Dartford Warbler on Sandy Point.

Sunday 25th January 2015.

It is the RSPB Garden Birdwatch this weekend and so I done my usual hour within my garden. I shall load the results down later. First thing this morning, I fancied somewhere different to do some birding for a change and so, grabbing Scruff, we done a walk around Sandy Point on Hayling Island. The weather was cold but dry, but a lot more cloud around than yesterday. Timing is everything, when you want to ‘bird’ in certain areas and if I done my homework, I probably would not have gone here knowing that the tide was way out!

The Gorse bushes and small pond on the nature reserve.

Parking up near the end of Seafarer’s Road, I walked the footpath to the harbour entrance, keeping an ear and an eye out for anything interesting here. This is a good spot for Firecrest, but I only managed to see around four Goldcrests in the bushes and trees. On reaching the end of the footpath, I noticed then the tide was well out. A good scan over the calm water revealed absolutely nothing! So, very disappointed, I trudged my way south to view the gorse bushes for a possible Dartford Warbler.

A very impressive beast!

I saw my only Dartford Warbler last year, at this site whilst watching the Red-backed Shrike and as luck would have it, another bird appeared at exactly the same spot! I heard it at first, then a fine male bird flew out of the gorse and landed within cover. Unfortunately, though I saw it a few times more, it was just fleeting glimpses as it made its way deep within the gorse. A preening Wren gave me some home, but through the scope, one could easily see it was a Wren.  There was not a lot else on show and so I took a walk north to the Lifeboat Station.

Tufted Duck and Black-headed Gull on Sinah Gravel Pits.

With a combination of a very low tide and lots of people around the Sailing Club, I decided against walking up to Black Point. Instead, I looked around the harbour entrance once again (nothing all that interesting) and a walk around the bushes and trees behind the Lifeboat Station. From here, another couple of Goldcrests were seen as was a singing male Chaffinch! Rather early, I thought. The walk back to the car proved unexciting too and so, before I made my way back home, I had a quick look on Sinah Gravel Pits.

A very still and quiet Sinah Gravel Pits.

Again, not a great deal here, with only around a dozen or so Tufted Duck on the water and a few Robins by the bramble area. So, I made my way home to do the RSPB Garden Birdwatch.

A pair of Wrens popped in briefly into my garden.

One of several Blue Tits taking advantage on the newly stocked up feeder.

I kicked off at exactly 11am and within one hour, I was surprised to notch up 15 species, which were either in the garden or flying over. I made sure the feeders were well stocked up and there were plenty of meal-worms in the tray. I just had to keep the pesky Wood Pigeons off it! The best of which was a Common Buzzard flying high over Southsea drifting eastwards. My list of sightings in order were as follows:

Blackbird

House Sparrow

Herring Gull

Starling

Wren

Pied Wagtail

Carrion Crow

Wood Pigeon

Blue Tit

Robin

Greenfinch

Magpie

Collared Dove

Goldfinch

Common Buzzard

I have added some photos of some of the birds that were in or over the garden this morning.

Female Blackbird.

This singing Robin came down to the feeder occasionally, to pick out a sunflower seed.

A pair of Goldfinches popped in now and then. A larger flock were seen going over the houses.

Our usual House Sparrows popped in occasionally also, but mostly spent their time in the Holly Tree.

The star bird. This Common Buzzard was totally unexpected. Though a bit distant, I watched it soar high over Southsea, then drift off eastwards.

A pleasant but quiet walk around Eastney Point.

Saturday 24th January 2015.

Harbour entrance looking north from the Outfall.

It was my first chance to do a spot of birding for some while and so after all the days chores were sorted (Keydell Garden Centre, Homebase and the Range, as I have to keep the missus happy!), I finally took Scruff for a walk around Eastney Point. While driving up the Eastern Road to head for Keydell Garden Centre, I pointed out the flock of Avocets to Becky, which were in a tight bunch swimming in the harbour (possibly 70 birds there now!). At Keydell, the birdfeeders near the café, held at least one Nuthatch and a Long-tailed Tit among the usual garden birds.

One of the many female House Sparrows by the car park.

When I arrived at Eastney Point, the sun was still shining within a cloudless sky, but the north easterly wind was a tad sharp and kept the temperatures cool. Despite a good search in all the usual places around Eastney Point, there was nothing unusual seen today.

Turnstone on the sunken bridge at high tide.

Roosting Common and Black-headed Gulls by the harbour entrance.

The usual confiding House Sparrows and Starlings were in the bramble by the car park overlooking the harbour entrance. There was nothing interesting among the usual Gulls and a look from the Hayling Ferry Terminal revealed nothing within the harbour, bar the usual Turnstone, which were now roosting on the sunken WW2 Bridge. Again, nothing of note swimming in the harbour entrance, so I climbed back in the car and drove to the car park near the boatyard.

Four Oystercatchers were with the roosting Gulls.

If it was quite earlier, then it was even more so at this location. The only sighting of note was a full summer plumaged Black-headed Gull among the all the other Gulls by the car park. There was nothing off the Outfall, despite a good search over the sea and so, I decided to take Scruff for a walk around Fort Cumberland Common before we headed off home.

Summer plumage Black-headed Gull.

The male Kestrel was seen again, but more distantly over near the beach. The eight Meadow Pipits, which were also seen the last time I was here, were present again; but were more elusive in the long grass. There was no sign of the Stonechats this time, which was a shame, but a single Stock Dove was seen flying east over the Fort. I checked all the deserted buildings for anything unusual. A Little Owl was reported here last winter, but no diamonds today.

Female Pied Wagtail on the beach.

When I got home and was getting Scruff out of the car, a female Sparrowhawk flew over, being persued by small flock of Starlings. Earlier this week, there was a Chiffchaff in my back garden, though it quickly flew off into gardens further north. Work is starting to really pick up now and as I am venturing into the world of Workplace Pensions, my entries to my blog might be a lot less than normal. However, the work takes me all over the place and so, I shall keep my eyes peeled for anything unusual. It’s the RSPB Garden Birdwatch tomorrow and so I shall spend an hour doing my bit for them.

The male Pied Wagtail with its mate nearby on the beach.

Jays in the Cemy.

Tuesday 20th January 2014.

Goldfinch in the Cemy.

I have only recently picked up my laptop from being repaired, due to some viruses which have found their way onto it. Therefore, I have loaded all my trips over the last few days, all at once onto my blog. So I am hoping my memory serves me well. I was pleased to see that on Tuesday evening, Winterwatch was back on our TV screens; showing some interesting footage of our more hardier species within the UK and how they survive our harshest of winters.

1st winter Blackbird.

Today, I took some time out to walk Scruff around my local patch, Highland Road Cemetery; the first time this year, in fact! I was hoping to find a Jay to add to my year list and thankfully, there were at least three present today. They all showed well and with one individual, I even managed to get some film footage of it.

A Goldcrest flitting about in the top of an Oak tree.

At first, all was very quiet here with just the usual suspects on show (Herring Gulls, Magpies, Wood Pigeons and Carrion Crows), then a Pied Wagtail flew over and then was quickly followed by a nice flock of around 20 Goldfinches. There was plenty of evidence that the recent winds had blown down a lot of branches, which were strewn over the gravestones. In the north east corner, the largest Oak held a small flock of Goldfinches feeding high up and nearby, a male Goldcrest was busy searching for food among the twigs.

The Goldcrest again.

Walking towards the Mausoleum, the Jays showed well, with one individual searching for food on the ground. The Green Woodpecker then flew up from between the gravestones and rested on a nearby tree. It soon flew off as I neared and landed on one of the tallest gravestones, until dropping back down onto the ground once again to resume searching for food. Though there wasn’t too much on offer today, it was nice to pick up the Jays to add to my year total and also to see some of the regular birds.

One of the Jays tackling an acorn.

Andy Johnson kindly emailed me back today as I sent him a photo of a possible Caspian Gull I saw off the harbour wall at Thorney Island recently. Unfortunately, it WAS a Herring Gull. Grumble! A quiet day today in Hampshire, with nothing new reported. Click on below, footage of one of the Jays in the Cemy today.

Jay in Highland Road Cemetery.

The Green Woodpecker searching for food between the graves.

Raven, RL Partridge & Bullfinch on Old Winchester Hill.

Sunday 18th January 2014.

The view looking west.

John Goodall and I met up again this morning to take a walk around Old Winchester Hill, deep within the Meon Valley. I picked him up around 8am and by 8.30 am, we arrived at the near empty car park. The light was very poor this morning, therefore, I hardly took any photos this morning, despite plenty of birds and mammals on show today (although most were flybys and quite distant). But despite this, I picked up three more year ticks this morning.

Raven, Red-legged Partridge and Bullfinch were added to my year total; the latter being quite abundant with at least 10 birds seen in various areas of the Hill. The morning kicked off with a brief Marsh Tit flitting in the bushes by the car park and as we walked along the footpath south, a Bullfinch flew over. No sign of any Yellowhammers, which was disappointing, but a Goldcrest showed well briefly along with a few Titmice.

Down in the valley below, large numbers of Jackdaws and Rooks could be seen either in the trees or in the fields. Pheasants were abundant in the fields and a small group of three Roe Deer were walking across one of the fields. A Common Buzzard was ‘mewing’ somewhere in the woodland, but could not be seen.

As we neared the fields to the south, more Bullfinches could be seen, albeit just fleeting views. The walk to the Fort entrance was rather quiet, with just a few Chaffinches and Goldfinches flying over. A flock of Lapwings flew over the fields in the distance, but no sign of any Golden Plover. A Red-legged Partridge gave the briefest of views as it settled quickly in the field to the south. A Raven flew north high over the Fort, but was quickly lost to view. The walk around the Fort, produced a couple more Common Buzzards perched in a distant bush and a Kestrel was hunting nearby. A Green Woodpecker was seen on the Hill itself, but, yet again, I only obtained the briefest of views; which seemed to be the story of the morning! I found a pair of Foxes out in one of the fields to the south, then noticed them start to copulate out in the open!

The entrance to the Fort.

The walk back was rather quiet, but we got to see a flock of around a dozen Redwing flying from the bushes then headed off north. A pair of Marsh Tits showed well along the footpath leading back to the car park. When we were packing our gear away in to the car, I saw a Red Kite flying northbound, hotly persued by some crows and only managed a poor photo of it. I must admit, I was not too happy with the lack of photos I took, but it was one of those mornings where it was simply too dark to take any decent photos and most of the subjects were either flying away or simply too distant. Never mind, at least I picked up three more year ticks, which puts me on 111 for the year.

No sign of the Dartford Warbler.

Saturday 17th January 2014.

The male Kestrel above our heads.

As I never took Scruff with me this morning to Farlington Marshes; this afternoon, I took a stroll with him on the Common by Fort Cumberland, Eastney. There has been a ‘showy’ Dartford Warbler reported here over the last few days and so I thought I would try my luck to see if I could locate the bird for a nice year tick. Though it was cloudy, it certainly was a bit milder than earlier today. Though there were a few dog walkers around, most kept their mutts under control.

The male Stonechat near the car park. The female was close to the main road nearby.

I spent around an hour here this afternoon, searching all the brambles and gorse bushes, but I failed to find the Dartford Warbler. To make up for ‘dipping’ on the bird, a pair of Stonechats were seen by the car park and a flock of eight Meadow Pipits showed well on the perimeter fence. Best of all, was a confiding male Kestrel, which literally hovered just feet above our heads until it flew off and landed on the buildings to the south. If you could avoid the copious amounts of dog mess on the Common, then it is a pleasant walk around the area, but be prepared for plenty of dog walkers here.

Two of the eight Meadow Pipits by the Fort Cumberland compound.

A cold start on Farlington Marshes.

Saturday 17th January 2014.

Sunrise over Farlington Marshes.

There was a heavy frost on Farlington Marshes this morning, where I met up with John Goodall for a walk around the reserve. All the pools and puddles were frozen over when we arrived at 8am and a film of white frost was on the grass and bushes as we made our way around the harbour wall. One of the many black rabbits was present by the Bushes area and up by the first gate, a male Stonechat was perched on a bramble. The sun was only just rising over the horizon and therefore, the light for photography was poor.

Male Stonechat by the harbour wall.

As the tide was slowly rising within the Harbour, but the usual flock of Avocets by the Eastern Road Bridge, were present again; all in a tight flock by the water’s edge. Good numbers of Brent Geese were swimming on the calm water along with numerous Teal & Wigeon. Redshank, Grey Plover and Curlew were starting to pour off the harbour to roost on the reserve.

The Lake was virtually frozen over, though the far south west corner remained ice free, which provided enough room for some dabbling Pintail. A few Little Grebes also swam on the water, but there was nothing out in the open on the ice around the edge of the reedbed (a Water Rail or Bittern would have been nice!). A Kingfisher burst on the scene briefly, but quickly flew behind the reedbed and out of view.

Pintail resting on the Lake.

The walk to the Point Field was quiet, though we kept an eye out for yesterday’s Spoonbill, which was present by the Scrape. A Little Egret tried its hardest to mimic a distant Spoonbill, but through the scope, we could clearly see it wasn’t the Spoonbill. There was nothing more interesting among the many Canada and Brent Geese within the fields, despite a good search through the scope. A pair of Rock Pipits flew up from the concrete wall and out in the harbour, a flock of Curlew were seen flying onto the reserve, as the island to the south of the reserve, was disappearing under the rising tide. An overwintering Whimbrel has been present, but it wasn’t among this flock.

A frozen Lake this morning.

Another pair of Stonechats were present on the Point Field, but little else of note. There was a bit more activity by the Deeps with good numbers of Shoveler, Teal and Wigeon resting by the ice. I pointed out Johns first Skylark of the year, though it was a tad distant. Suddenly, all the Geese and wildfowl took flight, as a female Sparrowhawk slowly glided over the Deeps, then headed east over the harbour to the islands. It must have upset all the roosting birds, for when we were walking up to the Blockhouse, large numbers of wildfowl and Geese were arriving from the islands to the reserve. Among them, was the immature Spoonbill, which we found out later, landed on the small island near the car park!

The immature Spoonbill flying west over the reserve.

Back out in the harbour, looking east towards the islands, there was no sign of yesterday’s Slavonian Grebe (though it was seen from Hayling Oysterbeds later in the afternoon), with just the odd Great Crested Grebe and a few Mergansers being seen. Very disappointing. Eventually, the clear skies were soon engulfed with the dark cloud from the west and along came the rain with it! We took shelter, briefly, from the heavy rain shower within the Info Centre and it was nice to see that the sightings board had been updated.

A pair of sleeping Teal close to the harbour wall.

This Little Grebe was in the small creek adjacent to the footpath.

Once the rain had subsided, we then walked along the footpath between the Stream and the Bushes area. The usual suspects were seen as we walked west towards the harbour wall. A small flock of Black-tailed Godwit dropped in by the Stream and I could just hear the Bearded Tits calling deep within the reedbed, though I didn’t get a sighting of them. Thankfully, my hearing is still pin sharp! Phew! A Goldcrest was seen on the edge of the brambles, but little else of note as we made our way back to the car. Later this afternoon, a Spotshank and a Marsh Harrier were seen on the reserve; two potential year ticks!

Teal, Shoveler and Wigeon on the Deeps.

A gorgeous walk on The Burgh.

Sunday 11th January 2015.

Bewick Swans as viewed from the footpath looking into the Arun Valley.

Becky joined me today in driving back into West Sussex to pick up a few more birds for my year list. We were to walk Scruff on The Burgh; a jewel of a place high up on the Sussex South Downs. The weather was kind to us with bright sunshine and a cloudless sky at first, but as the afternoon wore on, the cloud rolled in from the west and the wind started to pick up.

Becky and Scruff walking up to The Burgh.

Typical country birds and a good variety of raptor could be had at this location but before we took our walk, a quick detour was had to view the Bewick Swan flock from the footpath near the Church within Burpham. It didn’t take long to view the birds, all 33 of them (all adults bar one juvenile) stretched out in one field close to the main railway line in the Arun Valley. I never saw this species last year as the usual Harbridge birds, in Hampshire, only turned up occasionally.

One of several Common Buzzards seen today.

Common Gulls flying over the countryside.

After year ticking the Bewick’s, we drove to the triangle on Peppering Lane and slowly walked up to The Burgh. Slowly is an understatement, as my poor wife had a bad leg but she was determined to get out today for a walk. A male Stonechat greeted us as it perched on the wire beside the road, but proved tricky to photograph. My first Fieldfare’s of the year were seen in one of the Pony Fields, which I pointed out to Becky. A pair A couple of Common Buzzards overhead, were joined by a third bird, which made full use of the thermals created over the countryside. These were soon joined by a very showy male Kestrel, which, at times, hovered just over our heads!

The showy male Kestrel near the footpath.

I scanned the fields below us every so often, hoping to get a glimpse of a Hen Harrier or one of the Short-eared Owls that had been seen recently, but maybe we were too early as none of these delightful birds were seen. Instead, the calls of Grey Partridge were heard someone down below in the fields and I picked out a couple of distant birds by the edge of a field. Suddenly, two birds flew right over our heads and all their plumage details were seen in the bright sunshine.

This male Linnet paused briefly by the footpath.

We didn’t walk too far as Becky’s leg was now throbbing a little and so we made our way slowly back to the car. A Linnet paused briefly by the footpath and the male Kestrel reappeared overhead, entertaining us as it soon flew off down into the valley below. I’ve put a bit of video footage of the bird at the bottom of this entry to my blog. A large flock of Gulls flew over and were all to be Common Gulls, with at least 50+ birds in this one big flock. A superb Red Kite then took centre stage, as it flew slowly towards us. It then circled then eventually landed in the field close to us but on the other side of the brow of the hill.

Scruff on the footpath. Arundel Castle can be seen in the background.

The Kite was my forth year tick of the day and my fifth soon followed. A couple of Skylarks then flew up by a nearby field but quickly settled down again. I was hoping for Corn Buntings near where I parked the car, but no sign of any whatsoever and nor were there any Yellowhammers about either, which was unusual. Nevertheless, my wife enjoyed her walk and I was happy with five more year ticks under my belt.

Along with the Kestrel, this Red Kite also showed very well.

Before we made our way home, I asked if we could stop up at the Church at Barnham. A group of four Whooper Swans (an adult and three juveniles) had been associating with the Mute Swans in a Kale field just south east of the farm. However, despite a good search through the Swans, there was no sign of the Whoopers. Grumble. Amazing news this afternoon, was of a Greater Yellowlegs being found on the Posbrook Floods, just south of the bridge, near Titchfield Village. Luckily, I saw the Farlington Marshes bird a few years back, but I do hope it hangs around long enough for me to catch up with it this week. Although, the weather might have something to say about that!

Red Kite.

The male Kestrel on The Burgh.

Purple Sandpipers at Southsea Castle, at last!

Saturday 10th January 2015.

Two of the ten Purple Sandpipers below Southsea Castle.

I was hoping to go for the Whooper and Bewick Swans in West Sussex today, but the very strong south westerly winds blowing all last night and this morning, put paid to that. Instead, I done some seawatching from the shelter on Southsea seafront; hoping to pick up a few more seabirds for my year list. Though it was very windy, with a probable force 6 out over the Solent, it remained dry up until 9.30am at least.

Peregrine flying south west over the Solent.

Enjoying a cup of coffee from my flask, the seawatch started well when I spotted a male Peregrine flying low over the sea heading south west towards Spitbank fort. I put my coffee cup down and followed the bird through the scope as it battled its way into the wind, although it seemed to negotiate the wind with ease. This was my first Peregrine of the year and a nice bonus on any seawatch.

Sanderling below Southsea Castle. Trying to stay still and photograph the birds was very hard work in that wind.

There was a steady stream of Gulls over the Solent and fortunately, a steady movement of Kittwakes were going through in a westerly direction. I couldn’t find any along the shoreline, but the ones I did see were about half way out within the Solent and all were notably adults. Another year tick. Small flocks of Brent Geese flew west close in over the Solent, though a single bird looked rather tired as it sat on the sea and drifted off east. The only other wildfowl seen during the 90 minutes I was there, was a distant pair of Mergansers heading west.

Some of the many Brent Geese flying across the Solent.

It soon became rather quiet and so I decided to try my luck, once more, for the Purple Sandpipers down below the Castle. Though the tide was out, the strengthening wind was still very strong as I struggled to clear my eyes from watering and peering down on the concrete embankment, I eventually found the Purple Sandpipers. At least 10 birds were seen straggled out across the embankment in search of food among the seaweed. Finally, I got to year tick the birds, which were also joined by a single Sanderling, which fed with them. Another scan across the sea proved fruitless so I headed home for some well-earned breakfast. Below, is some video footage of the Purple Sandpipers, but apologies for it being a little wobbly because of the wind!

Purple Sandpipers at Southsea Castle.

A windy afternoon on the south coast.

Friday 9th January 2015.

Gulls resting on the concrete embankment below Southsea Castle.

There was a strong wind blowing in off the sea this afternoon and it seems it is set to get much stronger later this afternoon. The far north of the UK have been experiencing over 100mph winds and I think we are going to get a taster this evening! Though it was windy, it was bright and sunny and so I took Scruff for a walk this afternoon, with my first stop at Southsea Castle.

Rock Pipit below the Castle.

Even before I reached the car park behind the Pyramids, I knew the tide was well up and so seeing the Purple Sandpipers was probably not possible. A quick look on the beach revealed a few Gulls and a lone Oystercatcher, but the only notable sighting was of a confiding Rock Pipit braving the splashing waves on the concrete embankment close to the promenade. I did find an adult Shag bobbing on the water, but apart from the usual Gulls, there was nothing else of note. I gave the sea a good look for Kittiwakes, but failed to find any.

Starlings by the Burger Van at Eastney.

Next stop was to be Eastney Point, where I would treat myself to a tasty burger before walking Scruff up to the Ferry Jetty then down to Eastney Point. A large number of confiding Starlings were by the Burger Van and some actually walked just inches from my feet! There were quite a few Gulls in the harbour entrance, but nothing unusual among them. Even the harbour was quiet, with just a few distant flocks of waders flying over.

A handsome couple.

Sanderling over on the Hayling Island side of the water.

Common Gull and Sanderling off the Outfall.

At least it was a bit more active down at Eastney Point, where there were a few Sanderling and Turnstone on the shoreline. From the Outfall, I watched a large flock of Sanderling (100+) over on the Hayling Island side of the harbour entrance. They looked as though they were being pounded by the large waves coming in off the Solent, of which a few flocks dispersed towards Eastney. A male Pied Wagtail was feeding within the seaweed on the beach and another pair was near the car park. Big clumps of Sea Radish was growing on the beach, but no wild flowers around the Point that was in flower still, despite being so mild. Below the two pictures, there is some video footage of the Sanderling on the beach.

Turnstone by the waters edge.

Sea Radish growing abundantly on the beach.

Sanderling on Eastney Point.

Dusky Warbler makes it 100 species for the year.

Wednesday 7th January 2014.

Kingfisher by East Lake.

Though there are many more potential birds I could of gone for to get my 100th species for the year, what better than a real rarity in the form of a Dusky Warbler. The bird has been present since Monday at Chichester Gravel Pits and thankfully, it was still present this morning. This species is notoriously difficult to see, let alone photograph, so some of the photos taken and put on the Selsey Peninsula blog are quite stunning.

Dusky Warblers should now be wintering in South East Asia, but due to the mild winter of late, this bird has kindly decided to winter in West Sussex. There are plenty of Chiffchaffs present at this location, so why not a much rarer warbler to hang around here? This was my third ever ‘Dusky’; the first being a long time ago in Dorset and the second, two years ago on Hayling Island. So, I wasn’t going to miss out in seeing this delightful little warbler, but it led the appreciative crowrd of 40+ birders a merry dance to get a glimpse of it this morning.

Some of the crowd getting a view of the Dusky Warbler.

The weather was bright at first, then the cloud came in from the south west and a spot of rain did fall, but, thankfully, remained dry during the couple of hours I was there. When I arrived, I joined up with a dozen or so other birders overlooking East Lake and the brambles by the water’s edge. A Kingfisher flew in and landed nearby, then flew off from where it had come from. The Dusky Warbler had shown 10 minutes before my arrival and was calling continuously. But all was quiet during my half hour stay at this location.

Great Crested Grebes on Ivy Lake.

Some chap then came over and said that other birders on the other side of the lake had seen the bird, so we all joined them. Stood looking over a large area of brambles, the bird eventually began to call. Its call is virtually a low ‘tick’ and judging from where it was coming from, we were all very close to it. I found that a lot of those present were elderly, therefore struggling to hear the call note. I soon picked up some movement close by within the brambles and quickly grabbing the binoculars, I soon spotted the Dusky Warbler skulking within the undergrowth. I gave the shout to everyone and eventually, the bird popped out briefly and then flew off to a nearby bramble behind us all. Forty odd birders then scampered over to the next set of brambles hoping to get another glimpse of the bird.

Great Crested Grebes and Tufted Duck on Ivy Lake.

One birder, armed with his digiscoping equipment pleaded with everyone to slow down and not chase the bird. But I think it fell on deaf ears, literally! The bird showed again briefly within the bramble, calling in doing so, but all the time I was there, it was never showing long enough to grab a photo. It eventually flew out of this bramble then back to where we first stood. Again, I got a couple more glimpses of it, scurrying through a bramble by the side of the lake and then I decided to make my way back home, knowing I had my 100th species of the year under my belt.

Gadwall and Tufted Duck on one of the smaller lakes.

I shall be busy this week with work but this weekend, if they are still around, I might go for the Whooper Swans at Barnham and the Bewicks Swans at Burpham. Hope you are reading this John?