Friday, 21 December 2018

Eagles,Short Eared Owl and Gyrfalcons

Date: 16th- 20th December
Mudeford quay, New Forest,Blashford,Bleadon Levels, Newton St Loe.
Some blue mostley overcast the rain.
Species Highlights: 
Red necked Grebe,White Tailed Sea Eagle, Siskin, Redshank, Meadow Pipit, Short Eared Owls, Gyrfalcon, Sparrowhawk.

Sunday and nothing new about to add to our lists so for Lauren a long overdue patch walk, her last time was September! So a slightly  dam walk up over fields only highlight here was a few Linnet. Unfortunately not a lot else going on. The Dipper was not about, let's hope shooters from previous week hae not scared it off!.

Monday morning and we'd planned a trip into Dorset stopping first at Mudeford Quay hoping for a few divers but a very distant Red Necked Grebe was almost the only bird. Tide was going out so a bacon sandwich and coffee with views across to Isle of Wight would have to do.

On way back we popped into the New forest at Lindford hoping for a glimpse of the White Tailed Sea Eagle that was causing a stir. On arriving we walked through forest scanning tree tops and floor for a odd Brambling or maybe even a Redpoll for Lauren , but Chaffinch flocks the best.

We past a few birders in forest all looking for the Eagle with different opinions of where it was, we continued walking our planned route, me saying just a bit further and got to the turn around point, just about to leave when we spotted the distant eagle typically flying almost back to where we had walked from!
Not a year tick as we'd already seen a few in Mull this year, but brilliant to sea such a massive bird soaring over Hampshire countryside. 
(sorry about picture it was around a mile away!)

After arriving back at van, we decide our last hope of seeing a Redpoll or Brambling was Blashford lakes so off to the Woodland hide and the one window looking out on to feeders.

What started as a blue sky day had now turnned into a grey and overcast day but a few birds were keeping us entertained, this lovely Nuthatch.

Chaffinches squabbling... almost a good shot.

Best bird there was the Siskin, and then it rained, so we left.

Rained continued into Tuesday so stayed in, Wednesday promised good weather and sunny spells so I headed down to the Bleadon levels, lots of birds in the estuary Redshank, Teal, Shelduck and large flocks of Lapwing, streaming across the skies. 

Could see a distant marsh Harrier hunting on the Brean side plenty of Meadow Pipits/ Skylarks feeding on the marshes.

I walked some 7 miles looking for Owls when almost giving up saw a Short Eared Owl take off from a post about 10ft in front of me, then disappear. I relocated the SEO from the sea wall. Dog walkers were letting their dogs run wild and came within a few feet of owl! 
The Owl took off.

Walking back towards the van spotted 2 Owls hunting in a far field so starting to jog towards the owls, almost there and realised my phone was missing from pocket!! Its like Mallorca all over again. Hoping the phone hadn't fallen into another puddle re traced my route searching for it....thankfully it hadn't fallen in puddle. Zipping it up returned to where owls were they'd gone!
stood waiting for a few minutes then decided to go when i'd spotted owl on a nearly by pearch. Stealthy creeping closer managed a few pictures when i thought the other owl knocked it from pearch, it took off and flew towards me.

Strange i thought when suddenly I saw the reason why.......

The reason was this a Gyrfalcon!!

A falconry bird with jesses and satellite telemetry on,  a wild bird would have been a mega find, but still great to see. Both birds then flew off high and disappeared.
On way home my van developed a problem, still waiting to see what it is!

Thursday I went off around patch, it rained almost as soon as i started with again very little being seen, apart from a few rainbows.

A few Mistle Thrush around lake, with Teal numbers rising now at 45 birds.

Dipper still not about but small birds a plenty in top woodland, Coal Tit, Blue, Great ,Chaffinch, Long Tailed tits and Treecreeper.

Walking back along drive a few Common gulls feeding with Black Headed Gulls.

In village i met Naomi from West of England Falconry who was feeding Rufus this tiny Sparrowhawk, his talon was malformed so the other Falconers didn't want him but Naomi looked very happy with him.

A real little beautie. 

So that was the end of our week only a few more days left of 2018 so I'd like to thank and wish all our readers a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thanks For Looking! 
  Thanks For All Your Support!

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