with a juvenile female Marsh Harrier seen hunting over the edge of the reed bed and a close view of a juvenile Kingfisher that gave a good fly past as well.

There are still some butterflies around we saw Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Comma, and Small Copper,  also several hornets were observed from two nests along with a wasp nest that was also found.

All great stuff considering the weather conditions.

So dont forget to come along next time no need to book just turn up on the day who knows what you might see.DT/NA