Midweek sightings.

Wednesday 10th February 2016.

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Some of the surrounding woodland by The Oaks Crematorium, Havant.

While on my travels when working, I am always looking out the car window or on the job for anything of note flying by. This week, The Oaks Crematorium came under the spotlight, seeing I am in communication with the manager in using the premises for my moth box. Fingers crossed. The Crematorium is surrounded by woods and what with plenty of wild and ornamental flowers in the gardens, I am really hoping I get the nod in putting my moth box out here in the coming months.

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Another view of the woodland at the Crem. I have heard Tawney Owls calling from here earlier this year.

Apart from the moths, there is always plenty of birds to look at which includes the regular Common Buzzards soaring overhead or perched on the fence posts nearby. Yesterday, a pair of Green Woodpeckers flew over in front of my work colleagues as did a female Kestrel. A singing Nuthatch was seen high up in a dead branch of an old Oak and a flock of around 20 Goldfinches flew overhead and also landed in the nearby woodland.

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Turnstone at Hill Head. Photographed by Jim Walker.

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Confiding drake Pochard also at Hill Head by Jim Walker.

Today, the Kestrel was still present as was two soaring Common Buzzards. A calling Marsh Tit grabbed my attention as I still need this species for a year tick, however, there was no sighting of the bird. At Eastleigh Sewage Farm, the long staying Yellow-browed Warbler is STILL present. Also, in attendance, was a Siberian Chiffchaff along with around 17 Chiffchaffs!  It is tempting to make the trip there this weekend. Also, the long staying Long-billed Dowitcher is still being recorded on Pennington Marshes.

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Robin by Jim Walker.

Ten year ticks at Blashford Lakes.

Saturday 6th February 2016.

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Shovelers and Wigeon on Ivy Lake.

As my wife went into work this morning, I made full opportunity in taking myself down to Blashford Lakes for the morning to catch up on all they had to offer. The weather was looking indifferent with heavy rain and strong winds forecast for today, however, the rain didn’t arrive to late in the evening, which was a bonus.

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A male Siskin in the Rlashford Lakes Centre car park.

Blashford Lakes needs to be planned carefully if one is to see as much as possible there, so I kicked off first for Kingfisher Lake for the wintering drake Ferruginous Duck (or Fudge Duck as it is not affectionately know!). Parking up at the end of Hurst Road, at the Ringwood end of the A338, I quietly got my binoculars and scope out to view the Lake through the wire fence and trees. Though they had chopped a lot of the ivy away to help viewing, it still wasn’t perfect and it took quite a while to finally nail my quest.

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Snowdrops in the reserve car park.

It was 8am in the morning and it was overcast, blustery with the threat of rain and now I had to go through tons of wildfowl on the Lake, looking for a small brown duck! It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it! Good numbers of Wigeon, Gadwall and Mallard were present here with smaller numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard and Shoveler. A few Great Crested Grebes were also present and while searching for the main star, a superb drake Goosander flew through and landed nearby in the south west corner of the lake. This was my first for the year and was to be one of 10 new year ticks today.

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Fallow Deer, including this unusual white stag, was seen in fields at the back of Mockbegger Lake.

Eventually, the drake Ferruginous Duck gave itself up as I found it swimming close to the tree island in the centre of the Lake. The bird was very busy diving and so I only had several seconds to clinch the ID of this diminutive duck, Happy with my sighting, I gave the area another good sweep through the binoculars to check that I hadn’t missed anything and then packed my stuff away for a trip to the rest of the Lakes.

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Hebrew Character moth was the only moth I found within the Centre moth box.

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This Dotted Border, a new moth for me, was found on the back of the Centre resting some distance from the moth box.

It was still some way from 9am, the opening time of the reserve, so I took a drive up Ivy Lane to view both Ivy Lake and Rockford Lake for the possible Great White Egret. Parking up in a lay by (awful for parking here), I checked through the viewing screen overlooking Ivy Lake, but no sign of the Egret, nor was there any sighting on Rockford Lake either. So my next stop was to be overlooking Mockbegger Lake and try there instead. Some small birds took off from the side of the road on the opposite side of the Lake and so I pulled over. From here, overlooking a large area of horse paddocks, a flock of around 20 Redwing and at least 30+ Pied Wagtails were found in the nearest field, as was a couple of Pheasants. I was hoping to find some Fieldfare, which was normally a good sight here for them, but had to make do with my first Nuthatch of the year instead. I was happy to settle for that.

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Good numbers of Siskins here on the Woodland Hide feeders.

I was surprised to notice that the viewing screen overlooking the east side of Mockbeggar Lake has gone and a lot of new fencing has been put up. Was this to stop visiting birders from parking here or simply some new form of reserve management? Nevertheless, I made my way to the Reserve Centre as time was ticking and was pleased to see a male Bullfinch by the side of the road (another year tick). Parking up within the larger of the car parks, I made my way to the Centre as a Common Buzzard drifted low over the woodland. I had an idea pop into my head about asking if I can view the Moth Trap here, and the chap present kindly allowed me to go through the moth box around the back of the Centre. Here, I found just the two moths: one Hebrew Character and one Dotted Border, which was a ‘lifer’ for me personally.

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Treecreeper near the Woodland Hide.

I was hoping to tell the chap what I saw but there was no sign of him. Oh well! Next stop was to be the Ivy North Hide for the Bittern. I enjoyed the large numbers of Siskins on the feeders as I made my way into the woodland and then followed the track to the Hide. A Goldcrest showed well beside the footpath but little else till I arrived at the Hide. I spent a good while here, but the Bittern did not want to show, though I did spot my first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year, sat on a small buoy on the far side of the lake. Very little else was seen through the side window bar a small flock of Teal and a pair of Coots. The wind was now really whipping up and the chances of seeing the Bittern was slim to none and so I made my way back out of the Hide to try my luck for the Bramblings from the Woodland Hide.

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Elf Cap Fungus growing beside the main footpath.

I added a confiding Treecreeper to my year list as I made my way to the Hide and enjoyed more Siskins in the trees. A Great Spotted Woodpecker showed well in the trees when I arrived by the Hide and searching among the many Chaffinches by one of the feeders, I soon found a delicious looking male Brambling perched in a nearby bush. This was to be one of around four birds present (three males and a female), again, my first of the year, but where were the Redpolls? I had to go inside the Hide to find them and though it took a while, I did see a couple of gorgeous male birds on the Niger seed feeder. As usual, someone with a big camera and lens was propped up by the entrance of the Hide when I entered.

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Long-tailed Tits clambering on a small feeder beside the Hide.

From here, good numbers of all the common woodland birds came down to feed and both the Bramblings and Lesser Redpolls gave superb views. A male Reed Bunting was also seen in the nearby vegetation and large numbers of Long-tailed Tits were busy occupying a feeder containing a nutball. Quite comical with such a large number on the feeder (see photo). After 15 minutes or so, I made my way down to the Ivy South Hide. Along the footpath, some visitors were admiring the scarlet Elf Cap Fungus growing beside the main footpath, which was my first for the year.

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A male Brambling below the main feeder by the Woodland Hide.

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A different male Brambling with a darker head.

I had the Hide to myself when I arrived, well at least for ten minutes or so, until a group of young children arrived with their young mum! From here, good numbers of Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal were present on the Lake. Pochard were abundant over on the far side and while searching the reedbed for possible Bitterns over on the far side, my first Kingfisher of the year was seen flying from one branch to another. Though it is nice to see young children enjoy themselves, no matter where they are, there is only so much noise I could take within a Hide and so excused myself to take a walk around the back of the reserve.

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Wild daffodils growing within the woodland.

More Siskins, Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests and commoner finches were present, but nothing out of the ordinary as I made my way back to the car to take a drive to the Tern Hide. Though there seemed to be a lot of cars within the car park, there was only one other person within the Hide. The wind was making the water very choppy, but still the light was fairly good despite being overcast. Both Slavonian and Black-necked Grebe were supposed to be present here but the buggers did not show during my stay here. Some close Tufted Ducks and Wigeon passed just in front of the Hide and a group of around 7 Goldeneye, which included 5 gorgeous drakes, were not too far away.

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Goldeneye on Ibsley Water from the Tern Hide.

The only year tick I saw from here was a solitary Grey-lag Goose which was grazing on the east side of the edge of the Lake. A drake Goosander swam from west to east within the centre of the Lake and a female was seen sleeping with Wigeon on the far side also. Good numbers of Lapwing were resting on the spit along with around a dozen Herring Gulls; but no sign of any potential Caspian Gulls among them. There have been up to around three birds present in the late afternoon roost along with the Ring-billed Gull, but no sign of either species this morning. A fellow birder soon joined me and although I never got his name, he was attempting to cycle around the UK to see as many species as possible just using his bicycle for transport. Good on him.

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A drake Wigeon with Tufted Duck in front of the Tern Hide.

It was now midday and I said my goodbyes to the small crowd that had now gathered within the Hide. Reflecting on this mornings birds, I was pleased to get up to 10 new year ticks in just three and a half hours. Apparently, both the Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe were seen this afternoon along with the Caspian Gulls.

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A calling Wigeon from the Tern Hide.

Blackcaps at Portchester Crem.

Thursday 4th February 2015.

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The male & female Blackcap by the car park at Portchester Crematorium.

I was working at Portchester Crematorium this morning and while waiting in the top car park in the comfort of my vehicle, I was watching the local bird-life searching for food just outside my car window. A pair of Dunnocks were busy chasing each other through the hedgerow and were soon joined by a pair of Great Tits.

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The male Blackcap.

It was interesting watching the birds go about their daily business but things got even better when a pair of Blackcaps turned up and fed on small insects they found literally just yards from my car window! I was hoping they would hang around long enough for me to take some photos using my iphone and thankfully, they kindly obliged. My iphone does not take the best of photos, so apologies for the quality of them. I watched the birds for at least 5 minutes but realised I had to go to work and so slowly got out of the car. This in turn flushed a Green Woodpecker that must have been on the ground on the opposite side of the fence! Nevertheless, two year ticks in a matter of minutes!

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A grainy photo of the female Blackcap.

Other sightings today included a drake Red-breasted Merganser in Portsmouth Harbour seen from the M275 northbound and a Common Buzzard at the Fareham turn off on the M27. Happy days!

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A lovely photo of a female Pied Wagtail which was taken by Dave Levy.

My first Diver of the year.

Sunday 31st January 2015.

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A near summer plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull (furthest at the back) in Langstone Harbour.

I had the opportunity to have a couple of hours birding this afternoon and I thought I would try my luck for the Red-necked Grebe off Northney Marina, Hayling Island. The bird was seen yesterday and early this morning, which raised my hopes, but, despite a lengthy search, there was no sign of the bird.

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Grey Heron in the fields opposite the harbour.

On a positive note, I did notch up three more year ticks, which included a Great Northern Diver within Emsworth Harbour; a Mediterranean Gull in near summer plumage among the Black-headed Gulls near the Langstone Hotel and several Knot feeding out on the islands among the Dunlin and Grey Plover.

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Dunlin and other waders out on the small island.

Though a grey and windswept afternoon, I felt as though I was the only one here walking through Northney Marina, an area I have not been to since I last saw the late Tim Lawman here, when we were all in search of an elusive Wryneck. However, the Marina was certainly much better than Port Solent and offered a lot of wading birds the opportunity to roost on the mudlfats there. In fact, among the many Lapwing, Redshank and Oystercatchers, I found three Greenshank among them.

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Brent Geese flying past.

On the way to the Marina, I pulled over in the lay by just before the Hotel and checked out the wading birds and Gulls within the harbour. Oystercatchers, Curlew and Redshank were abundant here along with several Grey Plover. A fairly large Gull flock had flown off the flooded fields opposite and landed on the water. Among them, I found my first Mediterranean Gull of the year, which put a smile on my face. The field also held a Grey Heron and a Little Egret, though the rest of the birds had all had flown off.

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The Marina entrance at Northney.

After parking in the Marina car park, I got to the harbour wall to overlook the harbour looking north. Several flocks of Mergansers were out in the harbour and a few individual nearby also. A good scan with the scope revealed a Great Northern Diver swimming near the islands and, apparently, another bird was supposed to be present, though I never saw it while I was there. Out on the small island, good numbers of both Dunlin and Oystercatcher were present and among them, smaller numbers of Knot intermingled within them (my first of the year). I was busy checking the waders for Golden Plover, which was a good site for them, but to no avail.

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Oystercatchers and a Curlew flying onto the small muddy island within the harbour.

Large skeins of Brent Geese flew overhead from their resting grounds over near Warblington Cemetery over the other side of the harbour, but nothing unusual among them. I could see in the distance that rain was coming in and so I made my way back to the car. On the way back through the Marina, both Cormorant and Little Egret were fishing the shallow water between the pontoons.

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Racton Ruins in the distance, north of the harbour.

The RSPB Garden Birdwatch this morning.

Sunday 31st January 2016.

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This Starling was in full song above me upon the guttering.

This weekend is the big RSPB Garden Birdwatch and I decided to take part and do my hours worth at 8.15 this morning. The weather, however, didn’t play its part as a prolonged period of drizzle made photography difficult, but the few shots that did come out were not too bad. A total of 15 species were seen in and around the garden this morning and with a good variety of food for the birds to choose from, I was fairly pleased with the variety and with a few surprises thrown in.

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This male House Sparrow was busy preening in the drizzle.

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Male Blackbird on my garden fence.

I was starting to worry about the House Sparrows not feeding on the new feeder I put up last week; but after half an hour, they slowly came in to feed as did a Robin, which took a great liking for the sunflower hearts! Up to 5 Blue Tits came into the garden and some were even displaying to add to the excitement. A Goldcrest was seen briefly in my neighbours tree until flying off north and a Grey Wagtail flew south low over the rooftops, calling.

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The Robin eyeing up my sunflower hearts.

The Starlings were singing from the guttering and at least 20 House Sparrows were present around the garden and busy ‘chirrruping’ to one another in the Holly Tree’s. Just the one pair of Blackbirds popped in and a single Dunnock occasionally explored the flower pots near the feeder. The oddest sight was a pair of Mute Swans flying low over the rooftops heading south; probably making their way to Canoe Lake?

A late walk around the Cemy.

Saturday 30th January 2016.

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Blossom is now starting to appear on the Cherry Trees.

Becky and I were looking after our Grandchild, Isabelle, overnight and this morning, we treated ourselves to breakfast at the new Southsea Beach Café. Beforehand, there was a Goldcrest in my garden, what looked like a male bird though it was still dark and overcast first thing this morning. Still, always nice to see one in the garden. I bought a new feeder last weekend and I am surprised on how many sunflower seeds are left after the first week, for the feeder is still fairly full. I am wondering if the House Sparrows are struggling to get at the seeds?

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Surely the Council will chop this unfortunate tree down soon?

After dropping off Isabelle back over her parents house and also a few chores around the various shops, I took Scruff for a late walk around Highland Road Cemetery. It was 3.30pm by the time I arrived at the site and hastily walked around the Cemy before the gates were due to close at 4pm. I never expect to see too much here though when I do see something interesting, it always makes the trip here all that much better.

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One of several Goldfinches present this afternoon.

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And another that showed a bit closer.

This afternoon, there were at least four Goldcrests seen in the bare branches of the trees and I wasn’t surprised to see blossom coming out on some of the Cherry Trees along the footpath. Yes, ridiculously early, but this winter has been the mildest and wettest one on record! Good numbers of Goldfinches were present, singing in the trees among one another and the odd Greenfinch could be heard also. I would like to know where the Green Woodpecker has gone for I have still yet to see the regular bird here this year! Not a great deal else to report regarding the birds, but the Dog Fox showed again over on the east side near the perimeter wall.

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Mr Fox was back again and showing well among the gravestones.

I didn’t have long before the gates closed here, so I hastily headed home. In Hampshire today, all the usual suspects were present which included the Red-necked Grebe off Hayling and up to 3 Caspian Gulls and the adult Ring-billed Gull at Blashford Lakes. Final word goes to Winter Watch which I enjoyed this week. There seemed to be much more interesting content than previous series, even though it was on for only one week and the Golden Eagle / Fox fight was to me the highlight of the week. Well done to the producers of the show and all those hardy souls with the camera equipment up in the Highlands.

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A lovely shot of a female Stonechat Jim Walker took this week on Farlington Marshes.

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And its mate. Nice photos yet again, Jim.

A fine day in Madehurst.

Thursday 28th January 2015.

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The 12th century old St. Mary Magdalene Church in Madehurst. Apparently, the locals are very keen on their wildlife here, especially the bats in the belfry, which includes the rare Seritone Bat!

I was working in a tiny little hamlet deep within the West Sussex countryside today, within the grounds of St Mary Magdalene Church. After yesterdays awful weather, it was a clear blue sky that dawned upon us this morning and my day kicked off nicely with the sound of a Chiffchaff singing deep within the heart of Portsmouth, the south end of Fratton road to be exact! I was walking to work and passed the area near the roundabout where I had seen a Goldcrest only a couple of days before on the way to work.

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Female Kestrel by Dave Levy.

This morning, I was working in Madehurst; a small village I have never been to this morning and of course, I always keep an eye out for anything interesting. Though I never had my camera with me, I did take a photo of the 12th century church that was here. A Grey Wagtail flew over a couple of times and a Coal Tit showed well in the Yew growing at the front of the church. A Robin sang its heart out in the sunshine and a Pheasant was lucky not to be run over by myself as I drove back to my office! My first Red Admiral butterfly of the year flew past me and several Honey Bees were seen buzzing around close by!

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The immature Shag on Canoe Lake by Mike Wearing.

I have added some more photos of some of my friends who kindly let me publish them on my blog. Again, many thanks guys. Of note, in Hampshire today, is the return of the Barn Owl roosting in the familiar tree to the west of the Canal Path near the Posbrook Floods. It was frequented by a Tawney Owl recently! Blashford continues to entertain with both the Ring-billed Gull and 1st winter Caspian Gull in the Gull roost, plus all the usual goodies there. Even the Yellow-browed Warbler is still frequenting Eastleigh Sewage Works still.

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Jay photographed by Jim Walker.

All quiet in the Cemy.

Sunday 24th January 2016.

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One of several Goldfinches within the Cemy.

An early afternoon stroll with Scruff around Highland Road Cemetery didn’t provide many birding highlights today, but despite the overcast conditions, it was a pleasant dry walk around my local patch again. There wasn’t too many dog walkers present, which is always a bonus, plus I even bumped into a budding young lady birder in which we had a long conversation about the ecology of the Cemetery. It was nice meeting you Helena if you are reading this.

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The fallen Silver Birch from last week is still blocking one of the footpaths.

Still the Green Woodpecker is eluding me here this year but a few Goldcrests put in a brief appearance in different areas of the Cemy. A flock of distant Brent Geese flew over Southsea, seen from the Cemy whilst talking to Helena and Goldfinch numbers were into double figures. Apart from the mentioned, both Robin and Wren were seen as well as the usual Blue and Great Tits. I couldn’t find any Toadstools today and there was nothing new among the few flowering plants still on show. A Grey Wagtail was seen this morning flying over the rooftops by my house. I have also bought a new bird feeder, which I have quickly put out today.

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Fieldfare by Dave Levy up in Basingstoke.

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A male Sparrowhawk with a Starling by Dave Levy.

At nearby Fort Cumberland, a female type Black Redstart was reported today but all was fairly quiet on Portsea Island. Some of my birding chums have put up some good photos of their recent sightings and have allowed me to put on my blog. Many thanks guys.

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Water Vole at Titchfield Haven by Jim Walker.

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This beautiful image of a female Kestrel by Dave Levy.

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Grey Wagtails battling it out by Dave Levy.

A stroll along the seafront.

Saturday 23rd January 2016.

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Isabelle and Becky enjoying the bracing weather at Southsea seafront.

It doesn’t look as though I will get any serious birding done this weekend as I have the pleasure of looking after my gorgeous granddaughter, Isabelle. Even this lovely girl comes before my birding, but I got the best of both worlds today when Becky and I took her to the seafront for a stroll in her pushchair. Though it was dry, there was a cold wind coming in off the Solent; but wrapped up warm, we took a walk to South Parade Pier and back.

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Wood Pigeons were feeding near the Cafe by Canoe Lake.

Of course, I took my camera along with me just in case something unusual should turn up, but all I saw was the usual common birds to be seen. There were a few photo opportunities of which some of them came out reasonably well. I thoroughly checked the larger Gulls on the Solent and on the beach for the lingering Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, but no diamonds there I’m afraid. A male Pied Wagtail done its very best to disguise itself among the pebbles, but it was no match to my sharp eyesight! However, something interesting was bobbing out on the sea some distance away while we were having a hot chocolate in one of the café’s. However, after checking my photos, it turned out to be a small discarded bottle of some sort!

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This Mute Swan was drinking the fresh rain water by the edge of Canoe Lake.

Back by Canoe Lake, there were a couple of Long-tailed Tits flying around the vegetation near the Café and a Greenfinch flew high overhead. Not a great deal else to report although some idiot let her small barking dog get too close to the local Mute Swans by the Lake. Some people are simply so infuriating!

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This Black-headed Gull was near full summer plumage on Canoe Lake.

Earlier this week, I finally clocked my first Redwing of 2016, but there were no new year-ticks to add to my yearly total. In Hampshire, Blashford Lakes seems to have the largest variety of interesting birds; while locally, the Penduline Tits are still entertaining on Titchfield Haven and the very long-staying Long-billed Dowitcher is still residing on Pennington Marshes.

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The male Pied Wagtail on Southsea beach.

Spoonbill over the Marshes.

Sunday 17th January 2016.

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The immature Spoonbill was a nice surprise this morning.

I was expecting a walk around Farlington Marshes at 8am today with John Goodall, but the weather put paid to that with persistent rain falling and so we both cancelled our proposed trip. However, by 10am, it was a lot dryer and so I made my way to the reserve. Despite the rain abating, it was still damn cold when I arrived (about 3 degrees). I could see a few hardy souls were braving the elements around the seawall as I made my way towards the Lake area.

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My first Song Thrush of the year. At least 5 were seen this morning on the reserve.

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Redshank, Grey Plover and Teal in the Sluice channel.

I was expecting to notch up quite a few year ticks this morning and I was pleased to get 11 more on my year list. John Goodall had a good day here yesterday with sightings of Marsh Harrier, Avocets, Bearded Tits, Slavonian Grebe and two Short-eared Owls. This certainly whetted the appetite and it didn’t take long for me to grab a few year ticks on route to the Lake. A pair of Stonechats were near the sea wall along with a Song Thrush; both in search of insects in the grass. Overhead, skeins of Brent Geese were flying over including large flocks coming in from the football fields to the north.

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There is nothing quite like a skein of wild Geese taking off all at once. And Brent Geese are no exception.

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One can get really close to the Geese here.

The Lake held good numbers of my first Pintail of the year and also a pair of Common Snipe were added shortly afterwards. The nearby reedbeds held brief sightings of both Bearded Tit and Reed Bunting, but the overcast conditions were inadequate to get a reasonable photo of either. It was low tide within Langstone Harbour and though I had already seen the Avocets from the Eastern Road Bridge, they still showed well, albeit distantly, from the harbour wall. Good numbers of Redshank, Grey Plover and Dunlin were also present, but no Knot among them. Grumble!

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Shoveler in one of the pools.

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The footpath leading to the Point Field.

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The flooded Deeps area.

It was bloody freezing walking around the south section of the marshes, but at least the bird life kept me entertained. Another pair of Stonechats showed well by the barbed wire fence and good numbers of Brent fed on the grass within the fields close by. The flooded fields held Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal and I constantly checked the grass for any sitting Short-eared Owls; but none were to be seen today by myself. I checked the channel out in the harbour for the drake Velvet Scoter but there was no sign. A few Red-breasted Mergansers and Goldeneye were in the channel but little else.

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Dunlin feeding in the harbour.

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This Robin (one of at least 20 seen this morning) was down to about 3ft away from me.

Passing the Deeps area, I was amazed to see so much water here. Great for the wildfowl I suppose, but there was very little inhabiting the area and even the reedbed was very quiet. A large Starling flock (200+) was feeding in the field with the Geese near the Blockhouse, making quite a din as I walked past. Yet another pair of Stonechats were present here and further on near the Information Centre, another pair were found. These birds incredibly let me get as close as six feet away from them. I even had to put the camera on macro setting to focus properly! Suddenly, everything took flight within the fields and carefully checking for a passing raptor, I found a 1st winter Spoonbill flying east high over the reserve and into the harbour. That was a nice bonus and as the song goes, ‘I never expected that’!

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Another shot of the Spoonbill.

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A flock of Common Snipe over the reedbeds near the Stream.

The sodden trek to the Lake from the info Centre held a few notable birds. A couple of Goldcrests showed well and a male Kestrel perched nearby on the Double-Ponds area. A couple of Water Rails tantalisingly called deep within the brambles there, but never showed! Grumble again! The Stream area held a single Little Grebe and a small selection of Gulls but nothing new for the year. A flock of around 10 Common Snipe flew low over the reedbed several times to keep me entertained. I came across the pair of Stonechats again, the same pair I first bumped into as I made my way to the seawall. Sadly, the remains of a headless Brent Goose was lying on the grass and it looked like an adult too.

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Female Stonechat.

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And its mate.

All in all, a nice walk round and I notched up 11 species for the year, which puts me on 82 species for the year.