Wednesday, 27 August 2014

West Hyde

A late morning visit in mild conditions provided the following species:-
Red Kite (9), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1), Common Buzzard (3), Common Kestrel (1), Black-headed Gull (35), Herring Gull (2), Feral Rock Dove (1), Woodpigeon, Barn Swallow (2), Whinchat (1), Northern Wheatear (3), Common Whitethroat (2), Western Jackdaw (c100), Rook (c60), Carrion Crow, Common Starling (10), European Goldfinch (c30).

                                                               Northern Wheatear


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Common Redstart at Woodoaks Farm

After returning from a brief visit to the farm I received a call from Geoff Lapworth notifying me that a Common Redstart was now showing well there. I returned and had fantastic views as the bird fed on the far side of the paddock below the old orchard opposite the cottages. Later I discovered a single Common Whitethroat accompanying the Redstart.


West Hyde

An afternoon visit during a break in the wet weather provided the following species of note:-
Canada Goose (25), Greylag Goose (9), Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Northern Wheatear (1), Whinchat (3).

                                      Two of the three Whinchat along side the quarry road.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

West Hyde

Walking the footpath that leads to the south bucks way and is along side the new quarry road the following species of note were observed :-
Red Kite (3), Common Buzzard (1), Common Kestrel (1), Whinchat (1), European Goldfinch (27 feeding on thistle heads).


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Woodoaks Farm

An early evening visit produced the following species of note:-
Little Owl (2), Green Woodpecker (1), Barn Swallow (4), Northern Wheatear (1), Common Linnet (8).
At the Heronsgate side of the farm a bird that I first thought was a distant Whinchat turned out to be in fact an immature Northern Wheatear.

                                                A record shot of the Northern Wheatear.

I then drove to the Maple Cross end of the farm where I had fantastic views of two Little Owl that were present near the horse paddock below the old orchard.

22-08-14 Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit provided the following species:-
Red Kite (4), Common Buzzard (1), Black-headed Gull (3 over), Feral Rock Dove (4), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (1), Little Owl (2), Green Woodpecker (1), House Martin (1), Barn Swallow (8), Pied Wagtail (1), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Whinchat (1), Common Chiffchaff (3), Long-tailed Tit, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow (10), Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch (2), Common Linnet (4), Yellowhammer (2).

                                                     Little Owl below the old orchard.

                             A distant Whinchat at the Heronsgate side of Woodoaks Farm.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Stockers Lake & Bury Lake

A late morning visit to conduct belated wetland bird survey counts provided the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe (5), Great Cormorant (2), Grey Heron (2), Little Egret (3), Mute Swan (46), Greylag Goose (1), Domestic Greylag Goose (1), Canada Goose (107), Egyptian Goose (5), Gadwall (43), Mallard (39), Northern Shoveler (1), Common Pochard (15), Tufted Duck (48), Common Buzzard (1), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1), Common Moorhen (2), Eurasian Coot (266), Black-headed Gull (13), Lesser Black-backed Gull (4), Common Tern (1), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (1), Common Swift (1), Common Kingfisher (1), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (1), Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, European Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper (1), Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch (5).

At the phragmites reed bed along the River Colne side of Stockers Lake I noticed a juvenile European Reed Warbler gingerly moving through the reeds. 

While walking back along the far end of the causeway nearing Stockers House I briefly noted a Stoat as it crossed the path and disappeared into vegetation.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A day to remember at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

From Rotunda Hide I noted two immature Water Rail present in a small area of flag Iris recently opened up by the dedicated work party crew. It's nice to know that at least two of this years young have fledged successfully.

I then continued around the reserve passing the "everglades" where I spotted three immature Eurasian Sparrowhawk flying around the Alders while calling out very loudly. Another successful breeding record. If you didn't already know this is probably the first confirmed breeding record for the reserve.
Approaching the pudding stone I spotted a small red dragonfly and was pleased to find that it was in fact a male Ruddy Darter.

On reaching Long Hedge Hide I decided to sit for a while and watch the ongoing activities of the resident birds. The pair of Great Crested Grebe were noted with their latest addition which was well fed by the attentive male. A female Tufted Duck cruised by with a brood of ducklings while across the water a lone Kingfisher put in a brief appearance. Then I noticed a large Lesser Black-backed Gull present on the now abandoned tern raft acting peculiarly. It kept tapping the perspex sides of the raft before getting agitated and moving further along the raft. I soon realised that the bird could see its reflection in the perspex and watched for a whole hour as this odd but rather comical behaviour continued.

 I then decided to head off back home and on reaching a patch of Buddleia near the pond I noticed a  wonderful Hummingbird Hawk-moth. This was my first at the reserve for quite a few years and a welcome finale to my day.




Tuesday, 5 August 2014

31-07-14 Durlston Country Park, Dorset

A brief late morning visit in sunny, hot conditions provided me with an opportunity to photograph butterflies.
While walking on the downs above Anvil Point lighthouse I happened across two Clouded Yellow including one individual feeding on Fleabane.

30-07-14 Durlston Country Park, Dorset

An early morning walk at one of my favourite places in the world provided a comprehensive list of bird species including Gannet, Peregrine and Kittiwake all new additions to my year list. The Peregrine, a juvenile, was present on the cliffs below Durlston Castle and was heard calling for several minutes before moving off.