Thursday, 27 January 2011

Return to Ruislip

I decided to revisit with Paul Lewis and it proved dividends as we saw Smew a party of redpolls around 32 and 8 bullfinch,other good birds were nuthatch ,tree creeper and a variety of thrushes.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Easy ride to Ruislip Lido

Got my motor running headed on the highway(A412) cruising on my bike through Harefield crossing the border into Middx and on my way to the Lido .
Yesterday I met Terry Clark who gave me some info on birds via Geoff Laptop.
On arrival helmet off grilling the Lido for birds I connect with a single red head(Smew),but I am distracted by two Mealy redpolls in a SilverBirch. A voice behind me says "what you got" it's Terry Clark yesterdays info provider,"so it's a Meally then," Yeah I replied looks like it,then we walk on  and clock three bullfinches 2 males 1 female this was great as they are not at a premium nowadays.
Finally Terry another birder and I find two male Smews in superb white nun plumage cruising the far bank in the flooded woodland.
We almost burst in to our Sister Act routine but leave the Lido quietly but satisfied.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Stockers lake

Walked to Stockers along the main road from The Cross,walking past Inns I note a few Wigeon and nod to another birder,on arrival at Stockers I walk the canal side noting a Little Egret in the top of an Alder,making my way to the hides overhead a small party of siskin call as they forage the canopy.
At the hide I put some seed out on the bird table,then along comes the lad I had seen earlier,he puts some nuts out and we get chatting,Lee from Hemel the blokes name,anyway we get two nuthatches which is a bonus then walk on to Bury lake where 4 red crested pochards oblige,I say cheerio to Lee and on route out  I photograph 2 pairs of goosanders at close quarters to end the morning.

Friday, 21 January 2011


Maple Lodge morning

Arrived around 11.00 after taking the dog out,met Joe Crump at the Club house ,so we decided to walk to the Rotunda a few teal were present but it was generally quiet,so we moved on to the Alder plantation where siskins were feeding at close quarters,after a while my hands were cold and aching trying to photograph these delightful birds,so on to the paddock here in bright sunshine catkins made a nice backdrop a little further on from the hide a dozen wigeon obliged and further up Long Hedge 50 Canadas and 2 Egyptians were at some distance.
Returning to the club house a pair of Ring necked parakeets clung to a feeder before Joe and I departed.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Marsworth reservoir

Dusk at Marsworth

Yeah you guessed it Lewis and Carter out for a couple of hours miss crippling views of bittern on arrival,but check this out up to 80 corn buntings going to roost .Finally as dusk descends brief glimpse of bittern and barn owl.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Wilstone whizz

Lewis and I managed to see the mobile Waxwings in Hemel behind Dixons retail before they flew off.
Then it was straight to Wilstone the water levells were low as we spoke to anglers in search of perch and pike,I have had the flu a bit recently curtailing my birding,however today provided golden plovers and lone redshank,plus four raptors a few geese,of note a single goosander and a number of goldeneye,we retired early.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

female reed bunting

On the border again

This time Lewis and I are chasing Essex birds,they moved the county boundary so we are still in Herts at Amwell,
in search of Bittern,we turn up and there is a working party in the reeds, but we see Pintail and good numbers of Wigeon and Teal.
We move on to the White hide, should be called the pc hide where we meet John Wiley ,we then grill pheasants , coal tits and reed buntings,the wind is North westerly and its cold.Three Common Buzzards put on a show and three red crested pochards show,but no bittern or smew,still you know the saying once bittern twice shy,Essex birds what are they like.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Colne valley birding

On the 7th I gave Hugh Day a retired bank manager a quick tour of Maple Lodge and Scots bridge meadows,first stop the feeding station at Maple Lodge due to heavy rain this seemed a good idea betting than getting soaked,I showed Hugh Tufted ducks and Pochard diving in bad light,also tit flocks on the feeders at last the rain relented and we walked around the reserve visiting various hides,we walked through the Paddock disturbing a Fox,but on arrival at Lynsters hide noted 27 Wigeon on the adjacent farmland,also some Gadwall,on Lynsters lake were 3 Goosander.Lastly we noted a flock of Siskins feeding in the Alders.
The rain had relented some what so on to Rickmansworth where above Scotsbridge Mill on the river Chess a Little Egret obliged,at the cress beds we saw Water Rail,Common Snipe and Woodcock this was a bonus,as was great views of two Kingfishers to Hugh's delight.
Another satisfied customer, if you fancy a trip in the Colne Valley contact me for details.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Stockers in the rain

Walked to Stockers in the rain,the lakes still partially frozen,noted 3 red crested pochards on Inns then on the Colne a little egret alighted.Visibility was poor but clocked up15 goldeneye on stockers,along with 3 goosanders,at the hide put some food out on the bird table and got nuthatch a year tick.Met Tim Clark had a chat walked on to Bury saw two red crested pochard then on leaving 3 goosanders on Batchworth.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Goosander and Common Gull Denham Quarry

Birding on the border again

Crossed the border again with Lewis,made our way to Denham country park,£2-50 to park your'e having a laugh parked in Denham village and walked,which was just as well as I flushed a green sandpiper on the golf course.
Checked out DCP apparently the council are giving them a hard time it may have to close,put the parking fee up,will only keep people away.
Back to the birding got little egret,buzzard,and a flock of siskin,walked to Denham deep lock and wood,lakes frozen partially although managed 6 goosander 1 confiding male and kingfisher,returning wigeon on the golf course  pond with displaying Egyptian geese,walked back to Denham village passing the late John Mills home as the light faded around 13.30 hours.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Brents and Curlew at Terrington

New Year birding

Due to family affairs I was on my way to Norfolk on New years eve,Kings Lynn was our destination,the light was poor,as was the following morning,we drove to Titchwell and there was a good variety of birds on show,in particular Marsh harrier ,Hen Harrier and just to add confusion a Northern harrier,this  American sub species was similar but carried a dragging leg.
Large skeins of geese notably Pinkfoot,Grey lag and of course the ubiqutous Brent,a few Avocets obliged,moving on we drove towards Burnham Norton where prior to the water mill a Barn owl graced the flooded meadows,we had lunch at the Dun Cow where on the adjacent marsh another Barn owl obliged.
Finally Cley next the sea provided little in the fading light.
The following morning I walked The Peter Scott Way along the river Nene noting some tame Barnacle geese more Brents and another splendid Hen harrier cruised the salt marsh.