Monday, 29 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
|White-faced Whistling Duck|
Friday, 29 October 2010
The garden is a haven for local birds including Azure-winged Magpie, Little Owls, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Great Spotted and Iberian Green Woodpeckers, Waxbill, Hoopoe, and Red-rumped Swallows to name but a few.
We managed to fit in a Pelagic from Sagres for Shearwater and a visit to the Alentejo for Bustards, Vultures etc. as well as visiting the Odiel Marshes in Spain and the Castro Marim salt pans.
|Red Signal Crayfish at Vilamoura|
|Monarch Butterfly at Vilamoura|
Other sites that we visited included Quinta do Lago and Ludo Farm, the Parque Ambiental at Vilamoura and Lagoa do Salgados.
Our final species count was 156 which included a Sacred Ibis found at Salgados on the last day. A tropical downpour was a refreshing end to a great birding holiday!
Monday, 27 September 2010
There were quite large numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Great Crested Grebe and Black-headed Gulls, with smaller numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler, Little Grebe and Cormorants and a couple of Black-tailed Godwit.
We went to Eyebrook next but apart from wonderful views of Lapwing flying overhead, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and ducks galore there was no sign of anything special.
There the highlights were a smart Greenshank on the scrape and Common Buzzards and Red Kites returning to their roosts.
A seawatch produced Arctic Skua, Gannets, Merganser, Common and Sandwich Terns, Cormorants and an elusive seal.
There had been reports of a flock of Lapland Bunting in the area but we felt lucky to have found just one, which was skulking in the vegetation at the top of the dunes. When it was in full view it was a beautiful little bird but it did not stay still for long.
The North Hide produced the usual suspects - Teal, Cormorants, Gadwall along with a Little Stint close by. Another spell of seawatching before we walked back down the road to the visitor centre produced a trio of Common Scoter fairly close to the shore.
We then went west along the coast to Thornham Harbour where we found Spoonbill, Oystercatchers, various Gulls and waders feeding on the exposed mud of the estuary.
These were all seen as we walked to Holme NOA where a Barred Warbler had been seen earlier in the afternoon.
Unfortunately for us it was a 'no show' but Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Dunnock did their best to entertain us while we waited. The return walk produced Kingfisher and Pied Wagtail.
Monday, 13 September 2010
On Sunday morning, we watched in delight as large flocks of waders flew in to wait out the high tide on the freshwater pool. Possibly 1500 Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatchers by the hundred and numerous Dunlin, Redshank, Knot and a few Greenshank and Turnstone arrived at the pool and filled the air with their 'chattering' calls.
|Large group of Black-tailed Godwit with Dunlin, Redshank and Knot|
That was all before breakfast! We met up after breakfast with other members of Beds Bird Club to explore the Reserve. With all eyes on the birds we scanned the assembly on the pool finding Ringed Plover, Wigeon, Canada & Greylag Geese in addition to the birds already mentioned. A view across the water meadows revealed several Curlew, Yellow Wagtail, a flock of Starling and Barn Swallows hunting. A walk along to the bank gave us a view over the Wash. There were some juvenile Gannets flying close to the shore but not much else. As we sat there the waders on the pool started to lift off and fly over our heads which was an amazing sight but the water was still too high for them, especially the smaller birds, to settle on the shore.
The Group Leader went off to check on a small pool and scrape at the western end of the reserve, to see if there were any interesting birds there. As a result we all had good views of Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stint. In addition to these we had Tree Sparrow, Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff and Greenfinch along the path back to the carpark.
We then moved on to Frampton Marsh and after lunch walked to the hides overlooking the freshwater marshes and pools. From the 360 hide we saw Shelduck, Shoveler, and Pintail in addition to the Wigeon. Also a smart Wheatear and Grey Heron. On the path we found a Small Copper sunning itself and from the Reed Hide we saw a lone Green Sandpiper, some very smart Gadwall and Egyptian Geese to add to our list.
Finally on a walk round to the last hide we came across a Whinchat keeping company with a Wheatear and a Goldfinch and spotted a Kingfisher patrolling the channel below the bank.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
We just had to go and have a look at the Marbled Duck at Broom today. Despite the on/off appearance it was showing well at the far end of the pool by the entrance when we arrived. It swam about quite frenetically for most of the time but slowed down long enough to get some reasonable shots of it.
Monday, 6 September 2010
On Saturday we, including Gen, travelled to Holme Dunes to see what was about. As NWT members we didn't get into the Reserve until 10am but walked over to the dunes to see what the shore had to offer. There were an abundance of waders on the shore - Curlew, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sum. plum. Grey Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Sanderling, Redshank, Common Tern and a few Little Egret. A group of House Martins were flying back and forth along the dunes. We were joined by Ray Roche who had seen Gen and came over to have a chat. Out at sea there were Common Scoter, Arctic Skua and Gannets.
Once the Reserve was opened we parked and walked back to join a group of birders who were watching a juvenile Red-backed Shrike and a Barred Warbler.
The Shrike was an easy spot but the Barred Warbler was more elusive. Inthe meantime two, more obliging, Wheatear posed on the top of one of the shrubs in the centre of the dunes. Patience won out and we eventually got a reasonable view of the Barred Warbler but not long enough to get any record shots.
For once we had spent the whole day at Holme but with three really good birds and great seawatching.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
A trip to Wilstone Reservoir produced this good shot on Sunday. We also had good views of Kingfishers, Spotfly, Greenshank, Grey Wagtail, Red Kite and Peregrine. We moved on to College Lake and after tea and cake in the new visitor centre, the highlight was another Kingfisher.
After leaving College Lake we made our way to Newport Pagnall where Gen led the way to Gayhurst lakes and views of the Polish Swans, a young Great Crested Grebe family and a couple of Common Sandpipers.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
After lunch we went into Boston and joined another 45 passengers on the boat. The journey down the Witham and the Haven produced Swifts, Yellow and Pied Wagtails, Common Sandpipers, Common and Black-headed Gulls, Common Terns and views of a hunting MONTAGU'S HARRIER which was over the north-easterly corner of Frampton Marsh. At the mouth of the Haven there were Sandwich Terns, Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers on the shingle bar and a large number of Little Egret on the northerly shore of the Wash. We travelled along the shore towards Frieston Shore and were lucky enough to find the Osprey perched on the rigging of a sunken boat. After getting as close as we dare, without putting the bird up, the boat turned about to travel along the mouth of the Welland viewing the large groups of waders on the Wash mudflats on our left which included, Curlew, Whimbrel, Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover in summer plumage and Little Terns fishing in the river around the boat. We also had fantastic views of a Peregrine chasing a wader - a heart-stopping chase that ended with the wader escaping! When the boat turned around again the north banks of the Welland had Common Seals, Greater Black-backed Gulls, Little Egrets and hundreds of Oystercatchers.
The boat travelled along the Wash once more, the Osprey was still on it's perch! The return journey along the Haven and Witham revealed nothing new with the exception of a Turtle Dove sat on the mud bank and a Peregrine perched on the Boston Stump. Altogether a very enjoyable trip.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
We went on trip to Cley in Norfolk yesterday, we being Gen,John,Carolyn and myself. After an enjoyable few hours looking at all the waders for a Curlew Sandpiper (which we didn't find) a message came through of a Hooded crow not far away so we went for a look. After viewing it and getting this record shot it flew up and away .We left the area and went along the coast to Holme. On arrival we saw a Barn Owl which we viewed for a good 20 mins or so again I got a record shot.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Monday, 12 July 2010
We, that is Gen, Carolyn and I, went to Dungeness in search of Purple Heron. After a lengthy wait at the viewpoint one was seen flying over the reed beds at a distance. Unfortunately we were too busy watching to get any photos. Great view of the visiting Great White Egret close to where the Purple Herons had established their nest site.
A visit to the ARC pit produced an unexpected 'Mega', great excitement as we came to the conclusion that we were looking at a White-tailed Lapwing!! A couple of birdwatchers joined us and agreed our conclusions. Between rushing back to the Visitor centre to find a warden and getting back to the pit the WT Lapwing had been harassed by E.Lapwings and spooked by a young Marsh Harrier, flying up high towards the Reserve. As we left the site the local birding enthusiasts (Twitchers) started to pile into the car park! We showed them our record shots and they went off to try and relocate the bird. Luckily for them it was still around and was watched for the rest of the evening.
What a fantastic days birding!!