Thursday, 25 August 2011


While i was Stomping around 'the site' looking at juv Goldfinch's, Greenfinches, and a multitude of Goldcrest i was amazed to see a small woodpecker fly onto a tree in front of me about 60ft away!
I quickly Realised that after 9 weeks of no sightings, the Female LESSER-SPOTTED WOODPECKER had dropped in, Sadly before i had my scope up the bird flew off, and despite searching, i couldnt find her again, even on checking the 'woodpecker tree' ( this is a favored tree for all 3 species of british woodpecker) which was in the direction she had flown off.
Nice to know she (they??) are still in the area, and hopefully many more views and photo's as the leaves fall off the tree's.

Mandarins Fledge

The Mandarins on the patch are now fully self dependant, with the 2 Juv's been noted almost half a mile away from where the female was resting, the 2 'young uns' are sticking together, and were showing well on exposed riverbed rocks.

However the biggest suprise was when the long staying female Goosander reappeared roosting on the rocky shore below the road bridge, this bird in the spring seemed to have wing damage, leaving her unable to fly long distances, however it seems like she has recovered on a part of the river i havent been watching and reappeared at Blackstone, the early stages of Wing moult were noticed. 3 Willow Warbler were calling amongst many Chiffchaff.

A single Kingfisher zipped along the river.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Roost Birding

At Earlswood i found both Holly Blue, and Purple Hairstreak Butterfly in the Garden.
As we were quite early, we decided to drop into the Moors pool, as a pair of Little Egret had been seen there, it didnt take long to spot one as if flew from the broadmeadow pool to Amys marsh, but we had wondering if the other had flow, untill the 2nd bird flew in from the south and landed in a tree on the east side of the pool, 2 Water rail were calling and 15 Greylag geese were on the island but otherwhys it was quiet.
We had just gotton back into the car, when a text came through, Adult Med Gull in flashes roost.
Within 10 Mins we had walked down to the hide, to be told that the bird had again flown off,
however, less than a minuite later i picked the bird up flying back in, and we watched it throughout the evening, taking occasional short flights. It was obvious that the ird was ringed, and after a long time, i finally read it to say 5P5, early indications show that this bird may have come from Poland!!
The 2 Egrets flew over and circled then flew back to the moors.
A single Juv LRP was on the flashes, as was 60c Lapwing, 10+ Green sand
2 Common Sand, 31 Curlew, 5 Common Tern were amongs the Gulls, and the Little owl was showing on the chimney

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


As some of you may know, i have been 'working' sheepwash abit more regularly recently (about once a week), the low water levels giving hope for some urban waders.
Today only a single wader was in residence, a single Common Sandpiper, however the highlight was a family flock of Grey Wagtail showing well on rocks on the north-east side of the main pool consisting of an adult male, an adult female and a single juv-1st winter.
2 Stock Dove were on the 'meadow' field that held the Whinchat, before the grass was burnt and then mown >:(
A single Common Blue Butterfly was showing,
And a Brown Hawker dragonfly evaded the camera

Wader exidus- Enter Egret

What was a Quiet evenings roost stayed that way!
An Avocet had left leaving 2 juv birds and there was 8 LRP untill 8:45pm where 4 birds jumped into the air exitidly calling, circling the Pools over and over, untill eventually flying off south.
Migration in action!!
A total of 16 Green Sandpipers were dotted around the pools, as was 54 Lapwing.
With the BHG dropping in it was nice to see 2 ringed birds again, which were presumably the same from last week, 5 Common Tern dropped in with the Gulls, and as it reached darkness a total of 32 Curlew was reached.
We were about to leave when a white heron flew in and landed on the sticks at the back of the 2nd flash at 9:10pm,
Little Egret!
We watched the bird for about 15 mins before the dark had well and truily fallen.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Patch Mandarins.

A female type Mandarin ( not the same as the Breeding bird due to the bill pattern) was showing very well on the small caravan site pool.
I was awoke at 4am by a pair of Tawney owl in the tree in the Garden

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lingering Avocets

Amazingly, the 3 Juv Avocets were still with us 3 weeks or so after the rest of the flock had left.
Migrationwise it was quiet, with 10+ LRP, a single Dunlin, 12 Green sand, 2 Common Sand and 29 curlew in amongst the Lapwing and BHG.
With the Roosts hotting up now with the posibility of a med gull i am ever hopeful, however tonight was quiet.
so i looked for ringed gulls.
and i found 2:
Juv (White ring, right leg 21A5)
Adult ( White ring, Right leg, 2K44)
I will post the deatils on the rings when i have it

Sunday, 7 August 2011


A nip over to Sheepwash urban park was needed, i never expect to see much when i visit here, but today, a single bird shon above the rest!
I had just walked through the main enterance on Sheepwash lane and was walking past a meadow type field with long grasses and scattered wildflowers.
I was just thinking that the habitat looked quite good for a passing Chat, However what happened next was totally unexpected,
I saw a Passerine sitting atop a yellow wildflower head quite close to the path, I cant explain it but when you get that feeling you have got something good before even raising your bins.
and a good bird it was:
A gorgeous WHINCHAT!!
And not only that a stunningly plumaged male Whinchat, in practically all its spring splendor!!
I was treated to Amazing views of this amazing bird at about 30-40ft range.
You have to remember, Sheepwash is an overgrown puddle in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a ferantic city, and to attract a common bird is hard work at a site like this sometimes.
I hadent got my scope with me, and if i had i would have been parading some decent photo's/videos here, but i had to try and digibin some photo's, and it didnt work, i couldnt pick up the bird at all holding my bins in one hand and my camera in the other to the lens.
Only when the bird flew to a tree about 100m off could i locate where it was sitting, but this was out of the range.
If you look at the photo you can just about see the white tail sides and white supercillium, and also note the stance.
I was treated to great views for around 40 mins from the main track as it went about feeding up, the bird then dissapeared ( i looked away to watch a Stock Dove fly past when it must have flow off) and wasent seen again all day.
To be fair, the rest of the walk was extremly quiet, 11 Common Tern were hawking over the pool, 2 Sum plum Little grebe had a fledged chick, and 2 Garden Warbler were found in a nettle bed.
so i took the opp for some Insects:
Gatekeeper: easilly the most common Butterfly today 15c of them.

Common Blue Damselfly

And thats it for another day at sheepwash

Upton Egret

As we walked Past the Hen Pool at the flashes i quickly notcied a LITTLE EGRET flying over going north with some BHG.
This bird later roosted at the Moors, and on entering the hide i was told by fellow Upton birder Andy P that the bird had been on the deck for a few minuites before flying off.
Amazingly 3 Juv AVOCET remained at the back of the flash, and there was a good scattering of waders,
Including this Black-tailed Godwit

10+ LRP

13+ Green sand

1 Common sand and 30 Curlew were the other waders noted as well as Lapwing and the Godwit.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Fill in's

Amazingly at 8:05 am our 2nd Garden record of Bullfinch was in the garden, just like last time, a pair flew in, however this time they stuck around for a few minuites and fed on some seed from the floor.
At earlswood later that day, i found my first Purple Hairstreak, as well as 2 Comma and a red admiral.
3 Goldcrest were in the trees bordering the garden.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Patch Mandarins still going strong

Blackstone was teeming with warblers, both adult, and fledged Juveniles
Our family of Garden Warblers was showing well!!! sitting on top of a hawthorn sunning themselves and preening in the evening light.
2 adult Lesser Whitethroat were our first returning birds of the autumn, and seemingly along a 100 metre stretch of hawthorn hedge a Blackcap was flitting about in ever bush.
A few Common Whitethroat were 'scratching' away in dense bushes.
a male and female Kestrel were perched on the rock face behind the farm.
Chiffchaff's were commonplace with then 'hweet' ing from every suitable patch on the walk.
The walk was uneventful untill we reached the female Mandarin with her 3 chicks, which to say shown superbly would be an understatement.
They were feeding at my feet!!!!