egret

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Broadwater Gravel Pit

A morning visit in dull but very mild conditions produced the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret (2), Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose (2), Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal (25), Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye (7), Goosander (5), Red Kite (1), Common Buzzard (2), Water Rail (7), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing (34), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Ring-necked Parakeet (5), Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2),  Grey Wagtail (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Fieldfare (9), Song Thrush, Redwing (15), Cetti’s Warbler (6), Common Chiffchaff (3), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper (2), Eurasian Jay (2), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin (c60), Common Bullfinch (4).
Along the Broadwater stretch of the River Colne a total of seven Water Rail responded to call recordings.
At the north end five Goosander including four male were present on the Colne behind Blackjacks Lock and adjacent the causeway that seperates Broadwater and Troy Mill Gravel Pit.
  

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

North Norfolk birding

08-12-15
A planned trip to north Norfolk with birding pal Steve Carter began at Kings Lynn where an immature Iceland Gull had been present at Fisher Fleet near Cross Bank Road since 1st Dec. After arriving early morning in a nearby turnip field courtesy of my sat-nav a very friendly farmer pointed us in the right direction. Several minutes later we arrived at Fisher Fleet and the rather smelly, fish processing plant. A large gathering of mostly Herring Gull was present near the outflow below the plant eagerly awaiting any fish scraps that may be thrown away. We eventually discovered the Iceland Gull on a muddy bank keeping away from the main gathering of gulls.






                                                         Iceland Gull (juvenile).






We then headed off to Snetisham RSPB reserve where a magnificent immature Pallid Harrier had been present since the 17th Nov. We arrived at 10:20 and made our way to the salt marsh at the far south end of the reserve. On route a day hunting Barn Owl and a single European Spoonbill gave brief views. We met a few people heading in the opposite direction who gave us some good news, the bird had been showing well about half an hour earlier. We scanned the salt marsh and surrounding area for an hour or so picking out a few Western Marsh Harrier and a single Common Buzzard. Just as we were beginning to think the bird would not show suddenly and seemingly from nowhere the Pallid Harrier appeared low over the marsh at close quarters giving fantastic views. I even managed to take a few record shots before the bird disappeared from view as quickly as it had arrived.

                                                             Pallid Harrier (immature).

                                                               Barn Owl.



                                                               Eurasian Curlew.

                                                                Grey Partridge.

A full list of species observed at the reserve as follows:-





Little Grebe (3), Little Egret, European Spoonbill (1), Pink-footed Goose (1), Greylag Goose (c500), Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose (2), Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Western Marsh Harrier (2), Pallid Harrier, Common Buzzard (1), Common Kestrel, Grey Partridge (4), Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Golden Plover (c5000), Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Barn Owl (2), Common Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Common Reed Bunting.

Our next destination was Titchwell RSPB Reserve where a mid-afternoon visit provided the following species:-
Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose (c300 dark-bellied), Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Goosander (female), Western Marsh Harrier (4), Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet (1), Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Knot (1), Dunlin, Common Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Curlew, Common Redshank, Ruddy Turnstone (1), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake (2), Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Barn Owl (2), Common Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit (1), Pied Wagtail, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler (1), Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Jay, Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Reed Bunting.

                                                The rather impressive Parrinder Hide.

                                                            Bar-tailed Godwit.

                                                            Red Knot.

                                                            Northern Shoveler (female).

We then made our way towards our lodgings for the night, The George Hotel at Cley Next The Sea noting a single Barn Owl at Burnham Overy. At Holkham we stopped briefly to view a small gathering of Pink-footed Goose grazing on a meadow and amongst them was a single White-fronted Goose. Also present was fourteen Red-legged Partridge and another Barn Owl, the latter our sixth bird of the day.      

09-12-15
A glorious sunny but cooler morning began with a pre-breakfast visit to salt house and shoreline at Cley Next The Sea. Just the usual suspects observed although a lovely Red-throated Diver was noted fishing close to the beach. Due to the accelerator pedal breaking on my car we decided to head off home after breakfast. As we were passing Lynford Arboretum near Mundford we decided to stop off for a brief visit. On the feeders the commoner species of tit were observed plus several Marsh Tit. A pair of Brambling put in a very brief appearance below the feeders while on the pond a Little Grebe fished.



                                                                     Blue Tit.



                                                                      Coal Tit.



                                                                 Long-tailed Tit.



                                                                       Marsh Tit.



Sunday, 15 November 2015

Stockers Lake & Bury Lake

An early morning visit to conduct a wetland bird survey count in mild but windy conditions produced the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe (13), Great Cormorant (18), Grey Heron (6), Mute Swan (37), Canada Goose (66), Domestic Greylag Goose (1), Gadwall (17), Mallard (45), Hybrid Duck (2), Northern Shoveler (13), Common Pochard (37), Tufted Duck (161), Red-crested Pochard (15), Red Kite (1), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1), Common Moorhen (13), Eurasian Coot (544), Northern Lapwing (1), Black-headed Gull (263), Common Gull (6), Lesser Black-backed Gull (6), Herring Gull (8), Feral Rock Dove (3), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (3), Common Kingfisher (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Cetti's Warbler (singing male), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Jay (1), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch (2), Eurasian Siskin (10).



                                                Red-crested Pochard at Stockers Lake.





                                                           Grey Heron at Bury Lake.




Friday, 13 November 2015

Black Park Country Park

An afternoon visit in unsettled conditions provided the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe (1), Mute Swan (2), Greylag Goose (1), Canada Goose (13), Mandarin Duck (19), Mallard (28), Common Pochard (4), Tufted Duck (3), Red Kite (1), Common Kestrel (1), Common Moorhen (5), Eurasian Coot (13), Black-headed Gull (15), Herring Gull (1), Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Grey Wagtail (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Redwing, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit (c20), Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay (2), Common Magpie, Carrion Crow.

                                          Eurasian Jay collecting Acorns at Black Park.

                                                           Autumn at Black Park.


Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

An early morning visit in mild, sunny conditions produced the following species:-
Little Grebe (2), Great Crested Grebe (2), Great Cormorant (1), Grey Heron (1), Little Egret (2), Greylag Goose (90 Lynsters Farm), Common Teal (20), Mallard (20), Northern Shoveler (2), Common Pochard (1), Tufted Duck (4), Red Kite (1), Common Buzzard (1 Lynsters Farm), Common Moorhen (22), Eurasian Coot (4), Black-headed Gull (62), Feral Rock Dove (c40 Lynsters Farm), Stock Dove (3 Lynsters Farm), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (3), Common Kingfisher (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit (1), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Jay (1), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin (6).













                                        Little Egret fishing in front of Long Hedge Hide.


 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Broadwater Gravel Pit

A late morning visit in dull, mild conditions provided the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose (c45), Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose (22), Eurasian Wigeon (c50), Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye (2), Red Kite (1), Common Buzzard (1), Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing (30), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull (5), Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull (4), Woodpigeon, Common Kingfisher (1), Green Woodpecker (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Grey Wagtail (2), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Redwing (3), Goldcrest (9), Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch (1), Eurasian Jay (2), Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin (c20), Common Bullfinch (3).

    The River Colne at Broadwater Lake choked in places by invasive water weed.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Hangar birds

While at work this evening I discovered a singing male European Robin singing it's winter song and calling too while inside our warm hangar. I decided to conduct an experiment and played back a recording of a male singing its summer call. After a minute or two the bird in our hangar began to respond with a summer song of its own. Also a dead male Goldcrest was discovered in the hangar and I suspect an unfortunate recent arrival.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

07-11-15 Maple Lodge Nature Reserve in the rain.

A very wet morning at the reserve wasn't totally unproductive as these photos by Tony Hulls prove. Prior to my visit Tony had viewed a wonderful pair of Mandarin Duck from the Teal Hide. From the Long Hedge Hide I discovered a female Northern Pintail that was busily feeding among a small group of Mallard.  

Photos courtesy of Tony Hulls.
                                          Pair of Mandarin Duck viewd from Teal Hide. 
                                         Northern Pintail viewed from Long Hedge Hide.


Sunday, 1 November 2015

31-10-15 Chalfont Park, Buckinghamshire

A morning visit along the River Misbourne provided the following species:-
Little Grebe (3), Grey Heron (1), Gadwall (13), Mallard (9), Tufted Duck (8), Red Kite (1), Common Kestrel (1), Common Pheasant (5), Common Moorhen (8), Eurasian Coot (8), Black-headed Gull (29), Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Common Kingfisher (1), Pied Wagtail (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Fieldfare (4), Redwing (25), Mistle Thrush (1), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Jay (2), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch (1), Eurasian Siskin (1).

                                                Gadwall on the River Misbourne

Friday, 30 October 2015

Black Park Country Park, Buckinghamshire

I arrived at the park mid-afternoon in mild but rather dull conditions with many of the footpaths covered in soaked leaf litter. Reaching the area of heathland I noted a feeding party of Jay busily collecting and storing nuts in readiness of harder times ahead. A very mobile flock of Siskin was briefly observed before being flushed by a hunting Common Kestrel.
A full list of species observed as follows:-       
Great Crested Grebe (3), Great Cormorant (1), Grey Heron (1), Mute Swan (2), Greylag Goose (1), Canada Goose (2), Egyptian Goose (5), Mallard (18), Domestic Duck (9), Common Pochard (2), Common Moorhen (7), Eurasian Coot (19), Red Kite (1), Common Kestrel (1), Common Pheasant (1), Black-headed Gull (43), Herring Gull (1), Stock Dove (1), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (4), Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Grey Wagtail (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Mistle Thrush (1), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Jay (5), Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Siskin (15).

29-10-15 Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

A late morning visit provided the following species of note:-
Mute Swan (1 immature) Little Egret (4), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1), Black-headed Gull (c600), Common Gull (2), Herring Gull (5), Cetti's Warbler (heard only).
An incredible number of gull were present on the water in front of Long Hedge and Shell Hides and were actively catching small fry disturbed by hunting egrets and grebes. A male Sparrowhawk flashed overhead flushing the gulls and waterfowl.

29-10-15 Stockers lake

A mild but dull and wet afternoon visit produced a fantastic eleven Red-crested Pochard present at the River Colne side of the lake near the tern raft. The birds were busily diving for food, bringing weed to the water surface before devouring it. Two Common Kingfishers flashed past on a couple of occasions calling as they went. A full list of species observed as follows:-
Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Red-crested Pochard (11 inc 8 drakes), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing (5), Black-headed Gull, Common Gull (1), Lesser black-backed Gull (7), Herring Gull (1), Feral Rock Dove (3 over), Stock Dove (3), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (5), Common Kingfisher (2), Green Woodpecker (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush (1), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper (1), Eurasian Jay (1), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling (c150 stockers farm), European Greenfinch (1), European Goldfinch (2), Eurasian Siskin (1).

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

27-10-15 An Afternoon at Maple Lodge

A rather mild afternoon at the reserve with sunshine and very light wind produced the following species of note:-
Little Grebe (4), Great Crested Grebe (1), Little Egret (3), Green Sandpiper (2), Common Snipe (2), Common Kingfisher (2), Grey Wagtail (1), Cetti's Warbler (heard), Reed Bunting (female).

                              Common Kingfisher (female) viewed from the Long Hedge Hide.

                                                 Little Grebe sporting winter plumage.

                                  Mallard (drake) looking splendid in the afternoon sunshine.

                                                 Little Egret from the Long Hedge Hide.



 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

I arrived at the reserve late morning with weather conditions very dull with light rain throughout. My first stop was at Rotunda Hide where a male Cetti's Warbler was heard calling although distant. Despite today's wet weather the late summer and early autumn has been generally very dry and this was most evident on my arrival at the Teal Hide. The water levels here were low with exposed muddy islands now visible in several places. It was among these islands I discovered four Green Sandpiper and two Common Snipe busily feeding on the exposed mud. A single Grey Wagtail put in a brief appearance while on the water several drake Common Teal displayed to two disinterested ducks. I then made my way to Lynsters Hide where good numbers of geese were observed  feeding on the pasture at Lynsters Farm. Among them was a large gathering of Feral Rock Dove, sixty eight in total, all very nervous and flighty. At the far end of the farm a charm of Magpies was gathering, thirty eight in total. At Lynsters Gravel Pit (Lake) a pair of Eurasian Wigeon fed among the shallows while on the deeper water I noted Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck.
My final destination was Shell Hide where a Common Kingfisher put in the briefest of appearances while overhead a rather sodden Red Kite glided by followed by a small gathering of Eurasian Siskin.
A full list of species recorded as follows:-
Little Grebe (1), Great Cormorant (4), Grey Heron (1), Greylag Goose (97 L.F), Canada Goose (25 L.F), Eurasian Wigeon (2 LG.P), Gadwall (1), Common Teal (13), Mallard (16), Northern Shoveler (11), Tufted Duck (4), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1), Red Kite (1), Common Buzzard (1), Common Moorhen (16), Eurasian Coot (3), Common Snipe (2), Green Sandpiper (4), Black-headed Gull (8), Common Gull (1 LG.P), Herring Gull (1 over), Feral Rock Dove (68 L.F), Stock Dove (2), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (1), Common Kingfisher (1), Green Woodpecker (1), Meadow Pipit (1 over), Grey Wagtail (1), Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Redwing (2), Cetti's Warbler (1), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Common Magpie (38 L.F), Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Siskin (11).

                                                      View from Teal Hide today.

      

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

I visited the reserve late afternoon with the following species noted.:-
Little Grebe (2), Great Crested Grebe (1), Great Cormorant (5), Grey Heron (3), Greylag Goose (89 Lynsters Farm), Canada Goose (2 Lynsters Farm), Common Teal (8), Mallard (16), Northern Shoveler (6), Red Kite (2), Common Buzzard (1), Water Rail (1 calling from phragmites), Common Moorhen (12), Eurasian Coot (8), Green Sandpiper (1), Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull (over), Feral Rock Dove (2 over), Stock Dove (4 Lynsters Farm), Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Common Kingfisher (2), Grey Wagtail (2), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler (1 singing male), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay (4 Lynsters Farm), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Siskin (5).
    

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Broadwater Gravel Pit

A late morning visit in sunny mild conditions provided the following species:-
Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret (3), Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Egyptian Goose (13), Eurasian Wigeon (10), Gadwall, Common Teal (5), Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Buzzard (2), Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Northern Lapwing (15), Green Sandpiper (2), Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Common Kingfisher (1), Barn Swallow (7), Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler (singing male), Common Chiffchaff (5), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay (3), Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Siskin (1).
Last winter I struggled to find Eurasian Siskin locally with only a few records noted. I'm pleased to say that records have begun to trickle in already during early Autumn and today I noted a singleton in flight, calling as it flew overhead.