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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Dec 28th

Managed to get out today at last. Started at Arc with wet and dark weather, no good for photos, where there were all the usual wildfowl plus 9 goldeneye (4M + 5F), 2 x redhead smew, 2 x great white egrets, 2 marsh harriers and a bittern flew past. Over to main reserve, 1 great white egret on track by gate to denge and Dennis's hide showed 4 x redhead smew down the bottom end. Rich roast time! Visitor centre much more comfortable than the wet weather outside, watched plenty of tufted duck, shoveller and widgeon amongst others and a pintail could just be made out in the misty rain flying over. Then something black and white caught my eye flying low across the top of the water.. a male smew, which landed over the back of burrowes across from the centre where a female later joined it alongside a male goldeneye and a female goosander. A drive up to denge showed the great white still near the gate and another on denge making the days count 4. Plenty more marsh harrier activity with several views of 3 hunting together, 6 little grebes a grey heron and a song thrush in a bush beside the hide. Quick visit back to car park to check the feeders which showed, blue and great tits, chaffinch, greenfinch, reed bunting, robin, tree sparrow and moorhen. Back for a second view at Arc which added a sparrowhawk to the day list plus a female red crested pochard and a kestrel and greater spotted woodpecker from the carpark.
The pictures show the really bad light so they're not very good!
Count for the day 50
Song Thrush


Bittern fly-by

Saturday, 15 December 2012

15th Dec

Not too good today, been a bit rough all week really so no trip out today, instead I'm sitting in my lounge looking out the patio doors into the garden. I scrubbed all the feeders today and filled them all with fresh seeds, fat balls and peanuts and now settled down to list all I can see from my settee (one comfy birder!) A good mix of birds today, house sparrow, dunnock, robin, blackbird, herring gull, black headed gull, carrion crow, magpie, jackdaw, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, blue tit, wood pigeon, feral pigeon, great tit, starling, even a greater spotted woodpecker sat in neighbours tree briefly.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

8th Dec

Stodmarsh today , starting at reed bed hide where there were 53 greylags, 42 Mallards and 23 teal. A marsh harrier kept lifting much greater numbers of teal, mallard and shoveller from main lake. Lots of blackbirds around which must be due to an influx of euro birds. Woods held a small group of goldcrests, and a few jays as well as many squirrels. Drove round to grove end where I first walked up the viewing ramp - should have saved my energy, only one bird in a view a litle egret on the far bank, I've never seen it so quiet. Feast hide had a family of long tailed tits on the approach and the pond held some mallard a few teal and a cormorant. 1 bearded tit showed for a short while, a marsh harrier was quatering the reeds and 1 sparrowhawk and 2 peregrines flew over.
Returning back to the gate showed a new sighting - could this be the 'Beast of Stodmarsh'?- I bet the rabbit thought so!
Count for the day 41


Beast of Stodmarsh?



Bearded Tit



Long tailed tit

  
Cormorant soaking up the rays

End of the day.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Slimbridge 2nd Dec

I've been meaning to get to Slimbridge for many years, today I finally managed it after a last minute decision - which never gave me a chance to come up with a reason not to go!
Early morning start for the 192 mile journey to Gloucestshire on a very cold day, the thermometer stayed around -3 for the whole trip, and only managed to get to -2 on arrival at 10.15.
The trip there even showed some good sights including 8 buzzards and the obligatory M4 red kite.
On arrival we didn't have to wait long to join the guided tour of the centre, thank you Dave for sharing your knowledge of the site and birds seen - even if you still didn't get to see the vole!
I was most impressed with the collection of ducks and geese and I managed to get some reasonable photos as it was quite a bright day some of which are posted below.


Australian Shelduck
Barnacle Goose
Demoiselle Crane
Eider
Grey Heron
Hardhead Duck
Hooded Merganser
Jackdaw
Java Sparrow
Nene
New Zealand Shoveller
Nene pair
 
Plumed Whistling Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Radjah Shelduck
Red Breasted Goose
Red Crested Cardinal & Green Winged Pigeon
Red Crested Cardinal
Red Legged Stilt
Redshank
Speckled Mousebird


American widgeon























 
 

1st Dec

Managed 3 1/2 hours today starting at ARC which held good numbers of widgeon, pochard, gadwall, teal, tuftys and shoveller, 1 great white egret and 2 marsh harriers. Tree sparrows were flying in and out of carpark over to boulderwell.
Over to visitor centre, watched a great white egret being chased down the full length of burrows by a great black back gull, then after hearing of goosander from Scotts hide, I first dropped into makepeace but couldn't see it there but did see 2 kingfishers fly by, tried Scotts, still couldn't see the goosander, but 3 male pintail were looking wonderful amongst the large raft of widgeon.
Back to the visitor centre to take down the exhibition. I had some wonderful comments made from visitors on the photos and was so proud to have actually sold some.
Count for the day 44