Thursday, 19 July 2012

Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit to the farm provided the following species:-
Red Kite (2), Red-legged Partridge (1 feeding at the old orchard), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 over), Feral Rock Dove, Stock Dove (2), Woodpigeon, Collared Dove (2), Little Owl (1 at old orchard), Common Swift (c100), Green Woodpecker (1), Pied Wagtail (adult and juv), Wren, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Chiffchaff (1), Great Tit, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Starling (2), House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch (2), European Goldfinch (2), Yellowhammer (2).
Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Marbled White (2), Large Skipper.
Dragonflies and Damselflies:-
Emperor Dragonfly, Common Blue Damselfly.
Red Fox (dog) found dead in meadow below Ladywalk Wood. 

                                          Red Fox (dead).

                                                          Large Skipper.


                                          Common Blue Damselfly.

In the last photo if you look carefully you can see a spider hiding behind the dead grass stem that the damselfly is standing on. I didn't see this while taking the photo but am now wondering if the spider was ready to grab an easy meal.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Red-backed Shrike at Lake Farm Country Park, Hayes

Steve Carter and I made a late morning visit to Lake Farm C.P, Hayes in search of the reported Red-backed Shrike. The bird had been present here since the 11th July and was discovered by local birder Peter Naylor, but this was our first chance to catch up with it. On arrival we immediately noted several birders huddled together near an area of Hawthorn so headed in that direction. Once there we were kindly pointed to the birds location and soon gained our first views of a glorious adult male in perfect plumage. Although some distance away the bird performed well as it fed on insects from the cover of Hawthorn. Periodically it would dive into the long grass before reappearing almost immediately back to its original position. This was my first visit to this site although embarrassingly I pass by every day on my way to work at Heathrow Airport. Other species of note included a displaying pair of Common Kestrel, several Common Linnet, 2 singing male Reed Bunting and at least 2 Common Whitethroat.
Below are a couple of very poor record shots that I took of the bird.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sabine's Gull at Startops End Reservoir Tring

Steve Carter and I made a flying visit to Startops End Reservoir to catch up with the Sabine's Gull that had been present now for the last 5 days. We arrived at around 15:00 and were rewarded with very close views as the bird flew close to the reservoir wall before taking food from the water surface. Although light conditions were not ideal for photography I did manage to take a few half decent record shots of the bird in flight.


Sunday, 1 July 2012

30-06-12 Broadwater Gravel Pit

An afternoon visit in mild but blustery conditions provided the following species:-
Great-crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret (1), Mute Swan, Greylag Goose (17), Canada Goose (15), Egyptian Goose (1), Gadwall, Mallard (duck with new brood), Common Pochard, Tufted Duck (2 duck with new broods), Red Kite (1), Eurasian Hobby (1 hunting Swift successfully), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing (16), Black-headed Gull (many fledged young), Lesser Black-backed Gull (8), Herring Gull (2), Common Tern (present with young), Sandwich Tern (1 observed calling in flight), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (1), Common Swift (c100 feeding above lake), Common Kingfisher (1), Sand Martin, House Martin, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Sedge Warbler (2), European Reed Warbler (2), Garden Warbler (2), Blackcap (8), Chiffchaff (4), Long-tailed Tit (adults with young), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Jay (2), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch.
Red Admiral, Comma, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown.
Dragonflies & Damselflies:-
Emperor Dragonfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle.

                                                Emperor Dragonfly (immature).

                                                                    Large Skipper.

                                                                    Red Admiral.