29 April, 2009

Rye Harbour NR -29/04/09

After leaving 'Dunge' a short journey to Rye Harbour NR and the chance of Little Tern. There were at least five birds, but they were high in the sky. Two other tern species breed here on this well managed nature reserve - Common Tern and Sandwich Tern.

Little Tern

This pair were much easier to photograph :-)

Little Tern Decoy

Common Tern

Sandwich Tern

The smart Mediterranean Gull thrive on the reserve.

Mediterranean Gull

Unexpectedly, a Kittiwake flew low overhead in to the sun.


Migrant waders were thin on the ground, this Bar-tailed Godwit tried to find a spot to land.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Northern Wheatear breed here too.

Northern Wheatear

Dungeness - 29/04/09

A warm and sunny day with little wind and calm seas meant sea-watching was unproductive, the exception was a single Pomarine Skua.

The only frustrating part of the day came much later. On reaching home, news broke of a Crested Lark to the observatory ! This bird had possibly been present for three days, and you would have thought ... well,never mind, these things happen !

On the land, Linnet and Meadow Pipit and Black Redstart were found around the power station.


Meadow Pipit

Black Redstart

Dungeness Power Station

A few Whimbrel were noted around the old gravel pits.


A Cormorant citadel.

19 April, 2009

Grovebury Quarry

A few migrants included Common Sandpiper, a pair of Little Ringed Plover, two Yellow Wagtail and a female White Wagtail. A sizeable Sand Martin colony is taking shape in this working sand pit. Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap sang from the thickets.

Yellow Wagtail

Sand Martin Colony

18 April, 2009

Local Patch - 18/04/09

Some sun at last ! - but back at work.

New birds included a pair of Oystercatcher.

The Little Ringed Plover were displaying today.

17 April, 2009

Local Patch - 17/04/09

Weatherwise, another murky day. At least the rain stopped around lunch time.

New birds in today:
Whitethroat - 2 singing males.
Dunlin - a summer plumaged bird on the scrape
Yellow Wagtail - 1 over

New birds seen by others:
Lesser Whitethroat, Black-tailed Godwit.

The Common Sandpiper remains, as does Green Sandpiper and the male Shelduck.

Common Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

16 April, 2009

Local Patch - 16/04/09

A very gloomy and rain filled day so photography was uninspiring. Oystercatcher and Yellow Wagtail were seen. Other new birds included a Common Sandpiper and a male Shelduck on the scrape. A Little Egret put in an appearance.


Little Egret

12 April, 2009

Easter Bonanza !

For a small inland county a red letter day by anyone's standards.

Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser


Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern


Willow Warbler

11 April, 2009

Local Patch - 11/04/09

A dank drizzley grey day when cameras should be left at home !

New in today:
On the scrape, the first Yellow Wagtail this year fed and bathed, and the first Water Rail for some weeks skittered around the margins. Hirundine numbers were well in to double figures.

Yellow Wagtail

Water Rail

Such were the poor light levels that these shots were taken (hand-held) at ISO 800, and 1/200 and 1/100 sec. shutter speed respectively

06 April, 2009

South Bedfordshire

This Red Kite was some compensation after a fruitless search for a Ring Ouzel. Other notables were: Fieldfare (11), Willow Warbler (2).

Red Kite

05 April, 2009

South Beds Badlands

On the local patch early morning saw the first Willow Warbler followed by Goshawk and Red Kite. The mist rose revealing the graceful Mute Swan.

Mute Swan

News broke of the first Redstart seen in the paddocks at Blow's downs. Digiscoping would have secured a reasonable image, instead a rather distant record shot will have to do !


This Woodpigeon was feeding on freshly emerged leaves.


Elsewhere, a Firecrest was very active, but stood still long enough for this image, albeit in rather low light.


Just as active was this singing Marsh Tit.

Marsh Tit

This Meadow Pipit defied convention by posing in a tree.

Meadow Pipit



03 April, 2009

Local Patch - 03/04/09

A cold foggy morning followed by blazing sun.

New in today: A single House Martin a five Barn Swallow lingered for a while in the fog, but eventually moved on. A third Little Ringed Plover joined the pair and much displaying/chasing occured. The Sedge Warbler was singing but remained shy.

A pair of Pied Wagtail have favoured the site recently.

Pied Wagtail

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Whooper Swan (plastic)

Whooper Swan

02 April, 2009

Local Patch - 02/04/09

New arrivals today included a Sedge Warbler (first in Bedfordshire this spring?), singing male Blackcap, a second Little Ringed Plover, and a few Barn Swallow and House Martin which moved on quickly. A passing Peregrine was mobbed by the local Lapwing.

Little Ringed Plover

The resident pair of Grey Wagtail fed on the waters edge.

Grey Wagtail

The Brecks

Lynford Aboretum - Three fly over Hawfinch, displaying Siskin and two Egyptian Geese in a tree were the highlights.

Egyptian Goose

tree art

Olley's farm, Thetford - Despite ideal conditions and fantastic weather a couple of hours waiting failed to reveal a Goshawk. Compensation in the form of Woodlark, Stonechat and three Crossbill were enjoyed.

Lakenheath RSPB - A superb site with the over-wintering Great Grey Shrike in the carpark, a fine pair of Garganey on the lake, booming Bittern, Bearded Tit plenty of Marsh Harrier and a brief view of one of two Common Crane.

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

Elsewhere in the Brecks there were two distant Stone Curlew.

Stone Curlew