Snow Petrel - Antarctic Ocean 2016

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Nightjar Heaven 25/6/12

My tree climbing skills came in good again this evening. I went to Wilmington Wood and had amazing views of a pair of Nightjars.

One started churring at 9.20pm, and 20 minutes later the pair were performing just out of sight, so I climbed a tree to view the whole area. Both birds were seen briefly until out of nowhere one bird perched in clear view about 20 metres away from me, where it stayed for about 10 minutes.

Then in the tree I was standing in, a Nightjar was churring at the top of it's voice. Whilst watching it at about 8 metres range, it started hovering and then hunting right in front of me before dropping down to the ground and flying off.

The pair then started displaying in view and a bit of wing clapping was also seen. The presumed female carried on returning to the same branch in full view and also did the occasional hunting.

At 10.10pm I left the site, and on the way back a Glow Worm was on the path.

A great evening.


Glow Worm in Wilmington Wood

Little Swift 24/6/12

Went to see the LITTLE SWIFT at New Brighton, Cheshire with Jake on Sunday after it first got sighted on Friday. It only took 4hr 10mins to get there, and a nice 5hr 20mins to get back. This was a UK tick, but not a world tick as I had seen them in South Africa.
We spent nearly an hour watching this mega. We would have spent longer but the fear of catching a dodgy accent was too much, so we left for home.




The superb Little Swift at New Brighton, Cheshire


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

New Forest + Heyshott 19/6/12

A great day out in amazing weather. I started off at Lower Pennington and saw the ad. Night Heron in flight a couple of times.

By 9.30am the temperature was already 18 degrees as I arrived at Acres Down. Setting up and scanning out, a male Goshawk was already circling above. Over the next 3 hours another Goshawk was seen perched up on a conifer. Also a Woodlark, small parties of Crossbills and loads of Buzzards but unfortunately no sign of any Honeys.

I then parked up at Puttles Bridge and walked down Silver Stream and saw about 10 Southern Damselflies and lots of Keeled Skimmers, The latter were very flighty and impossible to photograph.

I then walked along the stream heading NW to Markway Bridge and in a small channel I found 3 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies. Other Damsels included White-legged, Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed. Also along this stream were 2 Hobbies, a family of Redstarts and a Lesser Butterfly Orchid.

Time was getting on so I headed back and looked on Heyshott Down and I counted exactly 50 Musk Orchids, and 8 Greater Butterfly Orchids in the wood. A Tree Pipit was also there.


 male Southern Damselfly


 male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
 Greater Butterfly Orchid

Musk Orchid

Monday, 18 June 2012

Frog Orchids 18/6/12

Saw 19 Frog Orchids at the same site as of previous years, on the Eastbourne Downs bordering the 'posh' golf course. This is an average count for this site, and a pretty good number despite the very dry conditions earlier on in the year.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Little Bittern & Orchids 17/6/12

My cure for the hangover this morning was driving to Hertfordshire to see the spectacular LITTLE BITTERN. It didn't take long to get to the Aquadrome LNR at Rickmansworth and after a longish walk I was watching this beauty at close range. This bird represented my 2nd UK Little Bittern.

On the way home I stopped at Newtimber Hill just north of Brighton and found some Greater Butterfly and Bee Orchids.



 Little Bittern - pics 1&2 show the bird with a Stickleback.
 Bee Orchid

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dungeness and Back 15/6/12

Saw the adult Roseate Tern at Dungeness on The Patch this morning amongst many Common Terns and a 1st summer Little Gull.

Camber Sands on the way back held 13 Lizard Orchids, plus quite a few Pyramidal Orchids.

On the way back home I saw 2 Tree Sparrows (1 adult + 1 fledged bird), a Cuckoo and some Variable and Red-eyed Damselflies.



 Lizard Orchids at Camber


Variable Damselfly

Monday, 11 June 2012

Landguard NR, Suffolk 11/6/12

Went with Mick today and saw the lovely male Red-backed Shrike at Landguard. UK yearlist now on 265.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Stormy at Splash 8/6/12

Highlights in a force 7 SW wind 10.40-1.55pm produced:

STORM-PETREL - 1 east @ 10.50am 200-250 metres offshore. Only the 4th record for Splash Point, the last being 3 in May 2006.

Pomarine Skua - 1 l/p @ 10.42am
Manx Shearwater - 1 W
Arctic Skua - 2 1/p + 1 d/p
Mediterannean Gull - 33

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hardcore Birding 4/6/12

After work I made my way down to Church Norton in hope of seeing the Purple Heron.

On arrival it hadn't been seen for a couple of hours, and after another hour or so myself and Ads Bowley got bored and decided to head round the otherside of the Severals and climb some trees, offering a better view into the reedbed. We picked out some rather nice Oak trees to climb but unfortunately the first climb did not succeed, and rather ended in me hanging on a branch and falling into a leafy bog up to my knees.

However the next tree proved better, though a fall this time would end up in me having to swim back to dry land. We both climbed this time, and whilst in a confortable position scanning above the reedbed, it was very noticeable that the birders on the shingle were looking at something with interest, and after looking through countless leaves and branches, we got onto the 1st summer PURPLE HERON as it flew around. Good views were had until it climbed a good height and ventured out to sea, and then east.

Half hour then past in trying to get out of the tree, and Adam succeeded brilliantly by throwing himself out of it onto the crops below, whilst I carefully twisted down with style. One of the funniest twitches and a good start to my 'viewing rare birds from tree' list.

Anyway, there was enough light to stop off at Cissbury on our return, and myself, Mick, Ads and Dawn set off and eventually heard a Quail. Remarkably, it then flew towards us and landed very closeby, and we watched it as it hunkered down in the short grass about 20 metres in front of us. A great encounter.


Quail at Cissbury Ring

Saturday, 2 June 2012

On a Roll 2/6/12

Twitched the magnificent ROLLER in East Yorkshire today with Bob and Mick. From home, it took 4hrs 50mins to reach Aldbrough. The bird was on view straight away and at times came quite close. Seeing it in flight was great as it showed off all its colours.

 Roller in E. Yorks

Marsh Warbler 1/6/12

Went with Jake to Rainham Marshes RSPB this evening to see a male Marsh Warbler. We eventually saw the bird (which was new for me) briefly, but this was made up by the amazing song which featured 10+ species including Blackbird, Skylark, Melodious Warbler, Great Tit, Whitethroat, House Sparrow among many more.

Also present was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling.

video
Marsh Warbler song

Golden Oriole 24/5/12

A great day in Norfolk notching up a total of 98 species. Highlights were 3 Stone Curlews, a male Golden Oriole, 2 Garganey and a Red-crested Pochard being the yearticks. Also saw 2 Spoonbills and a Short-eared Owl.

video
Short video of the singing Golden Oriole at Lakenheath.