Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ivinghoe Beacon

A brief visit in very windy conditions in search of the reported Ring Ouzel produced the following species of note,
Ring Ouzel (male), Wheatear (1), Meadow Pipit, Bullfinch, Linnet (3).
Below are a couple of record shots of the Ring Ouzel.

Wilstone Reservoir, Tring

A late morning visit with Steve Carter produced the following species;
Little Grebe (pair), Great-crested Grebe (at least 2 pairs), Cormorant (c15 nesting pairs), Grey Heron (c7 nesting pairs), Mute Swan (pair), Greylag Goose (44), Canada Goose (3 pairs), Gadwall (pair), Mallard (several pairs), Shoveler Duck, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye (female), Red Kite (3), Common Buzzard (1), Pheasant (displaying cock), Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing (1), Black-headed Gull (2), Lesser Black-backed Gull (3), Woodpigeon (6), Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin (c80), Swallow (1),
Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing (c20 over), Blackcap (singing male), Chiffchaff (singing male), Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow (pair building nest), Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch (pair).

                                          Great-crested Grebe.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit to Maple Lodge produced an adult Little Gull in flight above the paddock briefly heading towards the sewage works. I then visited Woodoaks Farm with Chris Sharp where 2 Common Buzzard, 4 Golden Plover and 6 Yellowhammer were observed. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Maple Lodge Close

A couple of hours birding from my garden produced the following raptors overhead;
Common Buzzard (2), Red Kite (1), Kestrel (1), Hobby (1).

Friday, 25 March 2011

Croxley Common Moor

I briefly visited Croxley Common Moor with Steve Carter where 3 male Wheatear showed very well as they fed among the ant hills.

                                          Male Wheatear   at Croxley Common Moor.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit to Woodoaks Farm in glorious sunshine produced the following bird species;
Sparrowhawk (1), Common Buzzard (1), Common Kestrel (1), Pheasant (displaying cock at old orchard), Stock Dove (2 on ploughed field with Woodpigeon), Skylark (2 displaying male), Chiffchaff (1 singing male), Greenfinch (2 displaying male), Yellowhammer (4). 
Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock.

                                           Comma Polygonia c-album
                                                    Under wing shot showing "comma" mark.

                  I photographed several species of flower that were out in bloom and looking lovely in the sunlight.

                                          Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria

                                          Sweet Violet Viola adorata
                                                   Sweet Violet Viola adorata (white variant)
Both variants were showing well in Ladywalk Wood among the Lesser Celandine.

                                         Common Chickweed Stellaria media

                                                      Common Daisy Bellis perennis

Yesterday at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

A morning visit to Maple Lodge produced this lovely female Green Woodpecker from Rotunda Hide.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

A morning spent at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm with Steve Carter produced the following species;
Little Grebe (8 inc 2 pairs), Cormornat (3), Mute Swan (pair), Greylag Goose (pair at Lynsters Farm), Canada Goose (17 on reserve plus 57 at Lynsters Farm), Egyptian Goose (pair Lynsters Farm), Wigeon (6 Lynsters Farm), Gadwall (2 pairs at Lynsters Farm), Teal (16 inc 3 pairs), Mallard (10 inc pair), Pochard (2 pairs), Tufted Duck (14 inc 3 pairs), Kestrel (pair at owl nest box), Sparrowhawk (female), Pheasant (displaying cock), Water Rail (1 calling from Rotunda Hide), Moorhen (20), Coot (39), Common Snipe (4 from Rotunda Hide), Black-headed Gull (14 over), Common Gull (1 Lynsters Farm), Stock Dove (pair), Woodpigeon (15), Collared Dove (pair at Maple Lodge Close), Kingfisher (1), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (pair), Pied Wagtail (1 yarrellii & 5 alba Lynsters Farm), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing (2), Song Thrush (3 singing males), Chiffchaff (4 singing males from Long Hedge), Goldcrest (displaying pair at Long Hedge), Long-tailed Tit (4 nesting pairs), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay (3), Magpie, Jackdaw (2), Carrion Crow (14 inc nesting pair), House Sparrow (c6 pairs at Maple Lodge Close), Chaffinch, Goldfinch (pair), Siskin (c30), Reed Bunting (1 singing male).

                                                         Common Snipe from Rotunda Hide.

                                          Female Kestrel at owl nest box

                                          Mute Swan from Teal Hide

                                          Canada Goose flushed by Mute Swan.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Out and about with Steve Carter

Our first destination was Staines Reservoir, Surrey in search of the Great Northern Divers I had previously observed on Saturday. Weather conditions weren't good with a stiff cold breeze and a persistent mist lingering throughout the morning. We noted c16 Goldeneye including several displaying birds and a pair of Great-crested Grebe began the weed dance for us. Still no sign of the divers though so we began a long walk along the causeway to the other end. It was here that Steve finally discovered 2 sub-adult Great Northern Diver through the gloom. Very distant and no real chance of taking any photo's but we had at least viewed them.
We then retired to the warmth of the car and headed off to Stockers Farm, Stockers Lake & Bury Lake.
On the flooded field at Stockers Farm 45 Wigeon, a pair of Teal and a displaying pair of Lapwing were noted.
At Bury Lake a very approachable pair of Red-crested Pochard gave good views with Steve and I managing to take some reasonable shots of them. Then on to Stockers Lake where a single male Goosander showed from the causeway with 2 sculking pairs of Teal also observed. At the Colne side of the lake a single Chiffchaff sang out, our only summer migrant of the day. From the Kingfisher hide we noted many common species including a pair of Nuthatch.
Fox (1 present form the marsh hide briefly), Brown Rat (2 noted from the Kingfisher Hide).

                                      Pair of Great-crested Grebe at Staines Res.
                          (Photo taken by Steve Carter and his 400mm lens)    

                                          Red-crested Pochard at Bury Lake

                                           Red Fox at Stockers Lake

                                           Nuthatch at Stockers Lake

                                          Chaffinch at Stockers Lake

                                          Brown Rat at Stockers Lake

                                           Blue Tit at Stockers Lake
                                          Robin at Stockers Lake

                                          Dunnock at Stockers Lake

                                                    Colt's-foot at Stockers Lake

Early morning at Maple Cross

On the playing field located behind Denham Way and Maple Lodge Close a pair of Egyptian Geese were observed busily grazing before being flushed by dog walkers.
Later at Maple Lodge Close 4 Waxwing were noted on a Silver Birch located at the junction with Denham Way.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Great Northern Divers at Staines Reservoir, Surrey

After a long night-shift I headed off to Staines Res where on the south basin I discovered 3 wonderful Great Northern Divers. The birds came in very close to the causeway and were heard calling on several occasions.
On the north basin a single Redshank and drake Shelduck were noted.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Broadwater Gravel Pit, Harefield

A late afternoon visit in mild conditions produced the following species;
Great-crested Grebe, Cormorant (28 nesting pairs), Grey Heron, Little Egret (2), Mute Swan (pair), Greylag Goose (pair), Canada Goose (pair), Egyptian Goose (pair), Gadwall (3 pairs), Teal (pair), Mallard, Shoveler Duck (1), Pochard (pair), Tufted Duck (several pairs), Goldeneye (11 female, 5 male), Goosander (5 female, 3 male on river), Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing (7), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon (1), Stock Dove (1), Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl (calling male), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (2 male), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare (5), Redwing (11), Song Thrush (1), Chiffchaff (3), Goldcrest (2 displaying pairs), Long-tailed Tit (pair nest building), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Treecreeper (pair), Jay (1), Magpie, Jackdaw (9), Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch (2 pairs), Reed Bunting (2 male).

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Woodoaks Farm & Bottom Wood

Woodoaks Farm
An early afternoon visit in sunny conditions produced the following species;
Common Buzzard (1), Kestrel (female), Black-headed Gull (3), Stock Dove (14 feeding on ploughed field), Woodpigeon (17), Collared Dove (pair), Skylark (9), Meadow Pipit (1), Pied Wagtail (4), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird (8), Redwing (4), Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie (pair), Jackdaw (5), Carrion Crow (7), Starling (singing male), House Sparrow (singing male), Chaffinch (5), Greenfinch (2 singing male), Yellowhammer (10).
Bottom Wood
Red Kite (2), Common Buzzard (1), Kestrel (displaying male), Pheasant (cock), Black-headed Gull (c50 over), Woodpigeon (12), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (1), Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush (pair), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch (pair), Treecreeper (singing male), Magpie (2), Jackdaw (c100), Rook (1), Carrion Crow (c150), Goldfinch (1).
Roe Deer (2 hind), Grey Squirrel (1). 
                                          Red Kite at Bottom Wood

                                                        Dog's Mercury at Bottom Wood

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Out and about the local patch

Chalfont Road, Maple Cross.
A morning bike ride along Chalfont Road produced a pair of Mistle Thrush on stubble field.
Troy Mill G.P
At the troy cutting a pair of Aylesbury Duck were observed feeding among the reeds.  
Woodoaks Farm
An afternoon visit in cold conditions produced the following species of interest;
Pheasant (pair in old orchard), Green Woodpecker (1), Meadow Pipit (2), Fieldfare (c100 in old orchard), Redwing (c50 in old orchard), Starling (c100 in old orchard including a semi albino bird, all white body with normal colour to head and wings).
Bottom Wood
A pair of Common Buzzard were observed displaying above the canopy.