Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Brandon Marsh

Having seen some excellent images on various blogs and websites, I decided to pay a visit to Brandon Marsh this morning. Not a bad day, bird wise, with 62 species being seen between 0615 and 1230, but a poor day for pictures.


This just about sums up my photographic luck today!

The day started dull with a cool north east wind, but this did not stop the warblers and thrushes singing their hearts out. My walk today visited all the hides which were being cleaned very diligently - so nice that the cleaning gentleman is doing such an excellent job before most visitors are out of bed! 

Good numbers of Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Garden Warblers sang out, accompanied by Robin, Blackbird and Song Thrush. Cettis Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers came in over the tops of the woodland warblers and the reeling Grasshopper Warblers were not outdone.

East Marsh Pool had reduced duck numbers but the islands held four Little Ringed Plovers, one Ringed Plover, the female Ruff, seven Snipe, four Oystercatchers, one Common Sandpiper and two splendid Yellow Wagtails. Also of note were two Kingfishers, one Barnacle Goose and three Common Terns. My first Cuckoo of the year called out from the dead tree opposite Carlton Hide. A complete list of birds at end of blog.

Well, I started the blog with an image of a Whitethroat turning its back as typical of my luck today. My quest to capture Grasshoper Warbler was also rather difficult. I have seen some good images recently, so it is with some embarrassment that I offer my efforts! In my defence, the bird did not come very close!

Grasshopper Warbler








Todays Sightings:

Jay; Wood Pigeon; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Pheasant; Robin; Swallow; Magpie; Blackbird; Jackdaw; Goldfinch; Bullfinch; Dunnock; Pied Wagtail; Blue Tit; Green Woodpecker; Willow Warbler; Blackcap; Grey Lag Goose; Mallard; Cettis Warbler; Canada Goose; Song Thrush; Whitethroat; Wren; Grey Heron; Stock Dove; Chiffchaff; Great Tit; Grasshopper Warbler; Cuckoo; Sedge Warbler; Mute Swan; Reed Bunting; Reed Warbler; Sand Martin; Common Tern; Tufted Duck; Lapwing; Oystercatcher; Little Ringed Plover; Coot; Redshank; Great Crested Grebe; Ringed Plover; Black Headed Gull; Snipe; Ruff (f); Teal; Moorhen; Gadwall; Common Sandpiper; Kingfisher; Cormorant; Garden Warbler; Long Tailed Tit; Barnacle Goose; Goldcrest; House Martin; Yellow Wagtail; Mistle Thrush; Buzzard.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Red Kites near Stokenchurch

A few more Red Kites from Stokenchurch yesterday.

















Friday, 22 April 2011

Red Kite Fest



Red Kites are one of my favourite raptors but are not easy to see or photograph locally. The opportunity to view and photograph these fantastic birds at close quarters arose when a group of Talk Photography members arranged a meet at a private site near Stokenheath in the Chilterns. Meeting up with Di Stone en-route, a great day was had with about forty birds performing for the twelve group members.













Thursday, 21 April 2011

Draycote Water


Yellow Wagtail


They're Back! Fishing has re-started and the dreadful flies! I will leave you to decide which are worse, but for me it has to be the flies! At one point, I was covered, head to toe, and could not see more than a few yards!

A very warm day with a keen easterly breeze and hazy sunshine greeted my arrival as I walked the perimeter. I was pleased to see that House Martins were back investigating traditional nest sites on the old boathouse, but this has now become the fishing lodge and disturbance has increased. I wonder how the Martins will fair? At least five Yellow Wagtails and two Wheatear were along Farborough Bank and a single Dunlin flew towards the visitor centre. Several Garden Warblers sang out with the Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in Toft Shallows until the arrival of a Sparrowhawk! Grays Barn held a single Willow Tit. A Common Sandpiper was near the inlet and Rainbow Corner had a drake Shoveler. Having walked the perimeter, I met up with Bob H and Richard M for a chat on Farborough Bank. While with them, eleven Black Terns came out of no-where but remained in the centre of the reservoir.


Yellow Wagtail


Shoveler


Proud Mum - Mallard


Pied Wagtail


Pied Wagtail


Todays Sightings:

Rook; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Goldfinch; Willow Warbler; Carrion Crow; Wren; Chaffinch; Robin; Great Tit; House Martin; Tufted Duck; Little Ringed Plover; Coot; Mallard; Black Headed Gull; Song Thrush; Pied Wagtail; Great Crested Grebe; Yellow Wagtail; Mute Swan; Chiffchaff; Wheatear; Dunnock; Dunlin; Canada Goose; Skylark; Cormorant; Jackdaw; Gadwall; Blackcap; Magpie; Blue Tit; Garden Warbler; Green Woodpecker; Sparrowhawk; Swallow; Willow Tit; Starling; Common Gull; Moorhen; LBB Gull; Pheasant; Common Sandpiper; Yellowhammer; Shoveler; Teal; Greenfinch; Buzzard; Whitethroat; Linnet; Black Tern.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gibraltar Point 17th & 18th April 2011

Short Eared Owl


Three days on Gibraltar Point was fantastic, a new area to thoroughly explore, some good birds and friendly birders. Summer migrants in full song including Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler. A ring tail Hen Harrier on the salt marshes being mobbed by five Shelduck was an awesome sight. The reported Shore Larks were elusive and it took me three days to track them day with scope views of five birds on the shingle banks. Without even leaving the carpark, hunting Short Eared Owl and Barn Owl were a real pleasure to watch. All in all a great four days birding. The only downside was staying at Butlins and coming home with a viral infection!

Sedge Warbler

Reed Bunting

Peacock Butterfly

Short Eared Owl
Short Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Willow Warbler