Monday, 20 September 2010

Slimebridge produces the good's!!!!!!!!!!




I had no idea what toexpect as i hadent had or seen any news on slimbridge for about a week, but the day dawned bright and set to be a good, we coencided our arrival with high tide, but all the waders were just out of sight on the saltmarsh, nevertheless, we ticked flying DUNLIN and RINGED PLOVER, CURLEW and multiple COMMON GULL, a juv WHEATEAR was flying about the flash in front of the hide and a few YELLOW WAGTAILS were flitting back and forth among the grazeing cattle, among the numerous gulls and lapwings.
Then over to the south lake..............

Although one of the best places on the site for views i hate here for the simple reason of joe public who randomly stroll into the hide, run around, make general noise, then leave.

But there was a few nice birds....

I imidiatly got onto the flock of Godwits and started scanning through, and once again 3 BAR TAILED GODWIT stood there, in a flock of 68 BLACK TAILED GODWIT, a single REDSHANK and 4 GREEN SANDPIPER, a bit of deeper searching got me one of my Highlights a Stunning adult winter SPOTTED REDSHANK hiding behind a godwit, can you spot it in the picture?????

after about an hour admiring the spotshank and godwits we eventually had enough of the public and retired to the most horid hide in the world................

' THE ZEISS HIDE ' dun dun dunnnnnnnn.

Well i really do hate this hide the most out of all the hide's at slimbridge ( followed by holden tower- then south lake etc), but it does have some bloody good birds.

It was nice to drop directly onto a GREENSHANK, which then promptly dissapeared. then i found the 2 RUFF ( an AD male and juv fem), but then i scanned and there was another, then another, then another, and another, and another and another, A total of 8 RUFF!!!!!!!!

8 bloody RUFF, 8 of em, UNBELIEVABLE........

another 30c BLACK TAILED GODWIT were amongst the teal and shoveler, a wisp of 4 SNIPE flew over, another 2 REDSHANK and 2 GREEN SANDPIPER were all in one scopefull with the flock of ruff's ( 2 ad male, rest fem/ juv) and a few LAPWING, check it out (well trust me those species are in that pic)

SO, now it was over to the middle point hide................ (our 2nd visit after 1 at high tide), and a very soggy trudge through the reeds ( was badly flooded) and in trainers :-/

but this was easilly the BEST part of the day;

along the path there we noted a massive 80c YELLOW WAGTAIL feeding in the surrounding fields, a pair of HOBBY gave great views as they swooped on the wagtails and martins, and a PEREGRINE flew over

a massive 2 hour stint was spent scanning from here, as the tide was out and it had amazing results:

after an hour the waders started to flock at a managble scopeing distance and i had about 900 small waders to be dealing with here, so alot of the numbers are estimates, the waders were passing close to the hide from their high tide roost to their low tide feeding point, and latched onto a flock of RINGED PLOVER was a CURLEW SANPIPER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and just a few more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and this was quickly followed by another bird and again in a ringie flock 2 CURLEW SANDPIPERS, result............

3 WHIMBREL were feeding on the mudflats, including one which was quite close and never stopped calling,

right back to small waders, there was lots!!!!!!!!



160+ CURLEW (here alone)

a good grilling of the waders gave me a pair of LITTLE STINT, which looked so much smaller than i remembered ( the one in turkey in april was so close, and was only next to a kentish plover :-D, only next to a kentish plover lol), 8 KNOT ( all juv), 40c SANDERLING and 20c dark TURNSTONES (although one was sum-plum), this gave me a stunning 18 wader species for the day!!!!!!!!!

You gotta say, that is a kickass day, was it worth the £9.50, i think so.

a very nice day



























a total of 81 species for the site day.


Friday, 17 September 2010

Upton Warren- 'Med take 2'

upton warren flashes

A different moulting juv- 1st winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL flew into roost at c4:40pm while 50c BHG were down, the most obvious difference was that the bird was much darker in the field than the 21/08 bird

Also a HOBBY, 2 LRP, 7 Green Sand, 3 Common Sand, 24 curlew, 1000+ BHG


Grimley new workings


After picking up a new tripod after nearly 2 months without one, i had to do a field test and with a few nice birds at grimley, guess where we headed????

We hadent even reached the 1st pool when i had already ticked a GREENSHANK as it flew onto the bigger pool, we followed the track along picking up LITTLE EGRETS on the way, Green and Common Sandpiper were both represented by singles as was a single snipe and 2 common tern and LRP.

A YELLOW WAGTAIL flew over east (ish)

We scanned from the causeway and BINGO................

2 juv KNOT feeding behind the BHG's with the 2 sandpipers and another greenshank. it was quite amusing to watch the knots reflecting the others movements, say if one turned right, the other would to (note the similar poses on the photo)

a greenshank fed on a spit not far from the causeway...


Monday, 13 September 2010

Patch and some dirty twitching

Blackstone lake(general area)
huge numbers of warblers and tit's around in the blackstone vally ( you really have to visit the site to understand)
i was on a very very high expectation for a redstart but despite nearly 3 hours not one appered, buts its not all bad, now the breeding season has ended i can say the at least 1 pair of MARSH TITS bred in an undisclosed site near to blackstone raising (fledging 6 chicks(pos 2 broods????)), the first time a pair have attempted to breed on the patch.
the entire family was feeding in the hawthorn/willow and ferns on the east bank of the lake in glorious sunshine, a true triumph and a very nice reward for patch birding.
the usual site motto applied, loads and loads of warblers :
20c Willow warbler (many juv)
15c Chifchaff (age uncertain)
2 whitetroat (FEM)
6 blackcap ( 1 m)
1 reed warbler ( in a hawthorn???? who knew??????)
8 Goldcrest (largest flock this year after that harsh winter)
but i must say not even a spot fly or redstart, unbelievable, oh well, i enjoy my common birds sometimes when im in the mood

Later that evening:
titterstone clee hill
news of a wryneck up here was forgotton untill the evening when i reallised it wasent that far away, errrrr, yeah thats about as exited as im gonna get, cause it was a big huge, mega DIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPP, 2 hours in strong freezing wind, on a barren hilltop with only 1 juv wheatear, 2 ravern, 3 linnet and 4 meadow pipit to keep you company, birdwise that is, i was up here with my dad...........
yeah, nothing more to say


Friday, 10 September 2010

Upton warren- Return of the Med


(and a little bit of british america too, wink wink :-D)

The times were getting desperate now after missing every Med gull at the warren in the roosts, despite putting 3-4 hours in every saturday, but when news filtered through that terry hinnet had found a med at the early stages of the roost an hour or so before our arrival, things were set to look good.
walking down to the hide, terry and dave were just leaving and said the med was still down, they said abouts where it was and i was in the tower hide in a flash grilling the gulls that had already assembled, after 15 mins of scaning through the gulls it became blatently obvious that it was not there, as i prepared for the ultimate dip.
Only at this point did i first scan everywhere else, and in the goose flock at the back of the flashes was this:

A Ross's Goose :-D
i just started laughing at the sight of it, it did a long stint feeding here, then on the 3rd flash then flew out west at 7:23pm
Other notes:
2 Gadwall
2 Shoveler
57 Teal
6 Green Sand
2 Common Sand
1 Snipe

About an hour later i picked up a dark gull inamongst the BHG on the water between the 1st and 2nd flash, a quick scope job and there it was a Juv- 1st winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL, my 3rd upton med this year, i just cant get enough of them
(pics taken after the bird moved muchhhhhhh closer)

So with the ultimate task set, i decided to head into the world of female/juv and eclipse male teal's looking for a 'fem' type Garganey.
well this kinda failed untill only 10-15 mins before we were heading off i picked up the bird dabbling on the south shore with 2 common teal, making my hit rate with garganeys at UW this year 100%. whoop, whoop, the bird then swam towards us and came close enough to ID it a a juv and not a female as first thought.
a very nice evening with me picking out every 'good' bird, you cant say you go in a hide and want to be the person asking for directions, you want to find the birds and have the privelidge of calling it '(insert random good bird name here) over here' or occasionally something with more explicit language for the rarer types. it also boosts your confidence IDing a bird right, i was starting to dout my own abilities to ID a med gull.
not a bad evening with
1 Ross's goose ( not countable but bloody hillerious)
1 Garganey (juv)
1 juv-1st winter MED Gull


the whole reason the blog has got behind is because i have been waiting upon my friend to give me some images of the little egret that i took on his camera, i now have those photos, but have got fed up at my nans house so, and the photos are on my home computer so, no photos again :-D
Entering the park from the main enterance, we walked the path and i was quickly onto a flock of 'small birds', warblers infact, the overnight rain had dropped some birds, 2 LESSER WHITETHROAT, 2 willow warbler and 'millions' of chiffchaff, after sifting the flock we went for the egret.
we checked the main lake with just the usual stuff noted but a commonsand was new in, so down the river,

and there it was,

sitting near the bridge near the marshy pools the bird was feeding, and this is where i took photos of it landed and in flight, after being flushed by a dog walker,
(imagine a picture of a flying LITTLE EGRET), the bird had been present for 7+ days,

4 common tern- 2 ad, 2 juv were on the chemical pool, but despite there being big numbers of yellow legged gulls at stubbers green, non were in the flock

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Upton warren

15 Green Sandpiper
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Redshank
6 Curlew
1 Snipe
17+ Common Tern

3 Bullfinch)

( post on sheepwash urban park, comming very soon for 4/08/10)

1 Juv Water Rail
11 Green Sanpiper

the first stint was spent in the moors east hide, so as the light was shining into the hide, i took to scanning the hedges along the east track as a nice mixed 'phyllosc' warblers hunting among the acompinaning 'tit flock'
an hour was spent doing this with Willow Warbler ( 5, 2 Ad, 3 Juv) which shown very nicely with 20+ chiffchaff, a few Sedge and Reed warblers, a Female/juv Blackcap,, the usual 'tit' species and a single Treecreeper.
Then down to the flashes for the roost, which tbh was rather uneventful, the female LRP and its almost fledged chick were still here, but had been abandoned by the rest of the birds, 9 Green Sandpiper and a lone Common Sandpiper were probing the edges, a Total of 33 Curlew flew in to roost which at the time was only 1 behind the year maximum (new beaten).
The gulls were being as uneventfull, with only 500c BHG's coming in to roost, but at dusk a stunning summer plumaged Common Gull flew into roost, it tried to land amongst the BHG but was flushed by one of the increasing number of LBBG that are now roosting circled a few times then flew north.
we took this as our time to leave with light being dire at this time

Note how, over these extracts how the number of Green Sand decreases as the Adult birds and some of the Juv's leave to their wintering grounds
And how the number of Curlew slowly increases..................