Monday, 28 April 2014

Skylarks - Alauda arvensis

Date: 28th April 2014 - 1PM

Location:  Newton St Loe Village - Zone 1+5
Observation:  Went for a quick walk to Seven Acre Woods and back through the village, pretty deserted in total! On the crossroads at Seven Acre, about 6 Skylarks up together in a line and going down in hedges, unusual behavior! Also two Whitethroats singing in hedges. A few more birds appeared as it brightening up, highlights were Buzzard, Kestrel, Skylark, Whitethroats. The Barn Swallows are slowly increasing down by the farm, always nice to see them back! Only a few butterflies out also. Kestrel was sat watching Goldfinches and Whitethroat in lower field in the newly planted forest!
Weather:  Overcast, Sunny Spells, Warm
Other Species: Buzzard, Kestrel, Crow, Jackdaw, Skylark, Whitethroat, Robin, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Barn Swallow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, 

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small White, Orange-Tip, Small Tortoiseshell 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WWT Slimbridge in April

Date: 23/04/2014

Location: Slimbridge

Observation: Had a wander up to Slimbridge today lots of great birds around ! Headed first to see Cranes nesting first time in 400years ! They were not there but a lovely Gadwall cleaning will do.Then to knot hide feeders where 10 different species were darting around including Rat,Squirrel and Rabbit .After a scout round the other hides i headed for South Hide Where 8 Mediterranean Gulls had just Landed, i got there 2 were left  :( distant as well.No Kingfisher at hide but 2 Cettis singing for territory .Headed back round hides and a lovely little Sedge Warbler showed ,hidden a bit but aren't they always ! 
Weather: Grey, Cloudy and rain at times

Other Species:Greenfinch,House Sparrow,Great Tit, Blue Tit,Wren,Blackbird,Cettis,Blackcap,Reed Bunting,Gadwall,Oystercatcher,Mediterranean gull,Common Crane,Rook,Herring Gull,Black Headed Gulls,Sedge Warbler .

Monday, 21 April 2014

Summer Migrants Are Back!

Date: 21st April 2014 - All Day
Location:  Newton St Loe - Zones 1,2,4+5
Observation:  Pretty scarce to start with, but as clouded over, seen a few more, but mostly just the usual common suspects. First Whitethroat of the year, nice surprise as around 1 week early! Nice to see the migrants coming back, seen around 5 Chiffchaff, two of those were males and were very aggressive towards to each other, and grabbed each other and fell to the ground from about 20 feet, amazing to see! Both Chiffchaff's escaped unharmed but they wouldn't give up and carried on fighting for territory. On the bottom lake, the first of this years ducklings were on the lake, with a brood of six. The Mute Swan was still on nest, so shouldn't be long now! The Barn Swallows are also on their way back, we see around 10 in total, mostly just sat resting on poles. Only one of the possible 6 Little Owls were seen today, but staying well out of view. No sign of this years Pied Flycatcher yet, hopefully will return!!
Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny + Warm, Clouding Over
Other Species: Buzzard, Kestrel, Little Owl, Chaffinch, Barn Swallow, Chiffchaff, Jackdaw, Rook, Crow, Linnet, Long-Tailed Tit, Skylark, Grey Heron, Whitethroat

Butterflies: Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Small White, European Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Glossy Ibis @ Uphill (Weston STW)

Location: Weston STW, Uphill & Chew Valley Lake
Observation: Thought I'd have a look for the Glossy Ibis At Uphill-Weston STW.

It was blue sky yesterday so a day at the coast it was. It was freezing! 
With grey skies and a strong wind.

Parked up in high street and wandered along tree lined path towards STW, Chaffinch singing everywhere with Cettis, Goldfinch and lots of Skylark about, got to Sewage treatment Works looked at lake from path and Glossy Ibis was sat cleaning along with a Common Sandpiper. After a walk to Beacon on top hill great place to spot from! Headed to Herons Green pulled up got out Common Sandpiper 20 ft away ! Nice ! Quick cuppa and home :)
Weather: Grey Skies,Cold Strong Wind
Other Species: Jackdaw, Crow, Linnet, Goldfinch, Cettis, Glossy Ibis, Common Sandpiper, Cormorant, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Chaffinch, Skylark, Barn Swallow

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sparrowhawk + Roe Deer

Date: 14th April 2014 - 1PM
Location:  Newton Park Lake - Zones 1,2+5

Observation:  We filled up all the perches and done the normal walk out to the Lake and back through the Uni, but lots of people about so hardly seen any birds, apart the usual, lots more Blackbirds than usual, one singing Blackcap, and a Roe Deer were the highlights until we got out to the lake. Nothing much more on the Lake, the Mute Swan were on nest, and Little Owl was sat in nest also, peeping his little head out. On return around Lake, 3 fairly close Roe Deer, were feeding on new shoots on Blossom tree's, finally got some nice Roe Deer pics! Sparrowhawk landed above us, but shortly after took off again and circled higher and higher until he disappeared but that was about it for the walk after that! 
Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny, Warm
Other Species: Blackcap, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Song Thrush, Mute Swan, Coot, Little Owl, Jackdaw, Wren, Dunnock, Linnet, Goldfinch

Extras:  Bee-Fly, Roe Deer, Common Blue, Peacock Butterfly, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Mining Bee's.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Arne Nature Reserve + Dancing Ledge

Date: 8th April 2014 - All Day

Location:  Arne Nature Reserve + Dancing Ledge - Poole
Observation:  Our first visit to Arne Nature Reserve, was a good one! Not as much wildlife as expected, but a lovely walk none the less! Just outside the car park, a fox was up on the hill, and stopped for a few minutes to allow us to take some pictures before running off over the hill. Nothing new walking around to the first hide, just the usual suspects, not much from the hide either, one Curlew which flew off a few minutes later and a couple of gulls and Shelduck, until we looked down in front the hide, was 9 Sika Deer, all feeding on the Gorse and grass, was a nice surprise! Walked along the beach at Arne, highlights there was a fishing Little Egret and 2 fly-over Brent Geese. Back up on the hill were 4 more Sika Deer, and MASSIVE Wood Ant nests! We stopped for a few minutes overlooking a field with Gorse in (hoping to see the Dartford) no luck there but watched 3 tree-creepers within reaching distance collecting nesting material and building there nest, which was nice, very cute little birds! Our last chance to see the Dartford was up on the Moorland Route, we done the 45-minute circular route, with no luck at all, but did see a pair of Stonechats, by the Spider pond, sat there hoping they would come closer but just got further and further away! Typical! We moved onto Dancing Ledge, but down the road form the Car Park, sat on a dead tree was a Osprey, with a huge fish, we managed to stop the van, get our camera stuff and walk towards him hiding in the trees, and he flew off just as we lifted our cameras to take a picture!! Closest we've every been to one! Dancing Ledge is the place to see nesting puffins etc, this time of year, but all we seen was nesting Herring Gulls a family of Rock Pipits and a fly-past Shag, but we did burn quite a few calories walking back up the cliff, so wasn't a total loss!
Weather:  Sunny, Warm, Some Wind
Other Species: Kestrel, Buzzard, Stonechat, Treecreeper, Curlew, Avocet, Shelduck, Black-Headed Gull, Goldfinch, Brent Goose, Little Egret, Meadow Pipit, Osprey, Rock Pipit, Herring Gull, Shag, 

Extras: Grey Squirrel, Fox, Sika Deer, Wood Ants 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Brownsea Island - Poole

Date: 7th April 2014 - All Day
Location:  Brownsea Island - Poole
Observation:  Caught the first ferry over in the morning (10am), started raining shortly after we arrived on the island, and didn't stop until lunchtime, so got very wet and didn't see much until then! First bird we seen was around 5 Sandwich Tern on the ferry over to the island. After lunch, it stopped raining and brightened up a little, we revisited all the hides we had done in the hope of seeing a few more birds! That proved successful within minutes of arriving in one hide we had a Spotted Redshank in front the hide with lots of Black-Headed Gull (nesting) and lots of feeding Black-Tailed Godwit and Redshank. The next hide had a very close range Bar-Tailed Godwit, which was feeding on the mud within 10 foot of hide. A very distant Yellow-Legged Gull. Lots of little rabbits in the woods taking shelter from the wind, next on our list was to find the Red Squirrel, within 40 paces on the Woodland Trail, we seen one, run in front of us into the tree overhead. Then we just                                                                                     seen more and more squirrels, one being 

chased by the Peacock and so the Squirrel came within a metre of us! And kept stopping on perfect perches almost posing!! Weather was getting worse and worse from 4pm, so caught the ferry home, but in Poole Harbour was a lot of Cormorants and Rock Doves also. On the return boat, a fly over Sandwich Tern passed, and returned with a fish! Lovely day out excusing the weather, off to Arne and DurdleDoor tomorrow, so stay posted!! 
Weather:  Constant Rain, Warm, Some Wind
Other Species: Black-Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-Headed Gull, Pheasant, Peacock, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Rock Dove, Herring Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Mute Swan, Yellow-Legged Gull, Turnstone, Moorhen, Treecreeper, Greenshank, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern

Extras: Rabbits, White-Tailed Bumblebee, Red Squirrel

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Summer At Last!

Date: 1st April 2014 (Happy April Fool's!) - All Day
Location:  Newton St Loe Circular - Zones 1,2,4+5
Observation:  Done the normal circular walk, which is a lovely one today! Lots of little birds today, as well as Bird of Prey. Highlights were Linnet and Chiffchaff and Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel. Very nice walk and lots of butterflies and insects about also including Brimstone and Orange-Tip's.
Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny + Warm (Finally looking like summer!)
Other Species:  Buzzard, Little Owl, Linnet, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Coal Tit, Chiffchaff, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan

Butterflies: Comma, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Orange-Tip
Insects: Bee-Fly, Hoverflies, Honey Bee's, White-Tailed Bumblebee.