Monday, 30 March 2009

Yellow Wag at broom

First day birding back in beds turned up a little beauty at broom.

We were tying to take photos of a coot (for some strange reason) when we noticed a yellow wag feeding by the water. We hid ahead of where it was walking and waited. It didn't come mega close but pleased with a few shots:

Great first day back in beds,


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Bringing Science to Life Competition

Recently I entered a photography competition and managed to get 2 photos into the top five. This competition was judged by Chris Packham and it was a great pleasure to meet him and just chat about birding a photography in general. Nice guy with lots of knowledge, probably because of his keen interest and all the areas he gets to travel for which I am very jelous. Here are my 2 photographs that made it into the top 5 (blue tit top 3):

Unfortunatly I didn't win :-(, but was still nice to meet a famous birder/photographer/presenter.

Monday, 23 March 2009

the haven and southsea

Lovely sunny day on sunday.
Firstly in Gosport looking for the ring-billed gull, but no sign :-(. There was a nice summer plum med gull though:
Next we had a quick look for the black redstart in gosport, but no sign either.
From here we went to Southsea castle in Portsmouth to see the purple sands.
These did not disappoint with lovely close views in really nice light, there were at least 15 present untill some delightful little child scared them off....
There are more pics of the P sands on my flickr as I took hundreds!(link on the right of blog)
Also there was a nice rock pipit feeding on the rocks:
And a singing dunnock on the way back to the car:
We then went to Titchfield haven.
saw 3 different butterfiles which was a nice remminder that it is spring!
Speckled Wood:
We couldn't find the gargany but perhaps did not walk far enough south on the canal path, great weather and lots of nice birds, with pleanty of chiffchaffs calling.
All the best,

Sunday, 15 March 2009

keyhaven and acres down

Fantastic day today at Keyhaven then later on at Acres Down.

A few nice spring migrants.

Started at Keyhaven where there were lots of black-tailed godwhits:

Some other waders as well including dunin, redshank, spotted redshank, greenshank, snipe and oystercatcher..
Had lovely views a really slate coloured water pipit.

Duck numbers have defiantly gone down, but still plenty of pintail, teal, mallard, tufties and shoveler:Lapwings were displaying a lot which was nice:At Hurst spit there was a very vocal rock pipit that was quite approachable:We then went on to Acres down.

When walking across to the heath we heard a call that was unfamiliar and looked up to see a lovely WILLOW TIT calling. It has a very extensive black throat and checking the call with a CD I have it was defiantly one, great start and only my second ever willow tit!!

Other highlights from here included lots of stonechat pairs calling. 2 Peregrine. 3 hawfinch which was a bit of a surprise.

Best of all here was a lovely female wheatear which I crawled up to
In order to get pics:She was very successful catching flies from the air which was fantastic to watch in the afternoon sunshine.

It was a very nice day and we racked up almost 80 species


Thursday, 12 March 2009


Getting up early paid off this morning, we got to Lakeside at 7:30 and things weren’t looking good at first with no redpoll seen for the first 45 mins.
Had nice views of lots of singing dunnocks:And the grebes are courting nicely (shame about blue buoys):But could not find the mealy when we finally found the flock. There were other birders about but it hadn’t been seen, despite there being lots of redpoll activity in the centre.

Finally at about 9, when on the phone to Simon and saying we hadn’t found it, we got onto the bird at the northern end where it was originally found. We enjoyed lovely views of it feeding on the ground:This photo shows the very white rump:

Great lifer for me and to have such a classic individual is excellent.

I best get on with some work now…

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Lakeside (no mealy), but a Jack Snipe and some pics.


Simon Ingram told us about a mealy redpoll at Lakeside (cheers Simon!), we have been trying to find one there for a while and looking at the Simon’s photo we knew this one would stand out if we could locate it, It was a classic female one.

Unfortunately on our visit we struggled to find any redpoll in the first hour as there was lots of ‘gardening’ going on and we fail to locate the mealy L.

However we did flush a jack snipe whilst try for photos of the Reed Buntings:

World’s worst JS photo (but you can see the very short bill):
Reed Bunt:Few other shots from today:
Mallard:Meadow Pipit:Courting CGGrebes: Coot:
Great Crested Grebe reflection:
And some shots from Eyeworth pond the other day (more from here are on my flickr, link on the right hand side of blog!).
Curious Marsh Tit:
House Sparrow (sorry about what I caught him doing..):


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lakeside redpoll fest!

A quick trip to lakeside eastleigh today produce a few large groups of lesser redpoll with a few siskin and goldfinch in with them. Most of the redpoll were 'lessers':But some seemd very light coloured so may have been mealys, comments welcome:Dreadful photos I know but the whole group were very flighty.
There were 2 VERY tame greylags there aswell. how tame they were is demonstrated by this full frame shot:Never really bothered with a pic of a mallard before so here is one: Started to rain so we came home, will try get back there tomorrow for some better pics of the possible mealys!