Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dungeness and the Patch with RSPB Hemel group (26/11/11)

I just found this in my draft and I can see its not finished but I don't remember any more so I hope you enjoy it.

We started off our trip at 7 o'clock when we went to the usual spot to meet up. To get to Dungeness me and my brother had to go in a car with someone. We were put in a car with Stuart. Our first stop was at Ashford for a nice breakfast at Tesco's. We carried on after a filling breakfast to Dungeness. About five miles before we reached Dungeness we passed a bird which looked to me like a Common Crane when we had passed it me and my brother said at the same time "was that a Crane" unfortunately we were unable to tell.
This trip to Dungeness and the Patch was a very good trip for me because it allowed me to catch up on two species that keep slipping through my fingers the Merlin and the Mediterranean Gull.
At first we went to a screen which was the closest thing to us, on the way a Marsh Harrier flow over the path and hedges. when we arrived at the screen we all set up our scopes and began to scan. The first thing that I noticed was the gulls which were Great Black-backed Gulls with a few Herring Gulls and Common Gulls beside them in the water I saw up to about 100+ Wigeon. With the Wigeon were a few Shelducks feeding. Behind the Wigeon there were some Goldeneye diving I saw three but I believe there were a lot more. Whilst the group were scanning across the lake we managed to see many Little Egrets and even a Great White Egret which was a bird which I had wanted to get one my life list for a long time along with the Merlin and Mediterranean Gull. After having a good look at it me and my brother decided to go to a hide which was closer to the Egret. 

This is a diggy scope taken with my iPod Touch.
Over the lake I could see many ducks most were Gadwalls but there were a few Pintails around. When the group caught up with me and my brother they told us that there were a pair of Red Headed Smews. We found them in the scope very quickly and had a small glimpse of them before they went behind some reeds. Then we all saw a bit of a bush move which was next to the hide and a Chiffchaff popped out. After having a good look around to see if there was anything else out there we went back to the car. On the way we saw a pair of Peregrines chasing a flock of c.100 Lapwings. Whilst walking along we came to a place were we could see through the reeds which allowed us to see the Smews again. There was also a pair of Meadow Pipits that flow over the path. When we got to the car we set off for Denge Marsh (also a part of  Dungeness).

We arrived at Denge Marsh and went straight into the visitors center. At the visitors center we were given a sticker which allowed us to go onto the RSPB reserve. One of the first things I saw on the lakes was a flock of about 100 Shoveler. With the Shoveler was a pair of Pintails

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Staines Reservoir (6/5/12)

Today my mum brought me again with here to were she was going and dropped me off at Staines Reservoir on the way. I began at around 8:40 and I found a group of local birders who now what was about. The first thing I   found were two Black-necked Grebes in summer plumage. They were stunning and they were also nice and close which allowed me to get some pictures of it too.

Around that time other things like Turnstone, Swifts, House Martins and Swallows were also about. After looking at the Black-necked Grebes for a while I looked on the other side at the Common Terns and tried to pick out some Arctic Terns. This tock a while and I ended up not seeing any. Then I went back to the area where the Little Gulls were always seen and I found one after a bit of looking. The first one I saw was flying around with a few terns and Black-headed Gulls and I could see the W shape on its wings. I looked at it for a while and photographed it until I pointed it out to the rest of the group who had seen one on the water.

When I looked back at were the 1st Summer Little Gull had been it was no longer there. Then I looked to were the group had seen one and I saw another 1st Winter Little Gull. After that the Shag came in for a while, a female Wheatear and a Redshank. When I arrived I found a male Wheatear.

But our attention was turned to a pair of Grey Plovers which had very goldeny brown backs. We walked closer so as to see them better they flew after a while and some of the group saw the black axillaries. After they flew we looked around for some thing else and we found another Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtails. After that we saw two Hobbys flush some gulls. By this time it was about 12 o'clock and the Swifts had began to wake up. I went back to the tern rafts and me and two other men found some Arctic Terns.
Because the flies had been attracted to my heat the Swifts had decided to swoop around me as close as 1 ft from me. This was probably my best birding experience in my life.

If you enlarge this photo you can see hundreds of swifts

When I had finished looking at the Swifts (maybe 1 hour later) I walked to the other side of the reservoir were the Black-necked Grebes had moved to. As well as the Black-necked Grebes I saw a Shoveler and some Tufted Ducks. Then when I had finished looking at the Black-necked Grebes I again returned to the tern raft this time in search of a Little Tern. When I got to the other side there was some one there already I told him what sort of stuff I had seen and then after showing him the Little Gull he found a Little Tern. After a while of looking at it we came to the conclusion that it was a Juv. When we had finished I made my last journey to see the Black-necked Grebes with the man that I had met and then I had to go home. On the way back to the car park I found a Shelduck.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Croxley Common Moor (4/5/12)

Today I decided to go to Croxley Common Moor because a lot of birds had been reported there recently and its not very far away. I left with my parents at 10:37am and arrived around 11 o'clock. I walked around the moor for quite a while and saw nothing but Great Tits and Blue Tits. Then after about an hour I stumbled apon a group of Wheatear. After looking at the Wheatears and taking notes I saw one strange one out of the corner of my eye and I looked around to see what it was. I ID it as a female Whinchat. Later I saw someone elses photo of a male Whinchat which he had seen which made me think that there must be two in croxley not one.

Other than the Whinchat I didn't see anything.