Sunday, 30 September 2012


On Saturday I decided to go and see the Great White Egret which was staying at Wilstone. I set off to get the 8:29 train to Tring. I arrived at the reservoir at around 9:10. When I arrived I headed straight to the hide. On the way I looked out for anything which may have been of interest but only saw some Lapwing and different wildfowl. When I arrived at the hide it took about 5 minutes for the GREAT WHITE EGRET (year tick) to come out into the open again. Unfortunately it was on the other side of the reservoir and I couldn't get any decent pictures. After this I stayed in the hide till about 13:30. In that time the egret sometimes decided to come a little closer and also decided to hide itself. As well as seeing the egret there was a kingfisher acting very odd. We saw it hover over the water and dive and it did catch a fish at one point.

 A Little Egret which came up close to the hide.
 The Great White Egret

 The Great White Egret in flight

The hovering Kingfisher.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Norfolk and a surprise BAIRDS SANDPIPER (22/9/12)

Yestarday I went to Norfolk with Chris, Brendan and Paul to twitch the Pectoral Sandpiper and the Red-breasted Flycatcher but the day turned out to be better then that. On the trip we also did a day list.
We left at around 6 o'clock from Garston on Saturday. I took us under 3 hours to get to our first destination which was Holme for a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Barred Warbler. We decided to go for the Red-breasted Flycatcher first because the Barred Warbler had been staying for almost 3 weeks. It took us about quatre of an hour to walk to the place and when we arrived it only took about 5 minutes before the RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (life tick) showed itself.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

After showing itself for about half a minute it went back in. After that I didn't see it again but instead a Bonxie (year tick) and Brambling flow over my head. We left after a while and decided to do some sea watching. After a few minutes we had already found a skua but we were unsure of what it was straight after that a RED-THROATED DIVER (year tick) flow past quite close in. Because the sea had been quite successful we stayed a bit longer and saw a ARCTIC SKUA (life tick). We then moved on to see the Barred Warbler. Again after standing next to the right bush it poped out after 2 minutes. The BARRED WARBLER fed in front of us and gave us amazing views.

Barred Warbler

After this we headed off towards Titchwell for a Pectoral Sandpiper. When we arrived we walked around the area and found some Spoonbills, Dunlins, a Little Stint, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits and some Ruff. After that we decided to look for the Pec Sand but before we could someone began to ask about a Baird's Sandpiper. After a while we found out were it was and we headed off in that direction of the reserve. We managed to find the BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (life tick) amongst some Ringed Plovers. We saw it for a about 5 seconds before it went behind something then suddenly the ringed plovers flew and the Baird's Sandpiper with them and after that it was no longer seen. I was very lucky to see it. After that we headed to the sea. this time the sea was a bit more calm and we only saw a lot of Gannets some Eider and a GUILLIMOT (year tick). We also saw some Pink-footed Geese fly over. We then walked around the reserve trying to get all the common species for our day list. After that another report of a male Red-breasted Flycatcher came up on Brendans pager. We headed over there so as to see the different plumages and we almost saw the MALE RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER immediately that was 2 Red-breasted Flycatchers in one day wow. We then went to wells wood which is next to the beach. In the woods we found a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (LIFE TICK) and a FEMALE PIED FLYCATCHER (LIFE TICK) amongst the tit flocks.

Female Pied Flycatcher

As well as those two we saw a few Siskin and Lesser Redpoll.
On the way back to Garston we stopped off at the brecks. A Sparrowhawk and some Rooks were the only birds to be seen.

Here is the daylist (thanks to Chris Sharp for writing it)
1 Mute Swan Titchwell
2 Pink-footed Goose Titchwell
3 Greylag Goose Titchwell
4 Egyptian Goose Titchwell
5 Shelduck Titchwell
6 Wigeon Titchwell
7 Gadwall Titchwell
8 Teal Titchwell
9 Mallard Norfolk
10 Tufted Duck Titchwell
11 Eider Titchwell
12 Common Scoter Titchwell
13 Red-legged Partridge Norfolk
14 Pheasant Norfolk
15 Red-throated Diver Holme
16 Little Grebe Titchwell
17 Great Crested Grebe Titchwell
18 Gannet Holme
19 Cormorant Holme
20 Little Egret Holme
21 Grey Heron Norfolk
22 Spoonbill Titchwell
23 Sparrowhawk Brecks
24 Buzzard Warham Greens
25 Kestrel Holme
26 Moorhen Norfolk
27 Coot Norfolk
28 Oystercatcher Titchwell
29 Avocet Titchwell
30 Ringed Plover Titchwell
31 Golden Plover Titchwell
32 Grey Plover Titchwell
33 Lapwing Norfolk
34 Knot Titchwell
35 Sanderling Titchwell
36 Little Stint Titchwell
37 Baird’s Sandpiper Titchwell
38 Dunlin Titchwell
39 Ruff Titchwell
40 Snipe Titchwell
41 Black-tailed Godwit Titchwell
42 Bar-tailed Godwit Titchwell
43 Curlew Holme
44 Greenshank Titchwell
45 Redshank Holme
46 Turnstone Titchwell
47 Arctic Skua Holme
48 Great Skua Holme
49 Black-headed Gull Norfolk
50 Common Gull Titchwell
51 Lesser Black-backed Gull Norfolk
52 Herring Gull Titchwell
53 Sandwich Tern Holme
54 Common Tern Titchwell
55 Guillemot Titchwell
56 Stock Dove Norfolk
57 Woodpigeon Norfolk
58 Collared Dove Norfolk
59 Great Spotted Woodpecker Holme
60 Swallow Holme
61 House Martin Norfolk
62 Meadow Pipit Titchwell
63 Pied Wagtail Norfolk
64 Wren Holme
65 Dunnock Holme
66 Robin Holme
67 Wheatear Titchwell
68 Blackbird Norfolk
69 Barred Warbler Holme
70 Yellow-browed Warbler Wells Woods
71 Chiffchaff Holme
72 Goldcrest Holme
73 Red-breasted Flycatcher Holme and Warham Greens
74 Pied Flycatcher Wells Woods
75 Bearded Tit Titchwell (heard)
76 Long-tailed Tit Norfolk
77 Blue Tit Norfolk
78 Great Tit Norfolk
79 Coal Tit Wells Woods
80 Nuthatch Wells Woods
81 Jay Norfolk
82 Magpie Norfolk
83 Jackdaw Norfolk
84 Rook Brecks
85 Carrion Crow Norfolk
86 Starling Norfolk
87 House Sparrow Norfolk
88 Chaffinch Norfolk
89 Brambling Holme/Wells Woods
90 Greenfinch Norfolk
91 Goldfinch Norfolk
92 Siskin Wells Woods
93 Linnet Titchwell
94 Lesser Redpoll Wells Woods
95 Canada Geese Titchwell

Friday, 21 September 2012

Twitching the SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER again and cornwall

Last weekend I went with my parents and my brother to Cornwall to move him into his new university.
On the way down we made a short detour so that my brother could see the Short-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor RSPB. After waiting about an hour of only seeing the back of the SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER and a Med Gull it came out and decided to start wading around the area. I took pictures again and by the time I had done that it was time to go.

Short-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor

On the last day in Cornwall me and my family took a walk to Lizard point. On the way we saw nothing apart from a Ocean Sunfish. At the Lizard I walked around with my brother to try and find Chough. After looking for a while I found a Wheatear. I was beginning to get doubtful if I was going to see one and just before turned round to head back two CHOUGHS (lifer) flow past. After that view we tried to find them but failed and headed back.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


For the last 4 days I have been on Portland on a holiday with my Mum.

We arrived in Dorset in the afternoon. In the early evening I decided to try and twitch the Woodchat Shrike but it did not show its self and only 2 Whinchat were present.
After my try we headed off to our self catering.
In the evening before I went to bed I took my dog for a walk. On the walk I saw a Hedgehog in a field.

I got up early and took my dog for a walk to Portland Bill which is only 2 miles away. Around the bill and on the walk I saw some Wheatear but otherwise nothing. I also tried some sea watching but unfortunately it was a calm day so nothing was about.
After a while I went back home. After breakfast I decided to go to RSPB Lodmoor to teach my Mum some bird identification. On the reserve I saw 2 Black-tailed Godwits, c. 15 Ringed Plovers and  c. 15 Dunlin. After that we headed off to the Woodchat Shrike to have another go. Unfortunately it was late and didn't show again.

I decided to go to Portland Bill with my Mum and my Camera. On the bill there were Wheatears,a Stonechat and some Mipits. No sea birds again but some good photo opportunities.

House Sparrows on the walk to Portland Bill

two Wheatear at Portland Bill

Wheatear at Portland Bill

After having breakfast I had a break checking my iPod frequently for rare bird updates. After a while a report came in of a Long-billed Dowitcher at RSPB Lodmoor. After lunch my Mum took me to the reserve. It took me about an hour before I saw it. Some one kindly allowed me to look through his scope and I saw the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER properly for the first time (now being thought to be a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER). As well as the Dowitcher there was a Godwit present.

Find the Dowitcher.

The Dowitcher.

After having a good look at it I headed off to the other side to look for a Little Stint which was reported early. Some one else pointed it out to me and I could just about see the Little Stint in my bins luckily again they allowed me use there scope to have a better look. After having a good look I headed back to the dowitcher unfortunately it had gone and hid but two Black-tailed Godwits were present and were a good opportunity to get a photo.

Black-tailed Godwit RSPB Lodmoor

On the way back to the car I saw a Lapwing on the marshes which was very close it allowed me to get a photo.

Lapwing RSPB Lodmoor
After that I headed home.

On my last day I read on rare bird alert about two wrynecks at West Bexington. I went up there to have a  look around the area. I looked with many other people for them but unfortunately I didn't see it and nor did anyone else. I then headed off to Abbotsbury with my Mum for lunch and a walk with the dog. After that we headed back to my home in Kings Langley. A good holiday for photography and a VERY nice surprise to see a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER.