Saturday, 21 February 2015

At the Lakes again

Took a trip over to Longham Lakes again with the hope of getting a better picture of the female Scaup that is still on south lake ,though I did see her today she was just to far away and swimming and diving heading away from my position.
Still had a nice afternoon trying to  get some photos of the birds seen but they are not very good.
Bird seen beside the usual stuff out on the lakes were Green Woodpecker, Robins, Wren ,Blackbird, Chiffchaff ,Long -tailed Tits and Goldcrests.
Some record shots.




Drake Mallard

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Out looking for Harriers

Went out today 18/02/15 with Harriers in mind but first port of call was Morden Bog to see if i could find the Shrike no luck with that one, but after leaving the site I see on bird guides it was found. Anyway still had a nice morning there with Peregrine, Goldcrests Long-tailed tits Crossbill seen and heard and a Woodlark singing, a small group of Fieldfare in the first field and a Buzzard.
From there went to Hartland Moor no Harriers, only a Kestrel seen, made my way down to middlebere hide by way of going to the Harrier hide first,  lots of curlew in the fields out in the channel Canada geese and Shelduck and another Kestrel
Scanned over the reeds at middlebere no Harriers, a raven flew over head and three Spoonbill flew up and over the hill. Got to the hide not much out in the channel think they must have been down past the rspb viewing screen, reports of a ringtail, and male Hen Harrier missed those , the the way back and just past the cottages I stopped to scan the reeds again and some Spoonbills came in landed but did not settle took to the air a flew straight towards me and over my head a splendid view of Juveniles I presume black wing tips and dark under wing coverts
From there I headed over to the top of Slepe Heath , two Mistle Thrush displaying and singing,  another Kestrel, lot of birds out in the wareham channel no harriers though RSPB staff I think were working on Arne moors this afternoon.
Buzzard, Peregrine, 4 sightings of Kestrel and Spoonbill made for a nice relaxing day.

Record shot of a Peregrine

View from Harrier Hide

Looking across Hartland Moor

Looking across Arne Moors

Looking down Slepe Heath to Hartland Moor

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Urban Birding

Saturday 7th
I had to make a trip in to Poole and the B&Q centre for some plumbing items that were needed. As the old dishwasher had given up and some bits and pieces were different and leaked on the new one.
So I took advantage of the time down this  way and went over to Holes Bay to look for the female Smew that as been hanging around for a few weeks, sadly I did not find the Smew but what a place to just unwind after spending time in the store. The bay is just a stones throw away from a busy cycle path, bypass and retail park yet the bay can be packed with birds.
The main problem though if parked in the Mc Donald's Car park you after cross this busy bypass which be a bit hectic, anyway cross the road I did and the first birds I saw were Teal right on the edge of the shore line they would have made a great photo being so close but I did not have my camera and it would been no good taking it as the battery as run low and I have found out to my cost that the charger is no longer working which mean I need to get a new charger to charge the battery before using the camera again which was such a shame because not only were the Teal close I had great close up views of Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret.
Out in the bay there were large rafts of Wigeon with some Gadwall, Avocets .
At the out flow drain I saw Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard in a tree that took flight out over the bay close to the shore line mobbed by gulls, drift along the shore line and glide across the cycle about head height behind a couple walking along the path.

8th February
After lunch we went over to Longham lakes again as my son likes to walk round the South lake
so this time as I knew the camera was not in working order I took the little Nikon coolpic I gave my son after i brought the SLR it is not great and is rubbish at taking distance shots of birds.
I was hoping to get to see the Goldeneye that as turned up on South Lake as this year I am recording the number of birds I can see in the year on the lakes and surrounding fields and hedge rows and this would be a nice addition to the list which is up to 43 species.

North Lake viewed from the central causeway
I did not see this species of diving duck which is not to surprising really as my son likes to keep moving and get fed up when I keep stopping to scan the Tufted Ducks and lake, but we have fun walking round in away I wish I took him when he was a lot younger .
Out on the lake the were Tuftys, Pochard, Shoveler Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebe, Coots, Mallards, Cormorants and on the island Canada geese, Greylag geese more cormorants and a little Egret. In the field pools we spotted some Teal another Little Egret and Mutes Swans .
As were made our way round the lake the Jackdaws were being noisy as ever a Green Woodpecker alarm calling. Up on the little island by the settling pools Tufted Duck were washing and preening and a Grey Wagtail ( my favourite wagtail) searching the bank side gravel for tiny morsel of insects.

South Lake and a view across to the large island
As we made our way along the path I noticed a Duck close to the shore, I bring the bins up and low and behold it is the female Scaup oh how I wished I had the camera and big lens with me, but like my son always tells me if you take the camera you never see anything good anyway and I seem to when I leave it at home at least this time I had a good reason for leaving at home. I tried to get a shot of it with the little camera but it is rubbish so this is a warning bad photo alert and record shot of
winter female Scaup coming up.

Female Scaup

Tufted Ducks
Female Scaup tends to hang round the Sticks on the east? side of the lake or if you like the water works side. It is a largish duck with large round head, large white but stained patch at the base of the bill, the bill is wide and pale grayish colour with small black nail,body a dull brown with lighter/pale grey brown flanks with some grey vermiculations on the back and flanks.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A Trip to Blashford Lakes

Today my son wanted to go over to Blashford Lakes for a change as we have been going to Longham Lakes recently, So I took my camera with my 400mm lens with the hope I might be able to get to use it in the woodland hide.
We got there about 1.30pm and parked at the Tern hide here we looked over Isbley lake it was very windy and the lake was choppy but we managed a few good birds from here, Little Grebes, Goosander and the Black-necked Grebe.
From here we walked over to the Woodland Hide on the way a Buzzard drifted lower over the path  but the camera was in the bag at this point, Song Thrush and Blackbird along the path  with some Robins. To my surprise the hide was empty so I got to use my camera which I have not used in this hide for a while now as every time I went with this lens someone was always sat in the open window seat.
We sat here a while watching and taking pictures of the birds these were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Goldfinch and Dunnock.

Blue Tit

Cole Tit


Great Tit

It was nice to be able to have a practise with this lens again, though the pictures are still not as sharp as I would like them to be but that might be due to the low light level and the use of ISO 400. I have been toying with the idea of getting my self a bridge camera like Sony Cyber Shot or a Canon SX50or SX60 to take birding with as I find lugging the SLR and the 400 L lens a bit cumbersome. But I have no exspirence with these types of camera and not sure how good they would be, though I like the idea of smallish camera that I could carry in my pocket or a small bag. 
From here we made our way down to Ivy South Hide but decided not to go in but take the path round which skirts Ellingham lake and the Dockens Stream . Which was a good move as we spotted two new birds for the year a lovely pair of Bullfinch which I could not get close enough to photograph and a Great Spotted Woodpecker high up in a Tree calling. Also along the path were more Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest, Wren more Blackbirds and Song Thrush so all in all a very good afternoons walk.

New birds for the year
Black-necked Grebe
Cole Tit